Changes to Partner Visa Processing Times for 2017

** UPDATE**: 1st of July 2017 brought more changes to the Partner Visa process, check out the latest here

UPDATE: if after reading this you have questions about Offshore Processing Times and Low/High-risk applications, check out the next blog in this series here. 

Hey everyone! It’s Sophia from Freedom Migration. This is my first blog post so go easy on me 🙂 . It’s actually not really fair that the rest of the team have given me the job of delivering bad news 🙁

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So you may or may not have heard this already but there has been a major change to Onshore (subclass 820) Partner visa processing times.

On the 4th of April 2017, all Registered Migration Agents were informed by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (“the Department”) that due to resourcing issues within the Department average de facto visa processing times for most Temporary Partner (Subclass 820)  and Permanent Partner (Subclass 801)  applications will now blow out to 18-20 months from the date of lodgement.

I know this news is going to add stress to anyone who has applied, or is thinking about applying for a subclass 820 onshore Partner Visa.

But it’s not all bad news, in an effort for the Department to meet its goals for the year they are now going to be giving priority to low-risk applications and those regarded by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection as fully front-end loaded with documentation that immediately satisfies all the criteria for an onshore Partner Visa.

So what that means is, if you have a really well-prepared application and you are considered low risk then your application will be put at the front of the cue and this will mean that you get a decision sooner, possibly as quickly as 6 monthsThis may even mean that some people who have really well-prepared applications with all the correct evidence will receive decisions before others who have lodged at the same time.

The key to having a well-prepared application is PLANNING!! We see hundreds of applications and we also get a lot of people who have come to us to help them appeal a Partner Visa refusal. In almost every refusal case we have worked on the refusal could have been avoided if the applicants had sat down with a Registered Migration Agent and got the proper advice from day one. This is even more important now because if you submit a sloppy application then you will be going to the bottom of the pile and possibly wait 18-20 months only to have the visa refused. This adds enormous stress to a relationship as the uncertainty can hinder your ability to plan a future together, things like travel, kids or buying a home together have to be put on the back burner until the dreaded visa is 100% secured.

If refused after the 18-20 months of visa processing time you will then have the extra cost of an appeal plus at least another 6-8 months of uncertainty while you wait for the appeal decision.  The other thing to remember is there is no refund from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, you will lose the near $7000 application fee.

If you have ever thought about using a Registered Migration Agent; but, didn’t see the value, now is a really good time to think again! Even if you are planning on lodging the application on your own (DIY-style), having a Visa Planning Session with one of our Registered Migration Agents will help point you in the right direction so you can know what is really important to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection when they are assessing your application. 

No one wants to be put on the bottom of the pile or back of the cue!

If you feel that your application might be at risk of not being decision ready at the point of application, and thus blowing out your visa processing time, then get in touch with us now. Our Team in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth will do our best to make sure you have the best chance of jumping to the front of the cue. Give us a Call on 07 3063 1200

If you have more questions check out our Partner Visa FAQ Page.

UPDATE: if after reading this you have questions about Offshore Processing Times and Low/High-risk applications check out the next blog in this series Here 

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About the Author Sophia Emberson-Bain

I was born in the Caribbean and schooled in England before moving to Australia. I studied law and now work at the best migration agency...and no I am not a pirate. Arrhhh. I enjoy helping people, which is why I studied law. Unfortunately, all this time studying has meant my hunting skills are not so strong, and so for that reason, I am a vegetarian.