The Australian government Friday opened a new visa application centre in Jalandhar to meet the growing demand in Punjab for visas to Australia.
The new centre was inaugurated by Jose Alvarez, the Australian minister counsellor for immigration and regional director (South Asia), an official statement said.
The centre is operated by the Australian government's commercial partner, VFS Global.
Australia's High Commissioner to India, Patrick Suckling, said the centre would make it much more convenient for people in the region to apply for visas to Australia.
"The flow of people between India and Australia is increasing in volume, and this is deepening and strengthening the bonds between our two countries," Suckling said.
"I'm confident Australia will continue to receive increased number of business visitors, tourists, skilled migrants and students from India, which will continue to benefit our bilateral relationship," he added.
For the first time, the Australian high commission in New Delhi issued more than 100,000 tourism visas to Indians in a single financial year (July 2013-June 2014), with numbers increasing by 10 percent in the first three months of 2014.
In addition to the centre in Jalandhar, two such centres have been opened recently in Mumbai (South) and Pune.