Direction 102: Australian Family Visas Processing and Order of Priority

Zhanna Heenan

Visa News

When applying for a Family visa in Australia, it’s essential to understand the administrative guidelines that govern how your application will be processed. Direction 102, issued by Andrew Giles, the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, is a directive that outlines the order in which Family visa applications should be considered and disposed of. Here’s what you need to know about Direction 102 and how it might affect your Family visa application.

What is Direction 102?

Direction 102 is formally known as the “Direction 102—order for considering and disposing of Family visa applications.” This directive was established to replace the previous Direction 80, under the authority of section 499 of the Migration Act 1958. Its main purpose is to provide clear guidelines to the delegates of the Minister who are responsible for processing Family visa applications.

Direction 102 is effective from 9 February 2023, the date it was signed by the Minister. It ensures a seamless transition from the guidelines set by the revoked Direction 80, thereby minimizing any confusion in the application process moving forward.

Who Does Direction 102 Apply To?

Direction 102 is specifically designed for delegates handling Family visa applications under sections 47 and 51 of the Migration Act. These applications can include visas for spouses, de facto partners, prospective spouses, dependent children, parents, and other family members. It is important to note that the Direction does not apply to cases where it is evident from the outset that the visa criteria are not met or to decisions by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

In which order are Australian family visas processed?

In the context of Australian immigration law, particularly under Direction 102, there are specific guidelines on how Family visa applications are processed and prioritized:

Direction 102 outlines that delegates (officials responsible for visa decisions) must determine the order in which Family visa applications are considered and disposed of according to the rules in Section 51 of the Migration Act. They must also ensure all valid visa applications are considered as required by Section 47 of the Act.

The specific order of priority for processing Family visa applications, ranked from the highest to the lowest priority, is:

Are there exceptions to the Priority Order?

Yes, despite the fixed order of priorities, there are exceptions allowing for flexibility in certain situations:

Delegates may alter the processing order if an applicant can convincingly demonstrate special circumstances of a compassionate nature and provide compelling reasons to prioritize their application differently. This means if an application is particularly urgent or deserving due to exceptional circumstances, it can be moved ahead in the queue and processed as a matter of priority, depending on its specific situation and the delegate’s judgment.

These provisions ensure that while there is a structured approach to handling Family visa applications, there is also room for discretion to accommodate cases that require special attention due to their unique circumstances of compelling nature.

How Can Heenan & Browne Visa Migration Services help with your request for priority processing?

If you believe you experience circumstances where priority processing may be needed, consult with Heenan & Browne Visa Migration Services. Our team will thoroughly assess your situation to determine its viability. Should we conclude that your case has merit, we will diligently prepare and submit a request for priority processing to the Department of Home Affairs on your behalf. This can significantly speed up the handling of your application, ensuring that urgent cases are addressed promptly.

Book an Appointment Now

Understanding and navigating the complexities of immigration law can be challenging. At Heenan & Browne Visa Migration Services, we specialize in providing expert guidance and support throughout the visa application process. If you need assistance or have questions about how Direction 102 may affect your Family visa application, book an appointment with us today. We are here to help you every step of the way.



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