Is Applying ‘Early’ for Stage 2 of the Partner Visa worth it?.
The official eligibility time to apply for the stage 2 ‘Permanent’ part of the partner visa (subclass 100 or 801) is 24 months after applying for stage 1, (subclass 309 or 820).
However, you are allowed to begin the stage 2 application one month before the eligibility date, ie: from just 23 months after the stage 1 application date.
Those that do apply early, do get a confusing moment in the application when faced with the question: “Has it been a total of 24 months since the date the applicant lodged their temporary partner visa application?”
They then need to say “Yes”, even though it has only been 23 months.
An example of TWO subclass 100 applications, both eligible in January 2020, and both taking from about 3.5 months after eligibility date.
- One applied early, in December, and was granted almost 5 months later.
- One applied later, in March, and was granted almost 2 months later.
The actual dates:
- Eligible: 04/01/20. Applied: 04/12/19. Granted: 30/04/20. (3.8 months after eligible, but 4.9 months after applied.)
- Eligible: 29/01/20. Applied: 15/03/20. Granted: 08/05/20. (3.3 months after eligible, but 1.8 months after applied.)
The average time for most of the rest of those that I have seen in the same period, where they applied at, or within a few days of, the 24 month mark, was 4.6 months from eligibility.
The average of processing times, for the few April/May grants that I have seen, work out at:
- Applied on Time: 4.6 months from eligible, and application.
- Applied 1 month early: 3.1 months from eligible, but 4.4 months from application.
- Applied after eligibility: 3.4 months from eligible, but 2.6 months from application.
Is it worth applying early?.
From the figures above, applying early or late appears better than applying exactly when eligible.
Why might those that apply later actually be granted faster? Maybe they spend longer on the application and get more relevant evidence included? Evidence that includes that last 24th month, and maybe the 25th and 26th month too.
I know that we included lots of very recent relationship evidence, covering up to 3 months AFTER the eligibility date, when we applied, and we applied 3 months after eligible.
Our 801 grant was 2.3 months faster (from eligibility time) than the average of those lodged on time or early, in the 3 month period around our grant time.
My suggestion would be to “Apply Early”, but add more relationship proofs to cover that 24th month, at the actual eligibility date, and then more again, at about 2 or 3 months after the eligibility date.
If you can’t apply early for any reason, do not worry about it. I saw one who applied about 12 months late, and received the grant 1 week after finally getting around to submitting. They had received a reminder from immigration saying they were now 12 months past the eligibility date.
Immigration appear to begin to process the 2nd Stage (100 or 801) even if you haven’t submitted anything. That way, when you do submit late, they may actually be ready to make a quick decision, while they have your file open to see what you have just uploaded.
Some Visa Applicants might find an Experienced Australian Migration Agent of great assistance.