According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there were 6.3 million short-term foreign visits to Australia in 2012. Why are so many people from around the globe traveling to the “land down under?” Many are visiting family and friends who live in Australia, while others are arriving for vacation or business purposes. Approximately half a million visitors to Australia come in order to go backpacking in Australia’s many breathtaking wilderness areas.
In addition to this record number of short-term visitors (staying in Australia less than 12 months), there were 389,356 international students attending various educational programs in Australia in 2012, plus approximately 200,000 foreign nationals were granted a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Australia to live, work and study in the country long-term.
Whether for short-term visits or longer stays such as to study abroad or immigrate to Australia, this incredible country offers visitors and residents alike endless opportunities to enjoy a high standard of living. As the largest island on Earth (as well as the world’s smallest continent), Australia boasts over 10,000 beautiful beaches which offer fun in the sun year-round in Australia’s mild climate. When not sunbathing at the beach or playing in the surf, there is plenty to do in Australia’s happening, cosmopolitan cities (which have also been ranked among the world’s best place to live).
There is a saying that “variety is the spice of life” and this is particularly true in regards to Australia, whether one wants to go diving in the Great Barrier Reef; visit one of Australia’s many excellent wineries; experience the spiritual wonders of Uluru (Ayers Rock); take a scenic drive along the Great Ocean Road; explore tropical rainforests; or simply enjoy a meal overlooking the sea. It’s easy to see why many people who visit this magnificent country go on to eventually apply for a PR Visa to Australia and afterwards for Australian citizenship!