If you are in a genuine and committed relationship with an Australia permanent resident, Australian citizen or eligible NZ citizen, then you may be eligible to apply for a partner visa. This visa category accounts for around 25% of Australia’s migration program – the largest category in the family stream.
The demand for partner visas
The partner visa planning level has remained the same since 2014-15, with 47, 825 places available. However, the 2019-20 migration year saw this number reduce to 39,799 places. This is a reduction of nearly 17%, despite the increasing demand for partner visas. In 2018-19 over 60, 000 partner visas (subclass 300, 309 and 820) were lodged. Evidently, the demand exceeds the available places for partner visas in the annual migration program.
A backlog of applications
With more people applying than there are spaces, lodged visa applications have continued to pile up, creating a backlog of applications and pushing out waiting times. Some applicants are waiting over 24 months to secure an Australian partner visa! You can view current global processing times on the Government website.
According to figures released by the Department of Home Affairs, on 30/06/2019 there was a backlog of 74, 999 partner visa applications (subclasses 300, 309 and 820).
An increase in fraudulent applications
The Department of Home Affairs has advised of an increase in high risk applications. News of fake marriage syndicates and false relationships are commonplace in Australia’s media, providing an insight into the lengths people will go to secure an Australian visa under false pretence.
The last migration year 2018-19 saw 16% of Prospective Marriage Visas (subclass 309), 9.8% of Offshore Partner Visas (subclass 300) and 5.5% of Onshore Partner Visas (subclass 820) refused.
More resources are required to seek out genuine visa applications, creating the need for strong and varied relationship evidence.
The Australian Department of Home Affairs clearly states that a visa applicant must prove their identity and provide true information within their visa application. Failure to do so can result in visa refusals and can impact future visa applications.
Can I speed up the process?
There are some simple ways in which you can reduce the processing time of your spouse visa. It is advisable that you lodge a complete application, meaning all recommended documents are uploaded and are clear colour copies. You should also action any requests from Immigration promptly.
If you can demonstrate compassionate and compelling circumstances then you may be granted priority processing, however it is important to note that everyone wants their visa swiftly and each application is treated with high importance. There is no guarantee that your application will be given a higher priority as other applicants. You will need to make a request for priority processing with the visa office where your application is being processed and provide evidence to support your claims.
You can seek visa advice by completing Visa Go Australia’s free online assessment. A licensed agent will review your details and contact you by email.