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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife put in an application for a visitor visa subclass 600 and its taking too much time to get a decision from immigration department.

I am an Australian citizen. My wife lodged it almost 4 months ago. This is my second wife, I had a divorce previously. At the moment, my wife can't be here on Partner visa due to sponsorship restrictions.

There is nothing wrong or dodgy in the application. We have provided the department all requested documents. They have interviewed my wife and me over the phone. Every time we send them an email about the progress of application, we get a reply that our email has been forwarded to case officer. But the officer never makes a decision.

They could have either rejected the visa and I had plans to apply again WITH SPONSORSHIP (paying bod). They are neither rejecting it nor making a decision. Rather they are making me wait more and more... Is this normal???

I can't wait long and want to lodge a complaint on the immigration website. Would that be a wise decision? Please guide me what possible steps should i take.
 

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Hi 797 -

I agree - that's too long! That being said, some issues to consider:

** Did you include a letter with your visitor visa explaining the reason you have not lodged a partner visa application (due to sponsorship limitation)? I would not assume the case officer knows that. I'm guessing you explained that at the interview.

** Any health or character issues that could be slowing down the application?

** You didn't mention the country your wife is a citizen of - higher risk countries often take longer because they subject applications to a more rigorous check

** With the subclass 600 visa, the Genuine Visitor policy is used to assess applications. Did you in your application address this policy area and the specific items it includes that DIAC looks at in a visitor visa application of this type? If not, it might be worth a look. We've found that specifically addressing these in a detailed submission to accompany a visitor visa application (especially from a higher risk country) can speed things up.

** Remember that a visitor visa is for a temporary visit to Australia only. DIAC sometimes gets concerned when a spouse lodges a visitor visa, as they assume that a spouse will want to be with her husband permanently, not temporarily. Hence the conflict built-in to every spouse visitor visa for Australia. If a partner visa's been lodged, that solves the question of the long-term intention of the applicant. But if no partner visa has been lodged, DIAC is left to wonder what the long-term intention of the client is and whether that raises a concern with them (ie, overstay, get here & lodge a protection visa application or undertake a series of visa applications/appeals to try to buy time once she's here for as long as possible to get through the sponsorship limitation period, etc)

** If you're going to lodge a complaint, that's of course your choice. If you do choose lodge a complaint, I'd point in the complaint to the DIAC Customer Service Charter at:

Client Service Charter

Which clearly states that even from higher risk countries, 1 month is the typical visitor visa processing time.

Another option to a complaint: Write the case officer, point out the 1 month processing time noted in the link above, and ask if there is a problem with your case or any additional information you can add. Before you do that, however, find the web page for the Australian Embassy, etc in your wife's country and make sure they don't publish an alternate time estimate for visitor visas.

I hope this is of some help -

Best,

Mark Northam
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your answers Mark.

** Yes, I included a letter in the application and explained sponsorship limitation problem.
** No health issues.
** Yes the country is high risk but many of my friends got visas within 4 weeks. Even my first wife got it too. Also let me explain here that my first wife never disobeyed any migration laws and she is not event Australian resident. She went back from Australia before divorce.

** We have provided explanation that she is genuine visitor. And we also acknlowledged that we know if she disobey any laws, it will have adverse effects on her partner visa in future.

I keep sending an email to case officer after every couple of weeks and remind them in a nice manner that we are expeting an outcome soon.

I would not have been annoyed if they would have rejected the visa with in a month cause I would have applied again here in Australia (with sponsorship and security bond). The annoying thing for me is that they have taken 4 months and still they can't say YES or NO.

The point of this post was to get an idea whether it will have positive or negative effect on the application if I lodge a complaint?
 

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Hi -

No way to predict re: complaint, especially when you factor in that it's an offshore post that is processing the application. I've seen it work both ways - in some cases it's resulted in an accelerated positive decision, in others it's seemed to push the case officer towards a negative decision. The Embassy that's processing the claim is a factor, as is the individual case officer. It shoudn't be that way, but it can be from my experience.

My thought: save the complaint for the last step and before that try to reach the case officer's manager - rather than complaining, ask questions - specifically, what's taking so long, etc.

Best,

Mark Northam
 
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