Migration Alliance recently blogged an article regarding the current level of scrutiny being applied to partner visa applications by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. (See here)
Partner visa applications make up around 77% (as per 2012-2013) of the annual family migration programme, which in turn makes up around 32% of the entire annual migration programme. As the article explains, the department has noticed an increase in partner visas when tightening in policy occurs in other areas of the migration programme. This causes the department to believe that there is some abuse of the partner visa programme, and the department has begun applying more scrutiny to partner visa applications. As a result of this, it is more and more important that applications are ‘beefed up’ with as much evidence as possible to support the claims made in the application.
12 months ago we at Global Enterprises Group regularly had partner visas granted in less than 1 month from the time of application. Now we are experiencing close to all applications going beyond 6-9 months of processing time. This indicates that whilst the capacity is within the department for faster processing of applications, the department is slowing itself down so that the partner visa programme is more closely aligned with the processing times of other permanent visa applications.
As mentioned above, the importance of lodging comprehensive applications for partner visas is greater than ever. There are 4 areas of the relationship most stringently assessed by the department. Please see more on this in our visa information section here.