Historically and geographically, Australia and Indonesia have shared a close relationship, with diplomatic relations going back over 70 years. Though Indonesians only represent a small percentage of the migrant workforce in Australia, there are positive strides being made to strengthen the economic and cultural ties between the two countries. In July 2023, the Australian Government announced changes to the visa agreements between the countries that will have an impact on Indonesian citizens seeking entry into Australia.
Several changes have been announced following a meeting between Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Indonesian President Joko Widodo. They involve the conditions regarding business visas, the prioritisation of Indonesian citizens in our customs lines, and flexibilities regarding frequent travellers.
In welcome news, business visas for Indonesian nationals will be extended. This increase will take visas from three years to five years in length, allowing for greater opportunity and flexibility in these areas.
Indonesian ePassport holders will be prioritised at Australian Airports. They will be granted access to smart gates, joining 27 other eligible countries, and skipping the longer queues. Smart gates are available at Australia’s major airports and allow seamless electronic processing of your passport, rather than waiting in line for manual processing.
Arrangements are also underway for Indonesians to be able to access the frequent traveller visa. The visa offers a 10-year visa validity, which can make an enormous and positive difference in removing bureaucratic barriers for travellers. Previously, Indonesians seeking an Australian visitor visa were required to undergo background checks, medical checks, endure a cost of close to AUD 200, and wait an average of two months for the application to be approved.
Over 2023, the median Indonesian visa processing time has been reduced from 60 days to only seven days for standard visas and three days for business visas. Continued improvements like this make it quicker and easier for Indonesian nationals to plan their futures when it comes to migrating to Australia.
Currently, none of these announced changes have been set out in the law. They will thus not impact any pending visa applications or applications lodged in the immediate future. Once there has been further information provided on the subject, we will provide an update on how this might impact you.
Economic and diplomatic ties are becoming closer between Australia and Indonesia. With plans for Australian assistance in building the new Indonesian capital city, dual country relations on clean energy and electric car projects, and several Australian universities opening campuses in Indonesia over the coming years, the countries are working together more than ever. This means we are likely to see further growth, development, and migration occurring to and from Indonesia and Australia, and visa rules are likely to develop with them. Earlier this year, the Australian Labor Government announced plans to overhaul the Australian visa system. These changes have already been seen to impact Indian Migration into the country, and are likely to continue for further countries in the coming months.
For any further information or clarity required, contact us and speak to our team of immigration experts.
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