Australian Partner Visa – update

Australian Partner Visa

Australian Partner Visa – update

A quick statistical overview 

·    2016/17 program had 50,000 applicants – 28,500 offshore, 21,500 onshore.

·    On average 24,000 onshore applications per year.

·    The offshore lodgement rate is dropping by 10-30%, possibly due to temporary visa holders lodging onshore.

·    Provisional Partner processing = 63,000 visa applications

·    Permanent Partner processing = 25,000 visa applications

·    Grant rate: Provisional 820 Visa:  81%  / Permanent 801 Visa:  75%  / Permanent 100 Visa:  92%

Australian Partner Visa Processing Times

The Department’s current processing times for s/c 820, 801 and 100 range between 16-23 months, with an ongoing focus on combatting fraud in the Partner Programme. Subclass 820 Temporary Partner applications which were lodged over three months ago (i.e. before January 2017) and are decision-ready as determined by DIBP, are being examined for potential decision by 30 June 2017.

Subclass 801 Permanent Partner applications which became eligible for grant up to April 2016 are currently being assessed. The status of the 801/100 applicant’s relationship is assessed at the time of action.  Partner teams will request documents at that point so health and character checks remain valid.  The traditional mail-out letter at the 2-year point of eligibility will be discontinued.  A repeat character check will be requested, as appropriate, if the applicant’s period of stay in Australia exceeds 12 months. Health examinations will not be repeated.

There is no annual onshore quota for Permanent Partner visa grants.  In line with current processing times a combined 820/801 application can be expected to take up to 3-3.5 years to finalise.  

Sponsorship Assessment from November 2016  

As part of it’s commitment to addressing family violence in the Australian community, the Australian government introduced a requirement in November 2016 for all Australian sponsors of Partner applications to undergo a character check.  The check involves the presentation of an Australian national police certificate and where appropriate, an overseas penal clearance.  

The sponsor character check is a prerequisite to approval of the sponsorship under Regulation 1.20KC and precedes the commencement of an assessment of the visa application.  There is currently no impediment to the visa applicant lodging the visa application simultaneously with the sponsorship under Schedule 1, avoiding the risk of becoming unlawful.   

The sponsorship caseload on hand is approximately 8,000 of which 6,000 have not yet been actioned.  The average processing time for the sponsorship check is approximately six months.  The Sponsorship Assessment Unit is currently assessing cases lodged in December 2016.

For countries where a DIBP letter of request is required to authorise an overseas police authority to conduct a check, the letter will be sent to the applicant when the sponsorship is actioned.  Given the extended processing times for Partner applications, there should be adequate time for overseas police checks to be obtained prior to the visa application being assessed.

If you need assistance with your visa application, call Australian Immigration and Visa Solutions. We have the expertise to make a difference to your outcome. +61 2 93155229 or


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