15 January 2009

Australian and Vietnamese immigration ministers sign info-sharing pact

The Australian Minister for Immigration Senator Chris Evans signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Vietnamese Minister of Public Security, General Le Hong Anh, this week in Hanoi.

The Exchange of Immigration Information MoU is designed to facilitate comprehensive information sharing between the immigration departments in both countries, so that illegal immigration to Australia can be curbed.

Senator Evans is confident the pact would strengthen ties between the Ministry of Public Security and the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

"Minister Anh and I discussed the importance of strong migration management in the region to address people smuggling by sea and air, human trafficking and other irregular migration issues," the Minister said.

Since 2006, the number of short-term visitors travelling for business purposes from Vietnam to Australia has more than doubled, with the number of subclass 456 visas reaching 8252 Australian visa grants in 2007-08.

The Labour Party have confirmed that tourism links between Australian and Vietnam have strengthened over the past years, and have particularly encouraged more Vietnamese tourists to visit Australia. 

During 2007-08, DIAC granted 7337 Australian holiday visas to Vietnamese nationals, almost double the number granted in 2006-07.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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