Australian immigration glossary

/ / Immigration to Australia

australia immigration glossaryYou could read for hours and still not make much sense of the ins and outs of immigrating to Australia.

The many specialist terms and phrases especially get confusing really quickly. ANZSCO, de facto, SkillSelect…The list goes on!

That’s why we wanted to help out today with an Australian immigration glossary. You’ll find the most common, and pertinent, immigration concepts on here as well as their definitions.

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.

Your Australia immigration glossary

Aged parent

A person who is old enough to be granted an Australian age pension.


Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations as published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).


The applicant is the person (or persons) applying to migrate to Australia.

Australian permanent resident

This refers to a person who is the holder of a permanent visa and is usually a resident in Australia.

Certified copy

Copy of a document authorised, or stamped as being a true copy of the original, by a person or agency recognised by the law of the applicant’s home country.

Close relative

Your spouse, children, parents and siblings as well as step children, parents and siblings.

De facto

Not legally married, but in a spouse-like or spouse-equivalent relationship. Some people refer to these partners as a ‘common law spouse’.


Department of Immigration and Border Protection.


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

Dependent child

A natural, adopted, or step-child, who has not turned 18 years of age, or such a child over the age of 18 who are dependent on you as their parent.

Expression of Interest (EOI)

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

Fiancé relationship

A relationship where a couple is engaged to be married.

Immediate family

Your spouse and dependent children.


The International English Language Testing System, which is used to assess your English language ability.


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


Includes married and de facto spouses, fiancee and interdependent partners.

Permanent visa

A visa permitting a person to remain indefinitely in Australia.

Points test

For many of the skilled categories, you must do 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.


A relative or a grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or step equivalent.

Skill Migration

General 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 refers to 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.


For some categories you must have a sponsor. A sponsor is a relative aged 18 years or over who is living in Australia, is an Australian citizen or permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen and 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.

Temporary Residents

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.


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

MARN number

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