Visa Processing Australia

The world of Visa Processing is always a challenge. If you happen to be in Human Resources and currently involved in Visa applications for company expatriates moving to Australia, you will find the following information useful. Courtesy of Amanda Tinner of Visa Executive, these hot off the press indicative processing times should be noted and taken into consideration when planning moving and relocation dates for your executives on the move.

A gradual increase in processing times for decisions to be made by the Australian Department of Immigration has been noticed recently.
The current and published information on visa processing times is outlined bellow. This will enable you to make the best informed decision about the time frame involved in moving or relocating to Australia.

Temporary work visa processing times

The table below details the indicative processing times for work visas.

The Department of Immigration of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) aim to process 75 per cent of applications within the timeframes outlined below. It should be noted that individual actual processing times will vary depending on a range of factors.

Visa TypeLow Risk GroupHigh Risk Group
Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) (subclass 400)1 Week1 Month
Temporary Work (Skilled) 
(subclass 457)2 Months3 Months
Other Temporary Work Visas2 Months3 Months

What is Low Risk and High Risk?

The terms ‘Low risk’ and ‘High risk’ show whether passport holders are eligible to apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). Low risk applies to nationals from countries which issue ETA eligible passports. High risk countries are those which are not ETA eligible.

Eligible passports are issued by:

• Andorra
• Austria
• Belgium
• Brunei
• Canada
• Denmark
• Finland
• France
• Germany
• Greece
• Hong Kong (SAR of China)
• Iceland
• Ireland
• Italy
• Japan
• Liechtenstein
• Luxembourg
• Malaysia
• Malta
• Monaco
• Norway
• Portugal
• Republic of San Marino
• Singapore
• South Korea
• Spain
• Sweden
• Switzerland
• Taiwan
• The Netherlands
• United Kingdom—British Citizen
• United Kingdom—British National (Overseas)
• United States
• Vatican City

Permanent Residence processing times

The below table describes the processing times for permanent skilled migration visa subclasses.

Visa SubclassLow Risk GroupHigh Risk Group
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)5 months8 months
Employer Nomination5 months8 months

What does this mean for HR Managers?

For a 457 application, from time of lodgement, a time frame of up to 3 months will have to be included in your business’ expectations.

For a permanent residence application, a time frame of up to 8 months is currently being experienced.

For a visa subclass 400, the time frames have stayed the same for a while which can be 1 week for low risk nationals and up to 1 month for high risk nationals.