Applicants may have to wait up to two years or even longer to unite with their partners, as processing times stretch for offshore partner visa applications amid coronavirus outbreak.

We are already witnessing a drop in the number of partner visa grants since January, a clear indicator that processing times for visa subclass 309 (Partner Provisional visa) have increased.

The average processing time for a 309 application is anywhere between 10 to 12 months from the time of lodgement, but now that period has suddenly spiked. There are many reasons for delays: many government agencies are closed, there is a struggle with police clearances and health examination. Mainly are affected countries in a strict lock-down.