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Visa processing times

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Overview

Global visa processing times are updated monthly. Generally, they provide you with the age of applications finalised in the previous month.

Many applications finalised recently had been on-hand for some months while borders were closed due to COVID. As borders reopen, and more people become eligible for travel, these applications are being finalised. As these older applications are being finalised, published processing times will reflect the age of these applications.

For some visas, additional processing times information is available for applications that have been recently submitted. For Visitor and Working Holiday Makers visa programs, in order to provide a better indication of indicative processing times for new applicants, the processing time is calculated from the date an applicant became eligible to travel after Australia’s borders reopened (or the date they applied, if after border reopening).

Processing times are available for most visa subclasses and citizenship products. This will exclude a few subclasses such as those closed to new entrants, capped and queued, or those with too few decisions in the month to provide a reliable indicator of processing time.

Processing times are displayed in calendar days, reflecting the time taken globally to finalise 25, 50, 75 and 90 percent of applications.​​

Processing times are impacted each month by:

  • incomplete applications
  • complex cases
  • changes in application volumes
  • changes to Ministerial Directions.

Processing times include applications lodged online and by paper. Where available, you should lodge your application online. This helps streamline processing arrangements.​

Circumstances that affect processing times​

We assess applications on a case-by-case basis. You can help improve processing times by lodging a complete application. The checklists provided on ImmiAccount will help you make sure you attach all required documents to your application.

Processing times can vary due to individual circumstances including:​​

  • whether you have lodged a complete application. This includes all necessary supporting documents
  • how promptly you respond to requests for more information
  • how long it takes to perform required checks on the supporting information provided
  • how long it takes to receive information from external agencies. This particularly relates to health, character, and national security requirements
  • for permanent migration visa applications, how many places are available in the migration program.

Visitors and Working Holiday Makers visa processing times

For Visitors and Working Holiday Makers, in order to provide a better indication of processing times for new applicants, the processing time is calculated from the date they applied, if after border reopening, or the date an applicant became eligible to travel after Australia’s borders reopened, if they applied prior to border reopening.

Partner visa processing times

The number of onhand applications for Partner visas has fallen by 41% over the past 18 months. As a result, many Partner visa applicants have seen reduced processing times. As at 31 March 2022, 52.1 per cent of applications finalised were lodged within the previous 12 months, compared to 26.5 per cent of finalisations at the same point in 2019‑20.

As the number of unfinalised Partner visa applications reduces, older and more complex Partner cases are being processed. These cases take longer to finalise and are impacting published processing times.

​​Capped and queued visas

All Parent and other Family visas are capped and queued. Applicants, who are placed in a queue, may wait for a number of years before their application is released from the queue. For information related to queue release dates and visa processing times, see Parent visas-queue release dates or Other Family visas-queue release dates.

Visa application processing times

Last updated: 5  ​May 2022​.

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