With Australia's International borders closed, it has cause a lot of changes in the way partner visas are being processed.
What can you except when applying for your partner visa? What should you be doing differently?
It's not all bad news! Here's everything you need to know that has changed and how you should be approaching your partner visa in 2021.
Approach to Partner visas has drastically changed due to a number of reasons. This includes the increased of the new migration quotas announced in the 2021/2022 Federal Budget. We expect this trend to continue until the end of this financial year, 30 June 2022 (when the current partner visa quotas expires).
Along with this, COVID-19 restrictions have not only impacted processing times locally but also internationally.
Here are 4 things you should be doing differently:
1. Applying for an 820 Partner visa (onshore) or 309 Partner visa (offshore)
FAQ: "My partner can't come to Australia - which partner visa should we apply for?"
It's common practice for people to come to Australia then apply for the 820 Partner visa while they're in Australia. Unfortunately, this has become close to impossible for most applicants recently if they're stuck overseas.
If you can, you should opt for the 309 Partner visa (offshore) rather than wait until you can come to Australia to apply for the 820 Partner visa (onshore). 309 Partner visa's are being processed much faster than before.
2. Police checks
FAQ: "When should I apply for my police checks?"
For Australian visa purposes, all police checks are valid for up to 12 months. Generally we advise applicants to hold off on applying for police checks due to the lengthy processing time and the worry they may expire if you apply for them too early.
Since Partner visas are being processed much faster and different restrictions in different countries, police checks are taking longer to be finalised. Which is why we recommend looking in to applying for your police checks shortly after you lodge your visa.
3. Processing times
FAQ: "Have processing times changed?"
Yes and No. Despite the long processing times mentioned on the Department's website, we are currently finding that many of our Partner visa cases are getting processed much faster than usual. Some applications are getting assessed in as little as ~2 - 4 months.
With more applications being generally finalised faster, it's important to get your ducks in order as soon as possible so your partner visa can be processed faster.
4. Health examinations
FAQ: "When should I schedule my health examination?"
Health examinations are also only valid for 12 months. However with lockdowns happening with little to no notice and so frequently in popular cities like Melbourne and Sydney, health examination appointments are being cancelled or delayed.
You should apply for your health examinations shortly after lodging your visa to avoid delays in your visa being processed.
In summary, the way you prepare your partner visa has changed, so be sure to adapt your application process.
For other helpful tips check-out our blog post of 6 expert tips from our former-Immigration officer to find out how you can get your partner visa approved faster.
Have questions about applying for your partner visa? Book in for a free consultation to speak 1-to-1 with our migration experts today for that extra peace-of-mind!