Australian Immigration Terminologies

Australian Immigration Terminologies

  • AAT Review: A review process conducted by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to reassess decisions made by the Department of Home Affairs.
  • Academic Transcript: A document issued by an educational institution detailing the courses taken and grades achieved by a student.
  • Accredited Employer: An employer recognized by the Australian Government as meeting specific criteria, allowing them to sponsor foreign workers more efficiently.
  • Accompanying Family Member: A family member included in the primary applicant’s visa application who will migrate with the primary applicant.
  • Accredited Sponsorship: A higher level of sponsorship status granted to employers with a significant history of hiring foreign workers.
  • ACS (Australian Computer Society): The professional association responsible for skills assessments in ICT (Information and Communication Technology) occupations.
  • Act of Parliament: Legislation passed by the Australian Parliament that forms the basis of immigration law.
  • Adoption Visa (Subclass 102): A visa for children adopted by Australian citizens or permanent residents to live in Australia permanently.
  • Affidavit: A written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation, used as evidence in legal proceedings, including visa applications.
  • Aged Dependent Relative Visa (Subclass 114/838): A visa for older relatives who are financially dependent on an Australian citizen or permanent resident.


  • Bridging Visa A (BVA) (Subclass 010): A visa allowing the holder to stay in Australia while their substantive visa application is processed.
  • Bridging Visa B (BVB) (Subclass 020): A visa allowing the holder to leave and re-enter Australia while their substantive visa application is processed.
  • Bridging Visa C (BVC) (Subclass 030): A visa for individuals who apply for a substantive visa while unlawfully in Australia.
  • Bridging Visa D (BVD) (Subclass 041): A visa allowing an unlawful non-citizen to stay in Australia for a short period while making arrangements to leave or apply for a substantive visa.
  • Bridging Visa E (BVE) (Subclass 050/051): A visa allowing an unlawful non-citizen to stay in Australia while their immigration status is resolved.
  • Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188): A visa for people seeking to own and manage a new or existing business in Australia, or to invest in Australia.
  • Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 888): A visa for people who hold a provisional Business Innovation and Investment Visa and want to continue business and investment activities in Australia.
  • Business Skills Visa: A visa category for individuals with business expertise seeking to establish or manage a business in Australia.


  • Character Concern: A term used when a visa applicant’s past behaviour or associations suggest they might pose a risk to the Australian community.
  • Certified Copy: A copy of a document certified as a true copy of the original by an authorized person.
  • Child Visa (Subclass 101/802): A visa for dependent children of Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens.
  • Citizenship by Descent: Citizenship granted to a person born outside Australia with at least one Australian citizen parent at the time of their birth.
  • Citizenship by Conferral: Citizenship granted to eligible permanent residents who apply and meet specific criteria.
  • Community Sponsorship: A program allowing community organizations to sponsor refugees and humanitarian entrants.
  • Condition 8503: A visa condition that prevents the holder from applying for another visa while in Australia, except in limited circumstances.
  • Conferral Ceremony: A ceremony where applicants for Australian citizenship by conferral take the Australian Citizenship Pledge.
  • Contributory Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 864): A visa for elderly parents of Australian citizens or permanent residents, requiring a higher fee but faster processing.
  • Cost Recovery Charge: Fees imposed to cover the cost of processing visa applications.


  • De Facto Relationship: A relationship between two people who live together on a genuine domestic basis but are not married.
  • Deemed Departure Date: The date on which a non-citizen is deemed to have departed Australia for the purpose of immigration legislation.
  • Dependent Child: A child who relies on the primary visa applicant for financial support and is included in the visa application.
  • Designated Regional Area: Specific areas of Australia designated for regional migration purposes.
  • Detention Centre: A facility where individuals without valid visas are held until their immigration status is resolved.
  • Direct Entry Stream: A stream within certain visa subclasses that allows applicants to apply directly for permanent residence without needing a temporary visa first.
  • Disallowable Instrument: A legislative instrument that must be approved by both houses of Parliament to take effect.
  • Disallowed Decision: A decision by the Department of Home Affairs that has been overturned on appeal.
  • Distinguished Talent Visa (Subclass 124/858): A visa for individuals with internationally recognized talent in certain fields.
  • DOHA (Department of Home Affairs): The Australian Government department responsible for immigration, citizenship, and border protection.


  • Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) (Subclass 601): An electronic visa for short-term visits to Australia for tourism or business from eligible countries.
  • Employer Nomination: The process where an Australian employer nominates a foreign worker for a skilled visa.
  • Endeavour Leadership Program: A government initiative providing scholarships and fellowships for study, research, and professional development in Australia.
  • English Language Requirement: A criterion for certain visas requiring applicants to demonstrate a specific level of English proficiency.
  • Exempt Visa: A visa that exempts the holder from certain requirements or restrictions.
  • Exit Permit: A permit required by certain individuals to leave Australia under specific circumstances.


  • Facilitated Travel Document: A travel document issued to non-citizens who cannot obtain a passport from their country of nationality.
  • Family Balance Test: Another term for the Balance of Family Test.
  • Family Reunion: The process of family members immigrating to Australia to join a relative who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Fiancée Visa: A colloquial term for the Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300).
  • Final Departure Bridging Visa: A temporary visa allowing the holder to stay in Australia while making arrangements to depart.
  • Financial Requirement: A criterion for certain visas requiring applicants to demonstrate they have sufficient funds to support themselves.
  • First Entry Date: The date by which a visa holder must enter Australia for the first time after their visa is granted.
  • Former Resident Visa (Subclass 151): A visa for former Australian permanent residents and certain people who served in the Australian Defence Force.


  • General Skilled Migration (GSM): A visa program for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer or family member.
  • Genuine Applicant: A term used to describe a visa applicant who meets the criteria and intentions of the visa for which they are applying.
  • GSM Points Test: The points-based system used to assess applicants for general skilled migration visas.
  • Guardian Visa (Subclass 590): A visa for a parent or relative to stay in Australia as the guardian of an international student.


  • Health Undertaking: A commitment by a visa applicant to undergo medical treatment or testing after arriving in Australia.
  • Health Waiver: A provision allowing the health requirement to be waived for certain visa applicants in specific circumstances.
  • HECS-HELP: A loan program to help eligible students pay for their studies in Australia, often relevant for student visa holders.
  • Humanitarian Entrant: A person granted a visa under the Humanitarian Program, including refugees and those in humanitarian need.
  • Humanitarian Program Visa: A visa granted under Australia’s Humanitarian Program.


  • IELTS Academic: A version of the IELTS test designed for individuals applying for higher education or professional registration in an English-speaking environment.
  • IELTS General Training: A version of the IELTS test designed for those migrating to Australia for work or training programs.
  • Immigration Detention: The confinement of individuals without valid visas in facilities while their immigration status is determined.
  • Immigration Status: The legal standing of a person in Australia based on their visa or lack thereof.
  • Independent ELICOS Sector Visa (Subclass 570): A former visa for students enrolled in an English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS).
  • Interdependent Partner: A term used to describe a partner in a same-sex relationship for certain visa applications.
  • Interim Bridging Visa: A temporary visa granted to allow the holder to remain in Australia while their substantive visa application is processed.


  • Job Offer Letter: A letter from an employer offering a job to a visa applicant, often required for employer-sponsored visas.
  • Judicial Review Application: An application to a court to review the legality of a decision made by the Department of Home Affairs.


  • Kinship Care: Care provided by relatives or friends of the family when a child is unable to live with their parents, relevant for certain child visa applications.
  • Know Your Rights Guide: A guide provided by the Australian Government to inform visa holders of their rights and responsibilities.


  • Language Proficiency Requirement: A requirement for visa applicants to demonstrate proficiency in English or another specified language.
  • Labor Market Testing (LMT): A requirement for certain employer-sponsored visas to prove that no suitably qualified Australian workers are available for the position.
  • Labour Agreement Stream: A stream within certain visa subclasses that allows employers to sponsor foreign workers under a labour agreement.
  • Leave of Absence: A temporary period during which a visa holder may be absent from Australia without losing their visa status.
  • Legal Practitioner: A lawyer or solicitor who may assist with visa applications and immigration law matters.
  • Limited Visa: A visa with specific restrictions or conditions.
  • Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA): An allowance paid to employees who are required to live away from their usual place of residence for work purposes.
  • Long-Stay Activity Visa (Subclass 401): A former visa for individuals participating in specific long-term activities in Australia.
  • Long-Term Temporary Visa: A visa allowing the holder to stay in Australia for an extended period, typically longer than a standard visitor visa.


  • Migrant: A person who moves to Australia from another country to live permanently or temporarily.
  • Migration Cap: A limit on the number of visas that can be granted in a particular migration program year.
  • Migration Regulations: The regulations that outline the criteria and procedures for granting visas under the Migration Act.
  • Ministerial Direction: Instructions issued by the Minister for Home Affairs to guide decision-making by immigration officers.
  • Ministerial Intervention: The discretionary power of the Minister for Home Affairs to grant a visa in certain compelling or compassionate circumstances.
  • Multiple Entry: A visa condition allowing the holder to enter and exit Australia multiple times during the visa’s validity period.


  • Naturalization: The process by which a foreign citizen becomes an Australian citizen.
  • Nomination Approval: Confirmation that an employer’s nomination for a skilled worker has been approved by the Department of Home Affairs.
  • Nominee: A skilled worker nominated by an Australian employer for a visa.
  • Non-Resident Return Visa: A visa allowing former permanent residents to return to Australia after a period of absence.
  • Notice of Intention to Consider Refusal: A formal notification issued by the Department of Home Affairs indicating that a visa application may be refused.
  • Nullification: The process of invalidating a visa or decision due to errors or legal issues.


  • Occupational Trainee Visa: A former visa for individuals seeking to undergo workplace-based training in Australia.
  • Occupation Nomination: The process of nominating a specific occupation for a visa application under the skilled migration program.
  • Offshore Humanitarian Visa: A visa granted to individuals outside Australia who meet humanitarian criteria.
  • Onshore Protection Visa (Subclass 866): A visa for individuals in Australia who seek protection as refugees.
  • Open Work Rights: A visa condition allowing the holder to work in any occupation without restrictions.
  • Operation Sovereign Borders: An Australian Government policy to prevent maritime arrivals of asylum seekers.
  • Overstayer: A person who remains in Australia after their visa has expired.


  • Partner Migration: The process of immigrating to Australia based on a relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Partner Visa (Prospective Marriage) (Subclass 300): A visa for fiancés of Australian citizens or permanent residents to enter Australia, marry their partner, and apply for a partner visa.
  • Pathway to Citizenship: The process and criteria by which a permanent resident can become an Australian citizen.
  • Permanent Protection Visa (Subclass 866): A visa granting permanent residence to individuals who are recognized as refugees.
  • Permanent Residence Status: The status of being allowed to live in Australia indefinitely.
  • Points Calculator: An online tool used to calculate an applicant’s points under the skilled migration points test.
  • Police Clearance Certificate: A document issued by a law enforcement agency indicating whether a person has a criminal record.
  • Post-Study Work Visa: A visa allowing international students to stay and work in Australia after completing their studies.
  • Prohibited Person: A person who is not permitted to enter or remain in Australia under immigration law.
  • Protected SCV Holder: A New Zealand citizen holding a Special Category Visa (SCV) who meets specific criteria for social security benefits.


  • Quota: A limit on the number of visas that can be granted in a particular category or program year.
  • Qualifying Criteria: The requirements that must be met for a visa application to be considered.
  • Qualified Professional: A person who has met the education, training, and experience requirements for their profession and is eligible for skilled migration.


  • Recognized Graduate Visa (Subclass 476): A visa for recent engineering graduates from recognized institutions to gain skilled work experience in Australia.
  • Regional Migration Scheme: Programs designed to encourage skilled migrants to settle in regional and low-population areas of Australia.
  • Regional Occupation List: A list of occupations in demand in regional Australia for migration purposes.
  • Regional Sponsorship: The process by which a regional area nominates a visa applicant to address local skill shortages.
  • Resident Return Visa (RRV): A visa allowing Australian permanent residents to travel abroad and return to Australia.
  • Return Sponsorship: A form of sponsorship allowing former residents or citizens to return to Australia.


  • Secondary Applicant: A family member included in the primary visa applicant’s application.
  • Settlement Services: Support services provided to new migrants to help them settle in Australia.
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 494): A visa for skilled workers sponsored by an employer in regional Australia.
  • Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190): A visa for skilled workers nominated by a state or territory government.
  • SkillSelect EOI: An online expression of interest for skilled migration to Australia, managed through the SkillSelect system.
  • Social Security Agreement: An agreement between Australia and another country regarding social security benefits for residents of both countries.
  • Special Humanitarian Program (SHP): A program providing visas to individuals who face substantial discrimination or human rights abuses.
  • Special Migration Visa: A visa for people with special skills or talents not covered by other visa categories.
  • Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Visa (Subclass 870): A visa allowing parents of Australian citizens or permanent residents to stay in Australia temporarily.
  • Sponsorship Approval: Confirmation that a sponsor meets the criteria to sponsor a visa applicant.


  • TSS (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa (Subclass 482): A visa allowing employers to address labor shortages by bringing in skilled workers from overseas.
  • Tax File Number (TFN): A unique number issued by the Australian Taxation Office to individuals and businesses for tax purposes.
  • Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485): A visa allowing international students to stay and work in Australia temporarily after completing their studies.
  • Temporary Protection Visa (Subclass 785): A visa for individuals who are recognized as refugees and need protection temporarily.
  • Temporary Resident: A person granted a visa to stay in Australia for a limited period.
  • Third Country Resettlement: The resettlement of refugees from an initial asylum country to a third country, including Australia.
  • Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement: An agreement allowing free movement between Australia and New Zealand for citizens of both countries.
  • Travel Facility: The component of a visa allowing the holder to travel to and from Australia.


  • Undocumented Migrant: A person living in Australia without legal immigration status.
  • Unit Group Code: A code used in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) to identify specific occupations.
  • Unlawful Maritime Arrival: An individual who arrives in Australia by sea without a valid visa.
  • Uplift: The process of removing a person from Australia when they are unlawfully present or pose a risk to the community.


  • VAC (Visa Application Charge): The fee payable when lodging a visa application.
  • Visa Condition 8101: A condition that prohibits the visa holder from working in Australia.
  • Visa Condition 8202: A condition requiring student visa holders to maintain enrolment and satisfactory academic progress.
  • Visa Label: A physical sticker placed in a passport indicating visa details, although most visas are now electronically recorded.
  • Visa Refusal: The decision by the Department of Home Affairs to deny a visa application.
  • Voluntary Departure: When an individual chooses to leave Australia before their visa expires or after being found to be in breach of immigration laws.
  • Voluntary Return: The process of returning to one’s home country voluntarily, often facilitated by the government.


  • Work Experience Requirement: A criterion for certain visas requiring applicants to demonstrate relevant work experience in their field.
  • Work Holiday Maker Program: A program allowing young people from eligible countries to work and holiday in Australia for up to a year.
  • Work Rights Waiver: A waiver that allows a visa holder to work in Australia despite restrictions that might otherwise apply.
  • Workplace Agreement: An agreement between an employer and employee regarding employment conditions, relevant for employer-sponsored visas.


  • Xenophobia: Fear or hatred of foreigners, which can influence immigration policies and attitudes towards migrants.
  • XML Visa Grant Notice: A digital notice sent via XML format confirming the grant of a visa.


  • Youth Mobility Visa: A visa for young people from certain countries to work and travel in Australia under reciprocal agreements.
  • Year of Arrival: The year in which a migrant first arrives in Australia, relevant for immigration records and statistics.


  • Zone of Control: A term used in immigration detention policies, referring to areas where specific control measures are implemented.
  • Zero Net Migration: A policy aim where the number of immigrants equals the number of emigrants, maintaining population stability.