Family visa processing times

The table below details the processing priority groups and order of processing for people wanting to migrate on a Family Stream visa as a spouse, de facto partner, fiancé, child or parent.

Processing priority groups and order of processing

Priority processing arrangements apply to family migration applications. They determine the order in which we consider applications. Those applications given a higher priority under the arrangements will be processed ahead of those given a lower priority regardless of when the application is lodged.
The following table details processing priorities for family migration applications.

Note: The highest priority is listed first. Assessment of Priority Group 4 will commence when all applications in Priority Groups 1-3 have been finalised.

Priority Group Number

Application Type

1

Applications for children and partners except where the sponsor or proposed sponsor entered Australia as an Illegal Maritime Arrival (IMA) and is the holder of a permanent visa.

2

Contributory Parent except where the sponsor or proposed sponsor entered Australia as an IMA and is the holder of a permanent visa.

3

Parents and Other Family except where the sponsor or proposed sponsor entered Australia as an IMA and is the holder of a permanent visa.

4

Applications where the sponsor or proposed sponsor entered Australia as an IMA; and holds a permanent visa such as a Protection visa (subclass 866), a Five Year Resident Return visa (subclass 155) or a three month Resident Return visa (subclass 157).

Processing times for visas affected by priority processing

Individual processing times can vary due to individual circumstances including:

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

To view current processing times, see the visa page for the specific visa subclass you are applying for. On the visa page, two processing times will be displayed, indicating how long it takes to finalise 75 and 90 per cent of all applications submitted globally. Processing times apply from the date your application is lodged.

Processing times are not available for visas which are capped and queued.

Further notes on certain subclasses affected by priority processing:

  • Parent visas:
    Contributory Parent visas:
    We process applications for this visa in date of lodgement order and according to the planning levels set in the Migration Programme each year. Given the ongoing strong demand for this visa processing times might vary between programme years. As these visas are not capped and queued, you will not be given a queue date and there is no queue calculator provided. Contributory Parent visas are categorised as a Priority 2 Group in the order of considering and disposing of family stream visas.
    Parent (Non–Contributory) visas: There are a limited number of places available each year for Parent category visas. If you are a new applicant for a Parent (non-contributory) visa, your application will be queued and you can expect to wait approximately 30 years after your queue date until visa decision.
    A queue calculator is available to Parent (subclass 103) visa and Aged Parent (subclass 804) visa holders.
    See: Parent Visa Queue Calculator   
    More information on the waiting times and processing arrangements for all for parent visas is available.
    See: Parent Visa Queue
  • Other Family visas: There are a limited number of places available each year for queued visa applicants in this visa category. Carer visas are given priority over Aged Dependent Relative and Remaining Relative visas in this category.
    More information on these arrangements is available.
    See: Other Family Visa Queue
    More information about migrating to Australia as a family member is available on the department's website.
    See:
    Family Member - Overview
    Processing Applications
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