Processing Times

Actual processing times are dependent on a number of factors, such as:

  • whether you have provided all necessary supporting documents when you lodge your application
  • how well and how promptly you respond to any requests for additional information
  • how long it takes to complete any required checks on information you have provided to support your application
  • how long it takes to receive additional information required from areas outside the department particularly in relation to health character and national security
  • how many places are available in the migration programme.

Please click below to see processing times

Family visa processing times

Family visa processing times

The table below details the service standard processing times for people wanting to migrate on a Family Stream visa as a spouse, de facto partner, fiancé, child or parent. We aim to process 75 per cent of complete Family Stream visa applications within timeframes detailed below. Indicative service standards are measured from the date we receive your complete application to the date of the final decision.

Processing priority groups and order of processing

Priority processing arrangements apply to family migration applications. They determine the order in which we consider applications. Those applications given a higher priority under the arrangements will be processed ahead of those given a lower priority regardless of when the application is lodged.
The following table details processing priorities for family migration applications.

Note: The highest priority is listed first. Assessment of Priority Group 4 will commence when all applications in Priority Groups 1-3 have been finalised.

Priority Group Number

Application Type

1 Applications for children and partners except where the sponsor or proposed sponsor entered Australia as an Illegal Maritime Arrival (IMA) and is the holder of a permanent visa.
2 Contributory Parent except where the sponsor or proposed sponsor entered Australia as an IMA and is the holder of a permanent visa.
3 Parents and Other Family except where the sponsor or proposed sponsor entered Australia as an IMA and is the holder of a permanent visa.
4 Applications where the sponsor or proposed sponsor entered Australia as an IMA; and holds a permanent visa such as a Protection visa (subclass 866), a Five Year Resident Return visa (subclass 155) or a three month Resident Return visa (subclass 157).

Processing times for visas affected by priority processing

Individual processing times will vary depending on a range of factors. Service standards are aspirational and are not a guarantee that your applications will be processed within the time listed.

Visa Application Lodged in Australia Lodged outside Australia
Low Risk High Risk Low Risk High Risk
Prospective Marriage
(subclass 300)
Priority Group 1
n/a n/a 5 months 12 months
Partner (temporary)
(subclass 309, 820)
Priority Group 1
6 months 8 months 5 months 12 months
Partner (permanent)
(subclass 100, 801)
Priority Group 1
6 months 8 months 6 months 8 months
Child
(subclass 101, 102, 117, 445, 802, 837)
Priority Group 1
7 months 8 months 3 months 14 months
Parent
(subclass 103, 804)
Priority Group 3
capped and queued capped and queued capped and queued capped and queued
Other Family
(subclass 114, 115, 116, 835, 836, 838)
Priority Group 3
capped and queued capped and queued capped and queued capped and queued
All Visa Applications under Priority Group 4 Assessment of Priority Group 4 will commence when all applications in Priority Groups 1-3 have been finalised.

Processing times for visas not affected by priority processing

The following visa subclass is exempt from priority processing. This subclass is processed in the order in which applications are received.

Visa Application Lodged in Australia Lodged outside Australia
Low Risk High Risk Low Risk High Risk
New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship
(Temporary)(subclass 461)
2 months 3 months 2 months 3 months

Other important information

The terms ‘Low risk’ and ‘High risk’ show whether passport holders are eligible to apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).

Low risk applies to nationals from countries which issue ETA eligible passports. A list of these can be found on the department’s website.

High risk countries are those which are not ETA eligible.

Partner (permanent) visas: The service standard applies from the time the application for the permanent Partner visa becomes eligible for decision. In the majority of cases, this is two years after the lodgement of the combined temporary/permanent Partner visa application.

Contributory Parent visas: We process applications for this visa in date of lodgement order and according to the planning levels set in the Migration Programme each year. Given the ongoing strong demand for this visa processing times might vary between programme years.

As these visas are not capped and queued, you will not be given a queue date and there is no queue calculator provided. Contributory Parent visas are categorised as a Priority 2 Group in the order of considering and disposing of family stream visas.

Parent (Non–Contributory) visas: There are a limited number of places available each year for Parent category visas. If you are a new applicant for a Parent (non-contributory) visa, your application will be queued and you can expect to wait approximately  30 years after your queue date until visa decision.

A queue calculator is available to Parent (subclass 103) visa and Aged Parent (subclass 804) visa holders.

More information about migrating to Australia as a family member is available on the department’s website.

Contact us today for a commitment free briefing with our Registered Migration Agents in Melbourne to find more about your visa options.