Nearly 2 million visitor visa applications in the last quarter of 2011

Date: Mar 19, 2012

A new report has shown just how many migration applications Australia receives each year, with over 1.9 million visitor visa submissions received by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) in the last three months of 2011.

According to the Visitor Visa Program Quarterly Report, the volume was slightly down on the amount received during the same time in 2010, with a 2.1 per cent difference recorded.

However, this negative growth was mostly the result of large-scale economic factors experienced by common tourism countries - most noticeably Japan and the United Kingdom.

The UK has been experiencing a period of financial uncertainty that has had a significant impact on the mindset of the nation as a whole.

Perhaps the most publicly visible result of this in recent years was the London Riots that took place between August 6 and 10, with widespread looting, arson and other forms of property destruction.

It is therefore understandable that discretionary spending - such as holidays to Australia - by UK residents would have reduced, resulting in the 11.4 per cent decrease in tourist visa applications.

The destructive forces unleashed in Japan by the underwater earthquake and subsequent tsunami on March 11 2011 may have had a similar effect - as applications from the country dropped by 15.5 per cent.

That being said, the economic stability experienced in Australia has helped to make it a viable location for people to start new businesses, or seek a 'seachange' by finding employment in a new country.

Supporting this is the news that business visitor visas grew by 6.1 per cent in the last quarter of 2011, up to 237,529 compared to 223,879 applications received by the DIAC in 2010 the three months to December 31.

Of these submissions, 229,899 were supplied by the end of the year, giving the time period a grant rate of 96.78 per cent for that particular migration avenue.

This figure helps to highlight the importance of receiving quality advice from a reliable source - such as a lawyer in immigration - when applying for a business-related visa.

With a number of different options available for entry into Australia, it is important that businesspeople pick one that suits their commercial requirements.

Factors such as time limits, entry restrictions and allowable activities all need to be considered, as well as the fees and costs associated with them - many of which are not refundable.