How to Avoid Delays in Partner Visa Processing

Waiting for a decision on your partner visa?

In a recent briefing to members of the Migration Institute of Australia, the Department of Immigration has advised some key changes to Partner processing times.

Due to pressure to decrease staff numbers in line with the Government’s wider plans to reduce public sector expenditure, the Department is experiencing resourcing difficulties with the Partner Migration programme. Due to these resourcing restrictions, average processing times for most Temporary Partner and Permanent applications are currently between 16-23 months from date of lodgement (s/c 820) and from date of eligibility (s/c 801/100).

In response to these challenges, the Department has announced a “triaging” approach to processing partner visa applications:

  1. The Department will identify Partner applications which are potentially of the highest quality and lowest risk for visa places in this programme year ending 30 June 2017.
  2. Priority will be given to low-risk applicants and those regarded by the Department as “decision ready”.
  3. Applications that are not “decision ready” will not be processed in the usual chronological method of assessing applicants by month of lodgement. They will be processed as a lower priority and may take many more months.

The Department has advised that this efficiency measure will be implemented up to 30 June 2017, however it may be an indication of the Department’s prioritisation approach in future.

What you can do

It is important that applicants fully front-end load their application with documentation that immediately satisfies Partner criteria, to avoid delays in visa processing.

We recommend that you review your application in ImmiAccount to ensure that you satisfy the Partner criteria and ALL other requirements of the visa.

For assistance with preparing a “decision ready” partner visa application, please contact our migration team at

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