Australian DIAC Visa Processing time service standards

Australian DIAC Visa Processing time service standards © immi.gov.au

The tables below show the 2008-09 processing time service standards for different types of visa applications.

These service standards are linked to the 2008-09 Portfolio Budget Statements. We aim to process 75 per cent of cases within these service standards, however actual processing times may vary from these standards as the following notes explain.

  • The service standards are indicative only. Individual cases may be decided in longer or shorter periods than the service standard, depending on a range of factors, individual circumstances and the complexity of each case.
  • The service standards apply to visa applications lodged with complete documentation. You can expect your application to take longer than the processing time service standard if it was lodged without all the required documentation.
  • The service standards do not include the time taken to process nominations and/or sponsorship applications.
  • Processing times vary by location, reflecting the differing circumstances of national and regional caseloads.
  • If you submit your application for a visa online through our website the processing times may be different from those shown below. Please see the general information in the e-visa online services for more information.

Visiting for tourism or medical treatment

Applicant in Australia
at time application is lodged

Applicant outside Australia
at time application is lodged

Low Risk* High Risk Low Risk* High Risk
Sponsored Visitors n/a n/a n/a 1.5 months
Non-Sponsored Visitors (short stay) 1 working day 1 week 1 working day 1 month
Non-Sponsored Visitors (long stay) 1 working day 1 month 1 working day 1.5 months

The standard processing times are applicable provided all documents are submitted with the application form. The process may be delayed if additional information is required, including health examination and character checks.
Note: Low risk applies to nationals from countries which issue Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or eVisitor eligible passports. A list of these can be found on the department’s website. High risk countries are those which are not ETA or eVisitor eligible.

Visas for studying in Australia

Applicant in Australia
at time application is lodged

Applicant outside Australia
at time application is lodged

Assessment Level*

Level 1/2* Level 3/4* Level 1 Level 2 Level 3/4
Students 14 days 30 days 14 days 21 days 90 days
Students: permission to work 7 days 7 days n/a

Note: Student visa applications are assessed, among other things, according to an assessment level, which is determined by the passport held and the visa subclass.

Working in Australia – short business visits

Applicant in Australia
at time application is lodged

Applicant outside Australia
at time application is lodged

Low Risk* High Risk Low Risk* High Risk
Sponsored Business visitors n/a n/a n/a 1 month
Non-Sponsored Business Visitors n/a n/a 1 working day 1 month

The standard processing times are applicable provided all documents are submitted with the application form. The process may be delayed if additional information is required, including health examination and character checks.

Working as a sponsored employee or living in Australia as a temporary resident

Applicant in Australia
at time application is lodged

Applicant outside Australia
at time application is lodged

Low Risk* High Risk* Low Risk High Risk
Business (Long Stay) Subclass 457 2 months 3 months 2 months 3 months
Other Sponsored Temporary Residents 2 months 3 months 2 months 3 months

Note: Low risk applies to nationals from countries which issue Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) eligible passports. A list of these can be found on the department’s website. High risk countries are those which are not ETA eligible.

Working on a Working Holiday visa

First Working Holiday visa

Second Working Holiday visa

Working Holiday visa holders 6 days 21 days

Visas for migrating to Australia as a skilled person

Application processing times

For complete applications, the department will aim to process 75 per cent of applications in the time listed in the table below.

Processing times for applications lodged on or after 1 September 2007

Non Priority Processing

Visa Type

Visa Subclass

Priority Processing #

Applications lodged on, or before 23 September 2009

Applications lodged after 23 September 2009

Provisional Skilled – Regional Sponsored (onshore)
Subclass 475
7 months from date of lodgement Unlikely to be finalised before
the end of 2012
3 years from date of lodgement
Skilled – Regional Sponsored (offshore)
Subclass 487
5 months from date of lodgement Unlikely to be finalised before
the end of 2011
2 years from date of lodgement
Temporary Skilled – Recognised Graduate (offshore)
Subclass 476
7 months from date of lodgement 7 months from date of lodgement 7 months from date of lodgement
Skilled – Regional Sponsored Graduate (onshore)
Subclass 485*
6 months from date of lodgement * 12 months from date of lodgement 12 months from date of lodgement
Permanent Onshore
Skilled – Independent
Subclass 885

Skilled – Sponsored
Subclass 886

6 months from date of lodgement Unlikely to be finalised before
the end of 2011
2 years from date of lodgement
Offshore
Skilled Independent
Subclass 175

Skilled Sponsored
Subclass 176

15 months from date of lodgement Unlikely to be finalised before
the end of 2012
3 years from date of lodgement
All
Skilled – Regional
Subclass 887
5 months from date of lodgement 5 months from date of lodgement 5 months from date of lodgement

#  Applications which fall into the first three priorities
*  Applications which fall into the first three priorities

Subsequent entrants for provisional GSM visas are processed in the order in which the application is lodged. The priority processing order for GSM visas is available on our website.

Visas for migrating to Australia – as family

Migrating as a spouse, de facto partner, fiancé, child or parent.

Applicant in Australia
at time application is lodged

Applicant outside Australia
at time application is lodged

Low Risk* High Risk* Low Risk High Risk
Spouse/De facto partner (temporary) 6 months 6 months 5 months 10 months
Prospective Spouse n/a n/a 5 months 10 months
Spouse/De facto partner (permanent) 6 months 8 months Numbers statistically
insignificant
Child 6 months 7 months 3 months 10 months
Contributory Parent category1
(temporary)
9 months 9 months 9 months 9 months
Contributory Parent category2 (permanent) 9 months 9 months 9 months 9 months

1This includes visa subclasses 173 and 884

2 This includes visa subclasses 143 and 864

Note: Contributory Parent category visas may be subject to queuing which would extend processing times. Refer to Fact Sheet 39 – Family Stream Migration: Contributory Parent Category Visas.
For more information about migrating to Australia as a family member
Note: Low risk applies to nationals from countries which issue Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) eligible passports. A list of these can be found on the department’s website. High risk countries are those which are not ETA eligible.

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