Remaining Relative - 50 years wait for visa

Although technology has made things much faster, the reality of how primitive things might still be in some areas hit home when Nicole told channel Nine she will get her permanent residency visa in 50 years.

Yes, that is true, according to Nicole 50 years is the waiting time for her application to be finalized.

She has applied for the visa – subclass 835 which is called the remaining relative visa. (Corrected by Nicole by contacting us via FaceBook).

Nicole, a South African national applied for the visa four years ago and is fortunate to be living in Australia.

As of now, unlike subclass 115 remaining relative visa, fortunately for Nicole, the application can be made when the applicant is in Australia. She has done so and paid the required fee of $6490.

Unfortunately, she has to wait as long as the system takes. Going by the current waiting periods of various types of visas, the remaining relative visa Nicole has applied for, has the longest waiting time of all visa types.

There are two subclasses of remaining relative visa – 115 for offshore applicants and 835 for onshore applications.

While there seems to be no information on Subclass 835, about the processing of Subclass 115 Visa application, the department website says:

Processing times

We don’t provide processing times for this visa. Applications for this visa are subject to capping and queueing.

Your application might take longer to process if:

  • you do not fill it in correctly
  • you do not include all the documents we need or we need more information from you
  • it takes us time to verify your information

We can’t process your application if you don’t pay the correct visa application charge. We will notify you if this is the case and if necessary return your application.

Family migration visas are in high demand. It might take many years for this visa to be granted.


We assess applications for this visa in 2 stages.

  1. Check eligibility and either add the application to the queue or refuse it.
  2. Continue assessing the application when a place becomes available and make a decision.

Don’t arrange to move to Australia until we grant the visa. We will let you know in writing if we grant you the visa.

Learn more about the Other Family Visa Queue and processing priorities.

Nicole has been living in Cairns for a decade and thinks of Australia as her home. But, having applied for the visa when she was 25, she will only be able to call Australia home when she is 75.

Other visas have shorter estimated times:

  • Parent visa – 30 years;
  • Orphan visa -6.3 years; and
  • Carer visa -4.5 years.

Nicole lost her mother when she was very young, and she spent most of her time growing up in England with her father who moved to Australia as a sponsored skilled migrant.

She has no other sibling or relatives to go back to.

Also read: Proposal to charge criminals for immigration detention

BT understands Nicole was not included in her father’s application as a dependent. She came to Australia in 2012 on a working holiday visa.

She later enrolled to study nursing and changed to a student visa.

But because of health issues, she could not complete her course and faced deportation.

It was in that context that Nicole ended up applying for the remaining relative visa, reluctantly advised by a migration agent, (as she told Nine News).

“She (her migration agent) said she would never normally advise anybody to go on this visa, because of the wait time, but she said in your case it’s better to apply for this visa and remain here legally, with your family. 

“At the time, I was very sick and my dad was looking after me.

“I didn’t have another choice. My only other option was to go to a country where I didn’t have anybody and I didn’t know anyone and I had nowhere to live.”

Although Nicole is in Australia legally, being on a bridging visa, but says the anxiety of long wait and uncertainty of her visa status is a constant bother.

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