How do you handle delays in your visa application?

by Mark Benson on April 28, 2013

in Australia Immigration

How do you handle delays in your visa application?

How do you handle delays in your visa application?

Even though the Australian visa system is said to be one of the most efficient in the world, there is no doubt that problems do happen and delays can be very stressful for individuals and partners. A number of members of the Australian forum have been discussing the fact that their visa applications have been delayed, sometimes by up to two years, and how they handle this particular problem.

There are a number of reasons why a visa application can be delayed but there seems to be one common thread running through the extended delays which some people are experiencing. We will now take a look at exactly what is happening and what the problem is.

Where has the hold-up occurred?

More and more people on the Australia forum have been citing security checks as the major delay in their visa applications. The vast majority have taken professional advice from immigration agents who have pushed their applications as far as possible and are then forced to leave them in the hands of the immigration services. It is interesting to see that while security checks are obviously required to clarify the background of individuals looking to move to Australia, why is there such a large delay?

Quote from : “Since there are a number of us now, I thought I’d start this thread for people that are waiting longer than 18 months for their visa application.

A few things to discuss.

1) Have you complained? If so, to who have you complained and what was the result?

2) Where has the hold up been? (to your knowledge)

3) How have you coped with waiting so long?”

The general consensus seems to be that the delay is because of issues in overseas countries and perhaps a lack of communication between Australian officials and their overseas counterparts. There are obviously issues with the way in which names are recorded, very sketchy records on individuals in some countries and it seems that the Australian immigration service is erring on the side of caution each time.

Who can you complain to?

As the weeks turned into months and the months turn into years it can be extremely stressful for those looking to move to Australia. The first thing on your mind when your application is delayed is likely, who do you complain to? There are many different agencies and individuals who you can direct your concerns towards which include IGIS, DIAC and your local MP.

Unfortunately the experience of many people who have complained to these associations and these individuals has been relatively unhelpful. The vast majority of people will automatically refer you back to the immigration services who will then confirm that they are “working on your application” and will be in contact in due course. Unfortunately this is absolutely no help to those who have been suffering months in limbo and very often it is difficult to get an exact reason why your application has been delayed.

How do you cope with a delayed application?

A delayed application can have a material impact upon the lives of those involved, one or more of which may be resident in an overseas country away from their loved ones, with mental pressure and stress very evident amongst a number of comments on the forum. The fact is that the decision to move overseas and start a new life in Australia is not taken lightly and therefore when the application is delayed beyond all expectations it can be difficult if not sometimes impossible to get your head around it.

Constant pestering of the various authorities and individuals involved in your application form can sometimes speed up the process just to “get you off their case”. However the likelihood is that you will need to live with this and the pace at which your application is being considered. Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes to a significant delay in your visa application!


Despite the fact that the Australian immigration services are perhaps one of the most efficient and helpful in the developed world, there are a growing number of cases which seem to be experiencing undue delays. The financial pressure, the mental pressure and the stress which this can bring on to all individuals involved can and does change lives. Once your application is in the system it is very difficult to get a detailed update as to why there may be some form of delay or how indeed you can speed up the process.

Patience is a virtue but how long should you really have to wait?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

light487 July 2, 2013 at 5:49 am

Yup.. we're up to 15 months now and the last we heard from DIAC it's going to take 18+ months.

I think the most frustrating thing of all is that DIAC don’t advise you that the processing of the application is going to take longer than their most recent estimate. After sending an email, as instructed, we failed to get a response within 2 weeks. I rang them and now the processing time has gone from 15 months to 18 months, ridiculous! In regards to the insecurity.. how can someone start a life here not knowing if they’re going to be granted a TR or PR??

Every step of the way, it’s been us forced to call them to ask for an update and every time they add on another 3 months of processing time. If there is such a big issue and the timeframe changes so dramatically, it would be normal to contact all those waiting by mass email, would it not? I just don’t understand it at all..


Christian Hippold March 12, 2019 at 4:46 pm

i wait currently since 21 months and 1 week , i am also over the down processing times from 75%: 13months and 90%:17 months … had couple of days ago a mental breakdown because of thos time frame and all these stress what it cauaes, everytime we are close the department ask for other ridiculous things …


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