The Australian government now sets the lowest processing priority for visa applications under family stream sponsored by permanent visa holders who arrived in Australia as illegal maritime arrivals (IMAs), Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) announced.
According to new processing priorities within the Family stream of the migration programme issued by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection on 19 December 2013, the lowest processing priority will now be given to family stream visa applications sponsored by permanent visa holders who arrived in Australia as an IMA.
This means these applications will only be processed after all other visa applications under Family Stream have been processed, which may take up to several years of waiting time.
According to the announcement, applicants who are sponsored by Australian citizens will not be affected by the change to family stream visa processing priority. These applicants will have their applications processed as normal. DIBP also noted that there is no exception for affected family members facing compelling or compassionate circumstances.
Applicants under Family Stream sponsored by an IMA who holds a permanent visa are advised to carefully consider whether they want to continue with their application, because the application will not be processed for several years due to the lowest processing priority. Their visa application charge will not be refunded if they change their mind after a lodgement was made.
If you are interested in Australian visas, contact 2Oceania team for information and advice on which visa is best suited to you.