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Monday, 14 August 2000
Page: 18938


Mr Sciacca asked the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, upon notice, on 30 May 2000:

(1) What are the official figures for the total number of visitor visa applications received and the number of applications refused during each year since 1994-95 by departmental posts in (a) Albania, (b) Bangladesh, (c) Bosnia, (d) Bulgaria, (e) Burma, (f) Cambodia, (g) Chile, (h) China, (i) Colombia, (j) Croatia, (k) Czech Republic, (l) Ecuador, (m) El Salvador, (n) Ethiopia, (o) Egypt, (p) Fiji, (q) Greece, (r) Hungary, (s) India, (t) Iran, (u) Iraq, (v) Israel, (w) Jordan, (x) Laos, (y) Lebanon, (z) Lithuania, (aa) FYR Macedonia, (ab) Nepal, (ac) Pakistan, (ad) Peru, (ae) The Philippines, (af) Poland, (ag) Romania, (ah) Russia, (ai) Sri Lanka, (aj) Syria, (ak) Tonga, (al) Turkey, (am) The Ukraine, (an) Uruguay, (ao) Vietnam, (ap) Western Samoa and (aq) Yugoslavia.

(2) For each post referred to in part (1), how many visa applications were (a) received and (b) rejected from applicants aged (i) between 20 and 30 years of age, (ii) between 30 and 40 years of age, (iii) between 40 and 50 years of age, (iv) between 50 and 60 years of age and (v) 60 years of age and over.

(3) What are the official figures for the total number of visitor visa applications received and the number of applications refused during each year since 1994-95 by departmental posts in (a) United States and (b) United Kingdom.

(4) For each post referred to in part (3), how many visa applications were (a) received and (b) rejected from applicants aged (i) between 20 and 30 years of age, (ii) between 30 and 40 years of age, (iii) between 40 and 50 years of age, (iv) between 50 and 60 years of age and (v) 60 years of age and over.

(5) For each post referred to in parts (1) and (3), how many applications for visitor visas in each age group were refused on the grounds that the applicant fitted into one of the categories on the High Risk Factor List.


Mr Ruddock (Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The honourable member will know that the Australian Government does not have posts in all of the countries listed in his question. However, all the data available at this time is included in Table A below. Until November 1998 the Department could only report on refusals by Post, and this was not always indicative of citizenship. From that time the Department has been able to report on refusals by citizenship and accordingly I have also included data, at Table B below, on applications and refusals by citizenship for calendar years 1999 and 2000 (to 31 May).

(2) Data on the age and sex of visitor visa applicants is not readily available for reporting purposes at present however systems development work is currently underway to enable data to be easily extracted and reported upon. I have asked officers of my Department to continue to advance this work and provide these statistics to the honourable member when they become available. Given the current position of the systems development, it is not possible to estimate when this information might be available.

(3) The honourable member will be aware of the difficulty in making comparisons between the countries discussed in question 1 and the USA and UK. US and UK citizens are eligible, along with the nationals of 31 low risk countries worldwide, to be granted an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) if they are not listed on the Movement Alert List. Visitor visas, including ETAs, granted to UK and USA nationals during the period requested are included in Tables A and B.

(4) See (2) above.

(5) Public Interest Criterion 4011 (the “risk factor”) requires any visitor visa applicant who falls within certain age and sex cohorts to demonstrate to the decision-maker that “there is very little likelihood that the applicant will remain after the expiry of any period during which the applicant might be authorised to remain after entry.”

While I can state the number of visa applications rejected, the department does not record the reasons for those rejections in a way that can be accessed by the Department's reporting systems.

I can, however, state that the risk factor list is not used to automatically exclude applicants. It operates simply as an “alert” to decision-makers of the potential for continued stay in Australia and requires the applicant to provide a higher level of evidence to support their claim that they are only intending to visit Australia. An applicant will be rejected where they fail to satisfy a decision-maker that a genuine visit is intended.

Visitor Visas

Number of Visitor Visa Applications and Refusals by Processing Country and Program Year

Program Year 1994-95 to 1999-00 (to 30 April 00)

Country

1994-95

1994-95

1995-96

1995-96

1996-97

1996-97

1997-98

1997-98

1998-99

1998-99

1999-00 to date

1999-00to date

Applications

Refusals

Applications

Refusals

Applications

Refusals

Applications

Refusals

Applications

Refusals

Applications

Refusals

Bangladesh

1,113

426

1,217

276

1,724

407

1,964

472

2,020

455

2,623

636

Burma (Myanmar)

499

17

657

30

668

176

737

199

711

106

672

197

Cambodia, the Kingdom of

662

234

1,367

387

1,974

983

2,245

1,366

1,137

479

1,003

368

Chile

2,491

150

3,103

152

3,375

510

4,067

913

5,841

961

6,515

1,534

China, Peoples Republic of

33,341

4,348

46,744

5,824

72,133

16,697

75,453

19,406

78,662

19,348

87,067

15,670

Egypt, Arab Republic of

1,679

601

1,922

452

2,092

555

2,770

763

3,001

799

3,075

736

Fiji

14,640

2,417

17,011

3,154

18,304

4,408

20,681

4,999

20,859

3,970

20,185

2,171

Greece

6,046

157

6,259

92

6,879

179

9,817

140

10,857

315

10,938

343

Hungary

2,468

71

2,838

111

3,124

240

3,419

249

3,700

422

3,685

496

India

13,577

779

18,076

1,318

21,757

3,132

25,926

4,361

27,491

4,392

29,407

3,616

Iran

1,581

656

2,455

1,044

2,753

1,497

2,553

1,185

2,141

1,072

2,056

942

Israel

6,789

116

8,541

217

10,351

374

10,435

428

10,948

379

11,123

464

Jordan

1,103

351

1,338

558

1,388

601

1,476

784

1,005

488

1,098

488

Lao Peoples Democratic Rep

215

37

465

34

469

44

609

78

725

165

766

222

Lebanon

0

0

5,840

2,250

5,531

2,385

5,408

2,396

4,814

1,836

5,984

2,741

Nepal

547

40

828

202

1,138

344

222

45

252

0

56

0

Pakistan

2,602

973

3,620

1,271

3,887

1,300

4,376

1,866

3,997

2,374

3,401

1,918

Philippines

22,092

2,845

30,174

3,765

37,820

5,780

40,345

6,575

35,490

4,128

35,003

7,701

Poland

3,573

641

3,752

507

4,418

689

4,600

609

5,750

715

5,714

588

Russian Federation

6,844

1,159

7,824

935

7,776

1,362

8,353

1,646

7,699

2,060

6,753

1,622

Samoa

1,818

259

1,860

73

1,879

419

1,815

318

1,974

187

1,830

249

Sri Lanka

4,959

543

9,116

2,456

7,788

2,840

6,697

1,908

6,850

1,638

7,758

1,516

Syria

5,456

1,887

1,157

437

779

344

910

406

756

352

135

65

Tonga

2,178

640

2,768

1,034

3,378

903

3,168

1,202

2,672

1,129

1,786

554

Turkey

2,323

497

2,724

846

2,983

1,027

3,043

995

3,036

818

1,756

833

United Kingdom

290,788

434

310,669

456

334,179

385

370,408

504

438,621

440

404,847

411

United States of America

252,099

622

259,819

529

262,103

578

297,990

193

339,677

131

309,374

104

Vietnam

3,496

1,080

4,543

1,114

5,096

1,343

6,267

1,156

6,808

1,580

6,532

1,742

Yugoslavia

4,816

1,908

4,967

1,495

6,308

2,057

6,786

2,230

5,544

2,742

5,934

2,823

TOTAL OFFSHORE

2,646,320

37,417

2,940,981

43,733

3,155,368

65,198

3,076,017

84,812

3,088,193

77,278

2,860,431

67,470

Visitor visa numbers include ETA's for Greece, United Kingdom and United States of America.