Longer Processing Times for Australian Partner Visa Applications

Published: 01/09/2010

Important developments in the processing of Australian partner visas will likely have a major impact on those wishing to apply for a prospective marriage visa (subclass 300) and provisional spouse visa (subclass 309) in the near future. A recent seminar with a DIAC representative updated the Australian partner visa processing time issues, with an insight into the spousal visa, marriage visa and fiancee visa details that potentially impact on Marriagevisahelp.com clients.
According to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), all partner visa applications, including all onshore and offshore applications, are now dealt with under global management led by the Global Manager based in Brisbane and the Global First Stage Manager based in Sydney. These two DIAC officials are responsible for all onshore and offshore applications as the program has become global.
The global processing time is now stated as around six months, which is rather an increase on the speedy processing times previously available. For instance, Australian partner visa applications made to the Australian High Commission in London, UK had been processed in around 5 – 10 days, some applications, particularly those for prospective marriage visas and spousal that were clearly presented with all information to hand, were being processed in as little as 24 hours. However, recent developments in the Australian visa system have seen this impressive rate of processing slip even further back, even with those clear-cut, carefully prepared applications, with many taking between five – six months to be processed.
The seminar did, however, clarify that those Australian spouse visa, marriage visa and fiancee visa applications that are lodged as a perfectly complete application can benefit from a quicker turnaround – with just one month possible for straightforward (‘clearly approvable’) applications. This does not seem to have any impact on applications that had been lodged prior to the Australian partner migration program becoming global, with many even complete applications still taking the full six months. This is all largely to do with the ‘changeover’ to the global management system, so the situation may change again. Marriagevisahelp.com will keep you up to date with any changes.
The seminar also highlighted how there was a massive increase in onshore partner visa applications (subclass 309) being lodged in March, with the usual 550 monthly applications being dwarfed by the 850 received in this month. This is known to be because most onshore student visas expire in March, so the Department is now conscious that not all of these applications may be genuine, so this particular category is expected to undergo even stricter analysis.
We have also noted that a change in legislation means that the applicant can now be offshore for the second stage, which gives a greater flexibility for those holding a first-stage partner visa, allowing them to travel and live offshore, as long as contact details are kept up to date.
This highlights just how important a full, clear and entirely complete application is in terms of bringing together loved ones as quickly as possible. Marriagevisahelp.com is highly experienced in working with visa applicants and their families to ensure the first application is completed as accurately as possible, to minimise any potential delay in processing.

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