Immigration department changes mean faster partner visa processing

by Ray Clancy on December 11, 2013

in Australia, Australia Immigration, General Information

Applying for a partner visa to Australia has become faster and easier with the introduction of a new online facility.

Applicants for a partner visa to Australia can now apply through a single entry point on the website of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP.) They can create, submit, pay for and manage all online applications in the one online system.

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The immigration department aims to process at least 75% of applications more quickly with the new online system.

The new service comes as the DIBP is making significant changes to the online visa application system and the online application for partner visas is the first stage.

The changes will make the application process much easier, according to Hannibal Khoury, an MARA registered agent. ‘Online access to these visas is a huge step forward streamlining the applications process which in turn delivers time and cost savings to companies and time poor applicants applying for this visa,’ he explained.

‘As a registered migration agent I envisage this process for applying for a partner visa for migration to be faster than ever.  I see many benefits from the new systems,’ added Khoury.

It is possible to stay in Australia on a Temporary Partner Visa if the applicant is in a valid relationship with, or engaged to an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. If the relationship is still genuine and continuing after two years, or if the couple has married, a Permanent Visa can be applied for.

An immigration department spokesman said that processing Partner visas can take six to eight months and this will be speeded up considerably. The department aims to process at least 75% of applications more quickly.

‘Individual cases may be decided in longer or shorter periods depending on a range of factors. Applicants can help the department to process their application more quickly by providing all documentation in a timely and complete manner and keeping the department informed of any changes in circumstances, including change of contact details,’ explained the spokesman.

Meanwhile, processing times for the Significant Investor Visa, which has a nine month waiting time, are to be speeded up. Scott Morrison, Minister for immigration and citizenship, stated he wants these applications to be fast tracked.

The Significant Investor Visa was introduced in November 2012 to create incentives to wealthy individuals to invest in Australia. To qualify for the visa, the applicant must have at least AU$5 million to invest. It is estimated that there are currently 400 applications pending, which amounts to an estimated AU$2 billion.

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