Partner visa processing slowed down recently? – it appears so.


Partner Visa Processing Times Extending

Recently, we’ve noticed a distinct slow down in partner visa processing.

This slowdown of partner visa processing appears to apply to partner visa appications lodged onshore (Subclass 820) and those lodged offshore (subclass 309).  The permanent stage partner visa processing (subclasses 801 and 100) has also slowed down.

Overall, partner visa processing definitely appears to be taking longer than it was a year ago.



This apparent slowdown in the processing of partner visa applications appears to have commenced soon after the Federal Government changed in May 2022.

We imagine that this is because the new government is giving higher priority to processing visa applications that potentially address the workplace ‘skills shortage’ in Australia.

So, some employer-nominated and ‘skilled’ visa applications appear to be being processed quickly.

Possibly, the immigration department has re-assigned some of its staff from the partner visa processing section to the skilled visa processing section.


What can be done?

For those applying onshore for subclass 820 partner vias, the slowdown in processing is frustrating.  However, they would normally hold a Bridging Visa A (with full work rights) and have access to medicare.  Importantly, they are together in Australia with their partner during the processing period.

For subclass 309 parter visa applicants offshore, the situation is often more challenging as many of them are separated from their partners during the visa processing period.  That’s difficult, and extended processing times are very unfair to them.

One thing that partner visa applicants can do to speed up processing after it commences is to lodge a partner visa application that is ‘decision-ready’.  That means an application that can in theory be dcided upon on the first day that the Case Officer starts processing it – nothing is missing.


When will processing speed up again?

It’s difficult to say. The current apparent policy to prioritise processing of skilled and work visas could change at any time – next week or next year.  Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later.

Partner visa applications are still currently beng processed – just more slowly.


Further Information

Feel free to contact me if you would like to book a consultation for more information about anything mentioned here.


Ross McDougall.

Immigration Lawyer & Solicitor.

Tel: 08 8528 9187

This information is correct at February 23rd, 2023.  But, keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.

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