Migration Definitions


Australian Permanent Resident (PR)
A non-citizen who, being usually a resident in Australia, is the holder of a permanent visa.

Assurance of Support (AOS)
In certain visa subclasses, DIAC may request (mandatory or discretionary) that the sponsor or nominator pay a refundable bond, basically covering that the visa applicant complies with their visa conditions.

Bridging Visa
A category of temporary visa that provides lawful status for certain non-citizens who would otherwise be unlawful. A bridging visa can only be granted while in Australia. E.g.  Applicants whose substantive visa has ceased and who, have lodged an application for another visa and are waiting for a decision from DIAC.

Commonwealth Register of Courses and Institutions for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
The register of approved Australian Education Providers and Courses for student visas.
See www.cricos.deewr.gov.au or www.studyinaustralia.gov.au for more information.

Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)
After being approved for a CRICOS course you will receive an electronic confirmation confirming acceptance.

Critical Skills List (CSL)
This is a list of occupations in high demand in Australia. It is a sub-list of the Migration Occupations in Demand (MODL).  This list was developed in consultation with DEEWR. If your occupation is on the CSL, you do not obtain extra points under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) Points test, however applications are priority processed.

A person who is wholly or substantially reliant on another person for financial support to meet their basic needs for food, shelter and clothing; or wholly or substantially reliant on their family member for financial support due to being incapacitated for work because of total or partial loss of bodily or mental functions.

Designated Area
The definition of Specified Regional Area depends on whether you are being sponsored by an eligible relative or nominated by a State or Territory government. For relative sponsorship these areas include:

NSW - whole state except Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle

Victoria - whole State
Queensland - whole state except Brisbane
ACT - whole Territory
WA - whole State except Perth
SA - whole State
NT - whole State
Tasmania - whole State

Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations. See www.deewr.gov.au

Designated Languages
Designated community languages for the purposes of General Skilled Migration:

  • Africaans
  • Albanian
  • Arabic (incl Lebanese)
  • Armenian
  • Bengali
  • Bosnian
  • Bulgarian
  • Burmese
  • Chinese (Cantonese & Mandarin)
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch (Netherlandic)
  • Estonian
  • Fijian
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • greek
  • Henbrew
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Indonesian
  • Malay
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Khmer
  • Korean
  • Lao
  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Macedonian
  • Maltese
  • Norwegian
  • Persian
  • Polish
  • Portugese
  • Punjabi
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Serbian
  • Sinhalese
  • Slovak
  • Slovene
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Tagalog (Filipino)
  • Tamil
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Ukranian
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese
  • Yiddish

Department of Immigration and Citizenship. See www.immi.gov.au

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
The ENS is the category of visas under the Skilled Migration program that is a permanent visa requiring sponsorship by an Employer.

English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (for visa subclass 570).

Employer Nomination Scheme Occupation List

General Skilled Migration
This is a Department of Immigration programme whereby the applicant is applying on the basis of their skills and does not require Employer sponsorship. The categories include the Skilled Independent Migration, Skilled Sponsored (Relative or State/Territory), and Skilled Regional or Skilled Graduate migration.

Interdependent Relationship
A relationship in which a couple have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others. The relationship between them is genuine and continuing, and they live together, or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis. This is usually a same-sex relationship.

IELTS - International English Language Testing System
IELTS is the English Language testing system accepted by DIAC to assess your English language ability for migration purposes. See www.ielts.org. For certain categories the Occupational English Language Test (OET) is accepted.

Migration Occupations in Demand (MODL)
The Migration Occupations in Demand List is a list of occupations which have been identified by The Australian Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR). If your occupation is on this list then you may be eligible for extra points in the Points Test.

Minimum Salary Levels (MSL)
This is the minimum salary proposed for occupations nominated in 457 and ENS visa applications. To effective show that the salary the employer is prepared to pay for the nominated position satisfies the criteria that it is above the average remuneration for that occupation.  The minimum salary level, based on a 38 hour week, is currently set at:

  • $45,220 for most occupations
  • $61,920 for Information & Communications (IT Specialists) occupations.

See http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/sbs/occupations.pdf for further details.

Points Test
For some General Skilled Migration categories, you must pass the points test. The pass mark for this test changes from time to time.

Pool Mark
If you do not achieve the pass mark in the Points Test, the pool mark is the minimum number of points you must score if your application is to be held in reserve. Your application may be held in reserve for up to two (2) years after it is assessed. If you are unable to reach the pass mark during this period, your application will be refused.

Permanent Visa
A visa permitting a non-citizen to remain in Australia indefinitely.

Professional Year
The Professional Year is a structured professional development program combining formal learning and workplace experience. Completion of a recognised Professional Year will provide that person 10 bonus points under the General Skilled Migration points test. Points can only be awarded for Professional Year courses that have been specified by the Minister. Currently only the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the 3 Accounting Bodies (CPA, ICAA, NIA) and Engineers Australia run a 'Professional Year'. See http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/professional-year.htm for more infomation.

Provisional Visa
A temporary visa granted to persons who will be applying for a permanent visa but are not yet able to satisfy the requirements for the permanent visa. The holder is given a period by which time they must satisfy the criteria for the permanent visa. If they are unable to do so, or cannot satisfy the requirements for any other visa, then they would be required to depart Australia.

Recent Work Experience Rule
This is generally a requirement of an application for general skilled migration, being 12 months relevant work experience for the nominated occupation in the 24 months prior to applicant being lodged.

Regional Australia/Low Population Growth Area
A list of areas in Australia for the purposes of awarding points for studying and residence in regional Australia. It is where you must live and work or study if you are granted a Skilled - Regional Sponsored (subclass 475 or 487) on the basis of a nomination from a State or Territory Government. A list of Regional Australia/low population growth metropolitan area postcodes is available on DIAC's website http://www.immi.gov.au/employers/rsms_postcodes.htm

Regional Certifying Body (RCB)
Body used to certify employer nomination for RSMS. See www.immi.gov.au/migration/employers/certifying_bodies.htm

Secondary Applicant
Includes the spouse or interdependent partner, and dependent children of the main applicant; dependent children of the main applicant's spouse or interdependent partner; and other dependent relatives of the main applicant, and their spouse.

Skilled Occupation List (SOL)
If you are intending to apply under one of the General Skilled Migration categories, you must nominate an occupation which is on the Skilled Occupation List at the time you lodge your application.

Skills Assessment
This is an assessment by a recognised industry body who specialise in particular occupations. The nominated occupation is to be assessed by the relevant Skills Assessing Agency. These agencies are nominated by DIAC.

Skills Matching Database
This is for applicants that didn't reach the "Pass Mark", i.e. have enough points in the Points Test for visa approval, but do meet the "Pool Mark". The applicant's details are available on the database for potential employers to search and browse. These may then be sponsored.

Specified Qualification
This term related to the Skilled - Recognised Graduate Visa. This visa allows recent graduates of selected overseas universities to gain up to 18 months of skilled work experience in occupations in demand in Australia. A recognised overseas institution is a university recognised by Australian employers as offering world-class degree programs in the field of Engineering. For Recognised Overseas Institutions see http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/476/recognised-institutions.htm

Someone, either a family member, relative, employer or State/Territory who is responsible for 'sponsoring' your visa application. This sponsor depends on the visa category you are applying for.

A married or de facto relationship between a couple where they have a mutual commitment to a shared life as husband and wife to the exclusion of all others, the relationship between them is genuine and continuing, and they live together, and do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis.

Substantive Visa
Any visa other than a Bridging Visa.

Temporary Resident (TR)
A non-citizen who, being usually a resident in Australia, is the holder of a temporary visa.

Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)
The Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) commences on 14 September 2009 and is currently $45,220 per annum. A nomination under the Subclass 457 visa program will be refused in most cases if the market salary rate for the nominated position is below this level of income. The TSMIT has no bearing on what the Subclass 457 visa holder should be paid in the workplace.
Example given by DIAC: 
If the market salary rate for an occupation is $39,500 - that is, the market salary rate amount that is paid to equivalent Australian in the employer's workplace - then the nomination would normally be refused, as the salary is below TSMIT. Even if the sponsor decided to offer the nominee a salary of $45,220, then the nomination could still be refused, as it is the market salary rate that the department compares to TSMIT, not the actual salary proposed.

Temporary Visa
A visa permitting a person to enter and/or remain in Australia temporarily.

Two Year Study Rule
2 years is defined as 92 weeks fulltime study. International students who can demonstrate 2 years full-time study in Australia may be exempt from the recent work experience rule for some GSM visas.

Visa Application Charge (VAC)
Visa Application Charge (VAC) is the charge for the particular visa you are applying. It excludes all extra charges like medicals, penal clearance, translations, incidentals and migration agent fees is applicable.

Permission to travel to, to enter and/or to remain in Australia for a period of time or indefinitely.

Visa Conditions
These are a set of conditions or requirements attached to a visa that the visa holder is required to adhere to, otherwise a breach has occurred and possible repercussions could be visa cancellation and/or deportation.


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