How thoughtful! In order to ease fans to be part of the almighty ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, the authorities across the Tasman are considering to make a joint Australian and New Zealand visa for visitors. What is a joint tourist visa, you may ask? If you have zero idea about the current visa requirements, it means that a separate visa is needed when you visit the southern hemisphere. With a joint visa, visitors are granted access to both countries with just one visa.
According to the Chief Executive of Australian Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF), Ken Morrison, the teams will be playing in both Australia and New Zealand. “The first game will be in Christchurch, the final in Melbourne, with the 47 matches in between split between our two countries. We need to ensure the visiting fan can travel easily between the two.”
Even though the Australia visa is multiple-entry and unbelievably reasonable at USD20 with a 3-month validity, Morrison is aware that having to apply for two separate visas to Australia and New Zealand is too costly and time-consuming for those who are interested in catching the games live. Therefore, it is essential to create a common visa for mutual benefits.
It is believed by experts in the tourism industry that New Zealand is in greater favour of Indian cricket fans in comparison to Australia. To avoid Australia from being the secondary choice due to the visa issues, Australia and New Zealand are following the footsteps of previous countries that jointly hosted international sporting events. One good example is the harmonized visa requirements for the 2007 Cricket World Cup held in 15 Caribbean countries, one visa was all visitors need for the duration of the tournament.
To make it happen for the upcoming tournament in 2015, Morrison proposed that visitors only have to fill out one application form visas to both countries. “We need one process, one decision, one payment, but two visas,” he was quoted saying. Needless to say, the joint visa would swell figure of the visitors, especially those from India and the United Kingdom.