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New process for applying for family sponsored visitor visas from July 1

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The Department of Home Affairs has introduced changes to the way some visitor visas are lodged. The changes will take effect on 1 July 2018.

During the first six months of the 2017-18 financial year, nearly 3.1 million applications for visitor visas were lodged.

Now, Australian visitor visa aspirants will have to follow a new process while lodging their applications for visa Subclass 600 from 1 July 2018.

The Department of Home Affairs has announced changes to the process of applying for certain non-internet based visitor visa applications.

All non-internet based sponsored family stream applications must be sent by post or courier to specified addresses in Sydney or be made online.

Currently, these applications are sent to either Sydney or Brisbane, depending upon the location of the sponsor in Australia.

These visas are valid for up to three years, allowing the visa holders to stay in Australia for up to three, six or 12 months. In some cases, visa holders are required to spend a certain period of time outside Australia before they can enter Australia again. 

Tourist stream

According to the figures released by the Department of Home Affairs, the tourist group accounted for the majority of visitor visas granted during this time with Indian emerging as the top source within this group, bagging over 20 per cent of the tourist visas.

From 1 July 2018, all applicants for a tourist stream visa must either make an online application or send their paper applications on a prescribed form with the necessary documents to a new address specified by the department.

Those applying for this visa from outside Australia should send their non-internet based applications to a diplomatic, consular or migration office maintained by or on behalf of the Commonwealth.

For the onshore applicants making non-internet based applications, there are different addresses for applications to be sent via post and courier.

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