Australian Partner Visa – Processing Update

Australian Partner Visa FACTS:

  • 2016/17 Programme: 50,000 approvals split between 28,500 offshore and 21,500 onshore.
  • Application rate onshore: Averaging 24,000 per year.
  • Offshore lodgement rate: Dropping by 10-30 percent at some posts due to temporary visa holders lodging onshore.
  • Visa Approval Rate: 820 Visa: 81 percent. 801 Visa: 75 percent. 100 visa: 92 percent (Posters comments: These statistics highlight the importance of using a highly experienced migration agent).

Processing Times

The current processing times for Subclass 820, 801 and 100 Australian immigration visas range between 16-23 months, as per information posted on the DIBP website.

Subclass 820 Temporary Partner applications which were lodged over three months ago (ie before January 2017) and are decision-ready as determined by DIBP, are being examined for potential decision by 30 June 2017.

Subclass 801 Permanent Partner applications which became eligible for grant up to April 2016 are currently being assessed, in line with the processing times advertised on the Department of Immigration website. The status of the 801/100 applicant’s relationship is assessed at the time of action. Partner teams will request documents at that point so health and character checks remain valid. The traditional mail-out letter at the 2-year point of eligibility will be discontinued. A repeat character check will be requested, as appropriate, if the applicant’s period of stay in Australia exceeds 12 months. Health examinations will not be repeated.

There is no annual onshore quota for Permanent Partner visa grants. In line with current Australian immigration visa processing times a combined Subclass 820/801 application can be expected to take up to 3-3.5 years to finalise.

Sponsorship Assessment from November 2016

The Australian government introduced a requirement in November 2016 for all Australian sponsors of Partner applications to undergo a character check. The check involves the presentation of an Australian national police certificate and where relevant, an overseas penal clearance.

The sponsor character and police check is a prerequisite to approval of the sponsorship under Regulation 1.20KC and precedes the commencement of an assessment of the visa application.

The sponsorship caseload on hand is approximately 8,000 of which 6,000 have not yet been actioned. The average processing time for the sponsorship check is approximately six months. The Sponsorship Assessment Unit is currently assessing cases lodged in December 2016.

DIBP Fee Increase for Australian Partner Visas

The current fee is $6,865.00, exclusive of any credit card surcharge charged by the Department of Immigration. The base application figure will increase to $7,000.00 on 1 July 2017.