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Family Visa Processing Times

The table below details the processing time service standards 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 Family Stream visa applications within timeframes detailed below. It should be noted that individual processing times will vary depending on a range of factors.

See:
Family Migration – Questions and Answers
Processing Time Service Standards

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

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

Contributory Parent
(subclass 143, 173, 864, 884)
Priority Group 2

n/a n/a n/a n/a

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.
See: ETA Eligible Passports

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.

Parent and Contributory Parent visas: There are a limited number of places available each year for Parent and Contributory Parent category visas. Parent (non-contributory) visas were previously repealed and closed from 2 June 2014 until 25 September 2014. Applications are now accepted for these visas. If you lodged an application during the period when the visa was repealed then you need to lodge a new application.

Parent (non-contributory) applicants will be queued and can expect an approximate 13 year wait after your queue date has been allocated.

If you are a new applicant for a Contributory Parent visa, you can expect to wait 12 to 24 months before visa grant consideration

More information on the waiting times for parent visas is available.
See: Parent Visa Queue

Other Family visas: Other Family visas were previously repealed and closed from 2 June 2014 until 25 September 2014. Applications are now accepted for these visas. If you lodged an application during the period when the visas was repealed then you need to lodge a new application.

There are a limited number of places available each year for queued visa applicants in this visa category. Carer visas are given priority over Aged Dependent Relative and Remaining Relative visas in this category.

More information on these arrangements is available.
See: Other Family Visa Queue

More information about migrating to Australia as a family member is available on the department's website.
See:
Family Member - Overview
Processing Applications