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Visa processing times

​​​​Family visa processing priorities

Family migration applications are processed in line with Ministerial Directions. 

On 19 November 2022, the Australian Government announced that it will replace Ministerial Direction 80. Sponsors who entered Australia as an Unlawful Maritime Arrival (UMA) and are the holder of a permanent visa, will no longer receive the lowest processing priority.

The replacement of Ministerial Direction 80 is expected to take effect in the coming weeks. Applicants who were previously affected by Ministerial Direction 80 do not need to contact the Department as a result of this change.

Although these applications will no longer receive the lowest processing priority in the Family visa stream, applicants still need to meet the requirements in the migration legislation before a visa can be granted. Processing times for Family visa applications previously affected by Ministerial Direction 80, will vary according to the individual circumstances of each case. Some Family visa applications are subject to capping and queueing.  

Actual processing times can vary depending on a number of factors that may include but are not limited to the:

  • quality and completeness of applications
  • applicants’ responsiveness to requests for information, and
  • complexity involved in assessing relationship, character, health and security requirements. 

The processing priorities (with highest priority first) as outlined in Ministerial Direction 80 are below.   Processing priority 7 is the subject of the announcement.  The website will be updated once a new Ministerial Direction comes into effect:

  1. family migration applications that have been subject to ministerial intervention
  2. applications by a partner or a dependent child (except where the sponsor or proposed sponsor entered Australia as an Unlawful Maritime Arrival (UMA) and is the holder of a permanent visa)
  3. applications by an orphan relative (except where the sponsor or proposed sponsor entered Australia as an Unlawful Maritime Arrival (UMA) and is the holder of a permanent visa)
  4. applications by a contributory parent or a contributory aged parent  (except where the sponsor or proposed sponsor entered Australia as an Unlawful Maritime Arrival (UMA) and is the holder of a permanent visa)
  5. applications by a carer (except where the sponsor or proposed sponsor entered Australia as an Unlawful Maritime Arrival (UMA) and is the holder of a permanent visa)
  6. applications by a parent, aged parent, remaining relative or aged dependant relative (except where the sponsor or proposed sponsor entered Australia as an Unlawful Maritime Arrival (UMA) and is the holder of a permanent visa)
  7. applications where the sponsor or proposed sponsor entered Australia as an Unlawful Maritime Arrival (UMA) and is the holder of a permanent visa. 

Summary of family migration visas subject to processing priority directions

The following family migration visas are subject to Ministerial Directions outlining the processing priority order:

  • 100 – Partner
  • 101 – Child 
  • 102 –Adoption
  • 103 – Parent 
  • 114 – Aged Dependent Relative 
  • 115 – Remaining Relative 
  • 116 – Carer 
  • 117 – Orphan Relative 
  • 143 – Contributory Parent
  • 173 – Contributory Parent (Temporary)
  • 300 – Prospective Marriage (Temporary)
  • 309 – Partner (Provisional)
  • 445 – Dependent Child
  • 801 – Partner (Permanent)
  • 802 – Child 
  • 804 – Aged Parent
  • 820 – Partner (Temporary)
  • 835 – Remaining Relative 
  • 836 – Carer 
  • 837 – Orphan Relative 
  • 838 – Aged Dependent Relative
  • 864 – Contributory Aged Parent
  • 884 – Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary).​​

Processing times

Child and Partner visa processing times are available in the global processing times.

We do not provide processing times for Contributory Parent, Parent and Other Family visa applications. Applications for these visas are subject to capping and queueing.

See Parent visas - queue release dates and processing times

See Other family visas - queue release dates and processing times