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When applying for visas, there are generally lengthy processing times. Approximate waiting times are posted on the Department of Home Affair’s website; however, they generally encompass wider ranges of time. For example, the approximate waiting time for a Subclass 300 Prospective Marriage Visa is between 9 and 34 months. This can create a sense of uncertainty among applicants, however, there are various factors that impact the processing times of applications. Firstly, the type of visa applied for can drastically affect the processing time, for example, a subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa ranges from 5-9 months, whilst the aforementioned subclass 300 Prospective Marriage Visa ranges from 9 to 34 months. Furthermore, the individual circumstances of the applicant can impact upon the processing times. Although the considered circumstances are not specifically outlined by the Department of Home Affairs, Visa application processing times can be affected by, number of dependents, complexity of situation or the strength of evidence provided to name a few.


Visa processing times and likelihood of acceptance is also affected by the quotas set by the Immigration Department at the beginning of every year. There is only an allocated amount of visa positions set out by the Department. In 2021/22, a total of 160, 000 visa applications were allocated, with an outline provided as to how this number would be divided amongst visas. This means that not every visa is considered upon its specific merits and that instead, enters a comparative priority list.


Furthermore, a factor that can oftentimes affect processing times, is the Australian social climate and demand for migration. The effects of the global pandemic were specifically significant upon migration and consequently, the employment sector. There are substantial skill shortages within various industries, especially those of construction and agriculture. This has resulted in a push from many Australian employers in an attempt to reduce visa processing times especially for working visas. This is an example of how demand and social climate can have effect on the processing times on particular visas.


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Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice and Straits Lawyers will not be legally responsible for any actions you take based on this article.