Offshore Partner Visa Processing Times & Low/High Risk Applications

Hey everyone, I’m back!

We’ve had a lot of questions following our update on the changes to visa processing times for partner visas. Inside of our commitment to giving you as much helpful information about the partner visa process as possible, we’ve put together some information as a follow-up.

The Main Questions Were:

  1. Are there any changes to the visa processing times to offshore partner visas?

  2. What is considered a high-risk application and what is a low-risk application when Immigration is deciding how to prioritise onshore partner visa processing?

Let’s start with the first question – are there any changes to the offshore partner visa processing times?

  • The Department of Immigration has only announced changes to the processing times to onshore partner visas.
  • The processing times for offshore partner visas differ from country to country.
  • It really depends on where your visa is going to be processed.
  • Offshore partner visas are processed at the nearest overseas Australian embassy, for example, the Australian embassy in Dubai, or Manila, or Bangkok.
  • To find out the visa processing times for the Australian embassy that will process your visa we usually check the relevant embassy website.

Now onto the second question….

What is considered a high-risk application and what is a low-risk application when Immigration is deciding how to prioritise onshore partner visa processing?

  • Low-risk applicants can include visa applicants from ETA eligible countries.
  • An ETA eligible country is a citizen who is eligible to apply for an Electronic travel authority.
  • You can check this on Immigration’s website to see which countries are ETA eligible.
  • If you are not from an ETA eligible country then your application may be considered medium to high risk. 
  • In addition to country of citizenship, there are other factors that could see an application considered high risk, this can include:
    • Applicants who are in a relationship whereby there is a significant age gap between the applicant and sponsor.
    • Applications that are badly prepared, for example, applications that do not address all criteria necessary for the Department of Immigration to make a decision on the Partner Visa application.
    • Applications lodged by someone with a history of visa refusals or visa non-compliance 
  • Now, these are only examples and circumstances will be determined on a case by case basis by the Department of Immigration. 
  • Any case with a Complex issue such as a Health Waiver or Character Issue for the Applicant or the Sponsor

The best thing you and your partner can do to avoid lengthy delays is to lodge a well-prepared application that clearly evidences how you meet all the visa requirements. If you still have questions or if you’re wanting a ‘One-on-One’ sit down with one of our Registered Migration Agents then give our team a call now on (07) 3063 1200.

Got another question about a Partner Visa? Check out our Partner Visa FAQ Page

IMPORTANT: Please note, this does not constitute Immigration advice. Always seek advice from a Registered Migration Agent before applying for an Australian Visa. Migration Law is constantly changing. This information is accurate only at the time of publication.

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.