Easier Visas For World Youth Day

Easier visas for World Youth Day

The Sydney Morning Herald
October 3, 2007 – 8:49PM

The visit to Sydney for next year's World Youth Day has been made easier for some 140,000 people coming from overseas, with simplified visa procedures.

More than 500,000 people are expected to attend the event between July 15 and July 20 next year at Randwick Racecourse.

And it is estimated up to 140,000 international pilgrims will make their way to Australia to be part of the event.

Assistant Minister for Immigration, Teresa Gambaro, said there would be a “tailor-made visa application system” for the pilgrims enabling them to stay in Australia for up to three months.

There will also be no limit to the number of visas granted overall or from a particular country, she said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

“The visa will ensure that pilgrims spend longer in Australia and experience the best of our stunning tourism experiences,” Tourism and Transport Forum Australia spokesman Christopher Brown said.

“At a time of year traditionally seen as the low season for major events, World Youth Day is set to have a powerful effect on visitor numbers and expenditure.”

During the meeting between World Youth Day organiser Cardinal George Pell and Ms Gambaro, the assistant immigration minister said fencing used to lock down Sydney during last month's APEC conference would not be used at next year's event.

“There will be no APEC fence,” Ms Gambaro told reporters.