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A Simple Guide To Australian Visa Processing Times – June 2019

20 Jun

All Australian visa applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). Processing times published on DHA’s website give a rough indication of how long your Australian visa may take, but these times can vary depending on application volume, available spots in the migration program and particulars within your unique circumstances.
Visa processing times are also subject to change over time.
If you are worried your visa has taken longer than expected, check to see if the processing times have changed.
Skillselect Subclass 189 Visa Processing Time

There are two different streams which run under the Subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa. The Points Tested Stream is for invited workers and the New Zealand Stream for qualifying New Zealand citizens.

The visa processing times for these two streams varies:

Stream One: Points Tested Stream

Visa Processing Time: 7 – 8 months

Stream Two:  New Zealand Stream

Visa Processing Time: 14 – 18 months

 

Skillselect Subclass 190 General Skilled Migration Visa Processing Time

This General Skilled Migration visa requires nomination by State or Territory Government. The current processing time for Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated Visa is:

Visa Processing Time: 9 – 13 months

 

Skillselect Subclass 489 Regional Provisional Sponsored Visa Processing Time

The Subclass 489 Regional Provisional Sponsored Visa has no standardised processing time across Australia. The processing times vary from state-to-state. You will need to check the current 489 processing times within the state or territory you are applying in.

In our experience, they are taking around 8-12 months.

The Subclass 489 Regional Provisional Sponsored Visa will also cease for new applicants on 16/11/2019. This will be replaced by the Subclass 491 Visa.

 

Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa Processing Time

The Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) also has two streams with varying processing times.

The Graduate Work Stream is for individuals who have graduated with skills and qualifications relating to skilled occupations which Australia needs.

The second stream is the Post-Study Work Stream which enables students who have graduated with a degree from an Australian university within the last six months to stay on and live in Australia temporarily.

Stream One: Graduate Work Stream

Visa Processing Time: 90 days – 4 months

Stream Two: Post-Study Work Stream

Visa Processing Time: 70 days – 90 days

 

Subclass 482 TSS Visa Processing Time

There are three different streams within the Subclass 482 TSS (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa. These are the Short-Term Stream, the Medium-Term Stream and the Labour Agreement Stream. Each stream has different processing times and each stream has different outcomes with respect to the time you may spend in Australia and whether you can progress to permanent residence.

The government has prescribed occupation lists for both the Short-Term Stream and the Medium-Term Stream of the 482 Visa. These lists determine whether you can apply for a Short-Term 482 visa or a Medium-term 482 visa.  There is no timeframe on when new occupation lists will be released by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA).

Where an employer has need for occupations not listed on the occupation lists, they may enter into a contract with the DHA called a Labour Agreement. Labour Agreements are complex contracts often involving extensive negotiations with the Minister and stakeholders such as Unions. Each Labour Agreement is confidential, and may or may not contain provisions allowing sponsored employees to progress to permanent residence.

Stream One: Short-Term Stream

Visa Processing Time: 30 days – 46 days

Stream Two: Medium-Term Stream

Visa Processing Time: 30 days – 47 days

Stream Three: Labour Agreement Stream

Visa Processing Time: 27 days – 33 days

Adding a family member to an existing Subclass 482 (or 457) visa

The Subsequent Entrant Stream is for adding a family member onto the 457 Visa (old version of the TSS Visa) or a current TSS Visa.

There are no published processing times for these applications, however in our experience they take only a few weeks.

 

Subclass 186 Employer Nominated (ENS) Visa Processing Time

The Subclass 186 Employer Nominated (ENS) Visa has three streams which enable the visa holder to attain a permanent visa for Australia.

Each of the streams has different processing times.

The Direct Entry Stream enables the visa applicant to be directly nominated by their employer.

The Temporary Residence Transition Stream allows 457 or 482 visa holders to transition o this permanent visa after 2 or 3 years with the same employer (depending when the temporary work visa was granted).

The third stream is the Labour Agreement Stream, and only works for visa applicants whose employers have a current Labour Agreement with the government.

Stream One: Direct Entry Stream

Visa Processing Time: 11 months – 15 months

Stream Two: Temporary Residence Transition Stream

Visa Processing Time: 10 months – 13 months

Stream Three: Labour Agreement Stream

Visa Processing Time: No available processing times

** Recently, we have noticed that Subclass 186 visa applications lodged in the last 3-4 months are progressing rapidly to visa grant, whereas older applications are languishing and taken up to 14 months to visa grant. Why is this happening? Who knows!

 

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Subclass 187 Visa Processing Time

A permanent visa, the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa (Subclass 187) has two streams and enables visa holders employed in regional Australia to achieve permanent residence.

The Direct Entry Stream allows employers to directly nominate their skilled worker, and the Temporary Residence Transition Stream is for applicants transitioning from a 457, or Subclass 482 TSS visa.

Stream One: Direct Entry Stream

Visa Processing Time: 21 months – 23 months

Stream Two: Temporary Residence Transition Stream

Visa Processing Time: 11 months – 16 months

*** As with recently lodged Subclass 186 visa applications, it is our experience that recently lodged Subclass 187 RSMS visa applications are speeding ahead of applications lodged earlier. Again, we are at a loss to explain why.

 

Subclass 820/801 Visa Processing Time

The 820/801 partner visa is a two stage pathway to permanent residence and you will need to be in Australia to apply.

The provisional (Subclass 820 Visa) and the permanent (Subclass 801 Visa) are applied for at the same time and each have different processing times.

The Subclass 801 Permanent Partner Visa’s application and processing commences two years from the Subclass 820 application, unless the applicants have a long term relationship or other specific circumstances designated in the regulations.

Subclass 820: Temporary Partner Visa

Visa Processing Time: 23 months – 27 months

Subclass 801: Permanent Partner Visa

Visa Processing Time: 22 months – 26 months

 

Subclass 309/100 Visa Processing Time

This partner visa requires you to apply outside of Australia and also has two stages. The temporary Partner (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 309) and the permanent Partner (Migrant) Visa (Subclass 100).

The Subclass 100 Permanent Partner Visa’s application and processing commences two years from the Subclass 309 application, unless the applicants have a long term relationship or other specific circumstances designated in the Migration Regulations.

Subclass 309: Partner (Provisional) Visa

Visa Processing Time: 14 months – 19 months

Subclass 801: Partner (Migrant) Visa

Visa Processing Time: 18 months – 26 months

**In our experience (and we lodge 300-400 partner visa applications per year), Subclass 309/100 visa processing times vary widely, depending upon where the application is processed. New Delhi for example regularly takes more than 2.5 years to process these applications, whereas London often takes less than 6 months.

 

Subclass 461 Visa New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship Visa Processing Time

This 5-year visa is for people who are not New Zealand citizens but have family members who are.

Visa Processing Time: 26 months – 27 months

 

Subclass 300 Prospective Marriage Visa Processing Time

Otherwise known as the fiancé visa, the Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300) is for those who are intending to marry their spouse within 9 months of the visa grant. This enables applicants to come to Australia for a short period of time to marry their partner and lodge a partner visa.

Once the visa is granted, there is no requirement to wed in Australia – the visa holder is free to marry their fiancé anywhere in the world following the visa grant.

Visa Processing Time: 12 months – 16 months

 

Subclass 173/143 Contributory Parent (Temporary/Permanent) Visa Processing Time

This visa enables parents of any age of Australian citizens to travel to and live in Australia.

Visa Processing Time: Processing times are around 40-46 months.

 

Subclass 884 Contributory Aged Parent Temporary Visa Processing Time

Similar to the subclass 173 visa, this Contributory Aged Parent Visa allows applicants to come to Australia if their child is an Australian citizen. Applicants need to be older than the retirement age (at least 65 years old) to be eligible for this visa.

Visa Processing Time: Processing times are not available for this visa, however in our experience they are approximately 3 years.

 

Subclass 417 Working Holiday Visa Processing Time

The Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417) is aimed at young adults (18 – 30 years, and 35 for Irish and Canadian citizens) who want to travel to Australia to work for up to three years. After the first years, subsequent visas are granted once certain regional work requirements are met.

Part One: First Working Holiday Visa

Visa Processing Time: 17 days – 30 days

Part Two: Second Working Holiday Visa

Visa Processing Time: 17 days – 30 days

Part Three: Third Working Holiday Visa

Visa Processing Time: Not available yet

 

Subclass 462 Work And Holiday Visa Processing Time

Very similar to the Working Holiday Visa, the Work and Holiday Visa enables young people between the ages of 18 – 30 years old to come to Australia and work for up to three years.

As with the Subclass 417 Working Holiday Visa above, the second and third year visa are only granted once certain prescribed regional work is performed by the applicant.

Part One: First Work And Holiday Visa

Visa Processing Time: 46 days – 62 days

Part Two: Second Work And Holiday Visa

Visa Processing Time: 46 days – 62 days

Part Three: Third Working Holiday Visa

Visa Processing Time: Not available yet