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ANZSCO, de facto, ENZ, SkillSelect… The terms and phrases you’ll come across when researching immigration to Australia can get really confusing really quickly.

That’s why we wanted to help out with an Australian immigration glossary. You’ll find the most common, and pertinent, immigration concepts and their definitions in this glossary.

If you need further clarification on any term or phrase, or have any other immigration questions, you’re welcome to contact us to speak to one of our agents.


ANZSCO, or the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, is a system within the skilled migration program that sets the standards for the skills and work experience that visa applicants must meet to work in specific occupation in Australia or New Zealand.

ANZSCO is a joint venture between the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Statistics New Zealand and The Department of Education and Training.


The person (or persons) applying for a visa or for citizenship.

Australian Migration Program

The Australian Migration Program is the program under which people with skills in demand in Australia are invited to move to Australia permanently. The Program runs from 1 July to 30 June each year.


Biometrics is a means of identifying and authenticating a person through features of that person’s body. Examples include:

  • Fingerprints.
  • Face structure (photos)

Cap and cease

Cap and cease means when a cap has been reached for a particular visa class. When this happens:

  • work on all applications which have not been processed to decision stops
  • the files are closed
  • application fees are refunded

These applications are treated as if they have not been submitted.

Capping and queueing

Capping means a limited number of the visa will be granted each Migration Program year. Once that number is reached, no more visas will be granted that year.

Certified copy

A certified copy is a copy of an original document that has been confirmed to be a true copy of the document by an authorised person.


Your child is your:

  • Biological child
  • Stepchild
  • Adopted child

De facto

A de facto relationship is one where you and your partner are not legally married to each other but:

  • You are committed to a shared life excluding all others
  • Your relationship is genuine and continuing
  • You live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis
  • You are not related by family


A dependant is:

  • someone who has wholly or substantially relied on mostly you for a substantial period of time to meet their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter
  • someone who has wholly or substantially relied on you for a substantial period of time for financial support because they can’t work due to a mental or physical disability

Dependent child

A dependent child is you or your partner’s natural, adopted, or stepchild who has not turned 18 years of age. Such a child is:

  • Not married, engaged or in a de facto relationship; and
  • Wholly or substantially reliant on you for their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter.

To apply for a visa as a dependent child aged 18 years or older, the child must be:

  • Dependent on you more than any other person for their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter, or
  • Unable to work to support themselves because they have a disability that totally or partially affects their bodily or mental functions.

Eligible New Zealand citizen

An eligible New Zealand citizen (ENZ) is:


Your employer is the person or organization that pays you to work for them.

Employer nomination

An employer in Australia offered a position to a skilled worker for a position included on the skilled occupation list.

English language test

It is necessary to meet Australia’s English language requirements when applying for some visas. You might have to do an English Language Test to prove that you do. The most common English test are IELTS, PTE Academic and TOEFL iBT.

Expression of Interest (EOI)

An Expression of Interest, commonly abbreviated to EOI, is the way you are able to show your interest in applying for a skilled migrant visa to immigrate to Australia.

Fiancée relationship

A relationship where a couple is engaged to be married.

Immigration clearance

When you arrive in Australia you will be in immigration clearance. Your identity and travel documents will be checked by a clearance authority as part of the immigration clearance process.

Once the clearance authority confirms your identity and that you hold a valid visa, you are formally allowed to enter Australia.

You might be refused entry to Australia if you don’t meet immigration clearance requirements.

Long term relationship

You are in a long term relationship when you lodged your application, if you had been with your partner for either:

  • 3 years or more, or
  • 2 years or more, and there is a dependent child from this relationship


Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority. You can check on MARA’s website to see if an immigration agent is licensed and registered.

Members of the family unit

For visa purposes, the following people are recognized as the man applicant’s family unit:

  • Spouses and de facto partners
  • The main applicant’s children, or their partner’s children, who are not engaged, married or in a de facto relationship, and who are:
    • Under the age of 18; or 18 to 23 years of age and dependent on the main applicant or the main applicant’s partner; or
    • 23 years or older and dependent on the main applicant or the main applicant’s partner due to a partial or total physical or mental disability.
  • The dependent children of the main applicant or their partner

Near relative

When applying for Remaining Relative Visas, near relatives are defined as:

  • Your parents or stepparents.
  • Your partner’s parents or stepparents.
  • Siblings or step-siblings.
  • Children or stepchildren who are 18 years or older and who are not dependent on you.
  • Children or stepchildren who are under the age of 18 and not in your or your partner’s daily care.


Your partner is your spouse or de facto partner of the same or opposite sex. You can be:

  • in a married relationship
  • in a de facto relationship

Permanent resident

This refers to a person who holds an Australian permanent visa and is usually a resident in Australia. Generally, permanent residents can live, work and study with much fewer restrictions than temporary visa holders.

Points test

For many of the skilled categories, you must complete a points test and score at least a minimum points score in order to continue with your visa application.

Provisional visa

A temporary visa allowing a person to enter and remain in Australia until a decision is made on the permanent visa application.

Provisional skilled work visa

A visa which is not temporary in nature but which has an end date however provides a pathway to permanent residency if certain requirements are met while being the holder of a provisional visa.

Qualifying business

A qualifying business is one that is:

  • Operated for the purpose of making profit through the provision of goods, services or goods and services the public; and
  • Not operated primarily or substantially for the purpose of speculative or passive investment.


Your relative is your:

  • Partner, child, parent, brother, sister, stepchild, stepparent, stepbrother or stepsister.
  • Grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or step equivalent.


Australia will consider you ‘settled’ if you:

  • Have lived legally in Australia for reasonable period, usually at least 2 years; and
  • Are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.


Your sibling is someone who has at least one parent in common with you.

Significant medical condition

There are no diseases or health conditions that automatically mean you won’t meet the health requirement. However, the diseases which most commonly result in permanent visa applicants failing the health requirement are:

  • Intellectual impairment
  • HIV infection
  • Functional impairment
  • Renal disease or failure
  • Cancer

Skilled migration

Skilled migration to Australia is one of the most common ways to obtain a visa for Australia. It allows for applicants to obtain a work visa on the grounds of:

  • A job offer (sponsorship) from an Australian Employer
  • A particular state or territory wishing to nominate an individual
  • A family member being able to act as the immigrant’s sponsor
  • An individual who may have studied in Australia and now wishes to work there
  • The applicant having sufficient points to make an independent application (without nomination, sponsorship or relevant studies)

Skilled Occupations List (SOL)

If you are intending to apply under any skilled migrant visa, you must have a nominated occupation which is on the SOL at the time you apply.


SkillSelect is an online service which helps Australia to manage its skilled migration programme. The primary goal is to make sure that the skilled migration programme focuses on and is fully based on the economic needs of Australia.


You must have a sponsor to apply for some visas. Your sponsor must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen who is:

  • prepared to sponsor your application,
  • and who undertakes to assist the application, to the extent necessary, financially and in relation to accommodation for a period of 2 years.


A spouse is your husband or wife where you’re married to each other under a marriage that is valid for the purposes of Australia’s Migration Act. You must also:

  • have a mutual commitment to a shared life excluding all others,
  • have a genuine and continuing relationship, and
  • live together or not live separately and apart on a permanent basis

State or territory nomination

This is when a state or territory has issued a skilled person who has an Expression of Interest in the SkillSelect pool with an Invitation to Apply for one of the points tested visas such as subclass 190 and 491.


A stepchild is the child of your current or former partner. If the stepchild is the child of your former partner, the child must be under the age of 18 and you must have either:

  • An Australian parenting order that is in force, saying that you are to live with the child and look after them, or
  • Legal guardianship or custody of the child

Subsequent entrant

Some visas allow your eligible family members to apply to join you in Australia as subsequent entrants after you’ve been granted your visa.

Temporary resident

Australia’s temporary residence policy facilitates the entry, on a temporary basis, of people who can contribute to the economic, cultural and social development of the Australian community.

Temporary residence visas allow people to live and work in Australia for a limited time. Initial stay in Australia is generally for more than 3 months but not more than 4 years.


A visa is an official document that grants you permission to travel to, enter and remain in Australia for a period of time or indefinitely.


To work is to perform an activity in Australia in exchange for remuneration. This could be payment or some other form or reward.

These activities are not considered work:

  • Volunteer work
  • Doing work online for your job in your home country
  • Studying in a university outside Australia and the activity relates to your study and is credited to your course
  • Seeing how people work in an industry
  • Short-term domestic or caregiving activities for your family member


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