Temporary Partner Visa processing taking 2 years? – what to do.

The Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) has provided the following information regarding partner visas that they received from the Immigration Department at a recent bi-lateral meeting between the MIA and senior department officials.

Current Partner visa processing pipeline

1st Stage (temporary) partner visa applications – 82,000 applications are in the processing pipeline.

2nd Stage (permanent) partner visa applications – 156,000 applications are in the processing pipeline.

The Department confirmed that they are doing everything possible to facilitate the smooth transition to permanent residency for partner visa applicants, given the long processing times of the partner visas.

The Migration program for 2019-20 allocates a total of 39,799 visas for the partner visa stream – far less than the number of partner visa applications in the processing pipeline – hence the long processing delays.

What happens if the processing time for the temporary partner visa is more than 2 years?

Partner visa applicants are eligible to be considered for the permanent partner visa 2 years after they applied for the temporary and permanent partner visas.

In the past, the temporary partner visa would have been received well before the 2-year point – that’s not always the case anymore unfortunately.

The immigration department lists current average processing times for onshore apartner visa applications as being 21 to 28 months.

So, it’s possible that a partner visa applicant can become eligible to be considered for the permanent partner visa, before the temporary partner visa is granted.

An applicant in that situation (being at the 2-year point before grant of the temporary visa), could potentially contact the Immigration department at the two-year point and requesting that they be considered for grant of the permanent partner visa immediately after the temporary partner visa is granted.

The immigration department doesn’t have to do this – but many applicants would have everything to gain, and little to lose, by requesting that they do so.

Feel free to contact me for a consultation if you need further information about this.


Ross McDougall. Solicitor & Registered Migration Agent.


Tel: 08 8528 9187

This information is correct at September 12th, 2019.  But, keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.

Information (or the lack of it) contained here does not take into account anyone’s individual circumstances and should not be relied upon as immigration assistance or legal advice.

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