A tourist who wants to spend the holidays in Australia’s holiday hotspot of Christmas Island will need to have been approved for a visa before flying to the island.
In order to fly to Christmas Island from Australia’s mainland, an Australian tourist must first be approved by the Immigration Department.
“Christmas Island has been a designated tourist destination since the 1970s,” Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said.
“In 2012, we introduced the first-ever visa-free period for Australians travelling to the Island.”
A visa-less tourist would then need to travel through New Zealand to Christmas island before making the long journey to Australia.
“It’s the same process as for anyone who wants a holiday in New Zealand,” he said.
The visa-only visa would not apply to those travelling on holiday with family members or friends, as the visa allows for family members and friends to visit without needing to obtain a visa.
“So, if you are travelling with your partner, or someone in your family, then you are also eligible,” Mr Dutton explained.
“You can’t apply for a holiday visa for yourself or anyone else.”
The visa application process can take up to three months, with a visa fee of $150.
The visas will be issued after a three-month waiting period and will last for five years.
It is unclear when visas will become available for Christmas Island, but Mr Densler said he was confident the process would be streamlined.
“We are confident that the visa process will be streamlined and that we will be able to have a more streamlined visa process,” he told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.
Mr Denslers office did not respond to questions on the availability of the visa-exempt holiday.