Australia today entered into a bilateral visa agreement with Pakistan after about a yearlong deliberation. The agreement seeks to simplify travel barriers between the two countries which is also aimed at combating illegal immigration.
“We saw the wisdom in relaxing our immigration rules which necessitated Cabinet to approved the roadmap which was laid in Parliament about 9 months ago. Finally the bill has been passed and visa barriers are no more although we do not expect the abuse of this privilege in anyway by any of the party to this agreement,” Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said.
Under the bilateral agreement, Pakistan ordinary passport holders in the tourist visitor category are required to declare a minimum of 2,000 Australian Dollars equivalent to 1,530 US Dollars whiles Business visitors are required to declare a minimum of 5,000 Australian Dollars equivalent to 3,800 US Dollars at the point of entry. Travelers should also provide proof of return ticket back to their home country. Australian travelers are also required to declare same when they travel to Pakistan.
Pakistanis visiting Australia and vice versa no longer need visa to travel for a stay up to 90 days. The move is believed to be a major boost for the tourism industry of both countries.
Prospective travelers are to take note of the changes that has been brought about through the agreement which takes effect from January 1 2017.