A Launceston couple have voiced their frustrations over the wait times for visa applicants, which they said in their case was half a decade.
Husband and wife Lolita and Robert Box were living on a single pension for five years while they waited for a partner visa for Mrs Box.
Mr Box said that he and Mrs Box married in 2013. She then moved to Australia from the Philippines, where they commenced the visa application process in 2014.
At this point Mr Box was moved from a single pension to a married pension, which is a lower fortnightly payment.
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But despite this, the Department of Home Affairs took five years to judge whether Mrs Box was eligible for a partner visa, which came through on September 16 this year.
Mr Box said in the meantime, he sold his house to cover the cost of living for two people on a sole married pension.
"I'm in my late seventies, Lolita is 66, and she's been looking after me," he said. "She showers me, even."
"If it wasn't for her I would be occupying a bed in a nursing home. She's kept me out of that. So in the long run she's saved [the government] money, and they've given her nothing.
"We've abided by all the rules, we've done it all properly, and we get nowhere."
Visa processing is in the spotlight because the federal government is planning to outsource the system to a private company.
Labor says that outsourcing will cause wait times to increase even more.
But the Department of Home Affairs says the outsourced, digital system will maintain national security and economic growth.
The successful bid for the tender is expected to be finalised this month.