General Skilled Migration Definitions

16 month period
This 16 month period commences when the applicant's study commences (generally from the commencement of lectures and excluding orientation periods) and ends on the date at which all academic requirements have been completed. The end date is the date that the student's final exam results have been made publicly available, excluding any delay in notification of graduation due to administrative requirements such as a Graduation Evaluation period.
100 per cent full time load
100 per cent of a full time load means that you must complete all the academic requirements for a period of 92 weeks of study without the benefit of exemptions based on non-CRICOS registered study, or based on study already being used towards meeting the Australian study requirement.
Acceptable Qualification

Only study that has resulted in an applicant completing a degree, diploma or trade qualification can be counted towards an acceptable qualification. A degree includes a bachelor and any higher degree and advanced diplomas. Study not resulting in a degree, diploma or trade qualification will not be considered.
Example: An applicant who has studied the following in Australia could not use that study to meet the Australian study requirement:

  • a Certificate II in any discipline
  • a Certificate IV in a discipline other than a trade
    Example: a Certificate IV in Business Management
  • a Graduate Certificate.

Note: This list is not exhaustive.

Applicants who need to undertake an enabling course or bridging programs as a prerequisite to commencing their degree, diploma or trade qualification cannot count this study towards meeting the Australian study requirement.

Additional subjects undertaken that do not contribute to the award of a degree, diploma or trade qualification will also not count towards meeting the Australian study requirement.

Australian permanent resident
A non–citizen who, being usually a resident in Australia, is the holder of a permanent visa.
Australian Study Requirement
To meet this requirement an applicant must have completed one or more degree, diploma or trade qualification for award by an Australian educational institution as a result of at least two academic years study in Australia. The study must have been completed in a total of no less than 16 calendar months on a visa that allowed study.
Bridging visa
A type of temporary visa that provides lawful status for certain non–citizens who would otherwise be unlawful. For example, applicants whose visas have ceased and who are waiting for a decision on an application for another substantive visa. A bridging visa can only be granted in Australia.
Australian Government agency that delivers social security payments and related services in Australia.
Complete application
An application that provides all of the information and documentary evidence required to decide the visa application, at the time of lodgement.
CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students)
Offer education or training services to students studying in Australia on student visas.
See:Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Date of completion

The date of completion of an Australian qualification is the date on which the institution publicly notifies a student that they have met the requirements for the award. This notification can be made by:

  • letter
  • online
  • publication in a newspaper
  • email
  • bulletin board at the institution.

It is not the date that the award is conferred on the student, such as a graduation ceremony.

De facto partner

A person is the de facto partner of another person (whether of the same sex or the opposite sex) if:

  • they have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others
  • the relationship between them is genuine and continuing
  • they live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis, and
  • they are not related by family.

For an application for a permanent, Business Skills (Provisional), Student (Temporary), Partner (Provisional), Partner (Temporary), or a General Skilled Migration visa the de facto relationship must have existed for at least 12 months immediately preceding the date of application.

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 the total or partial loss of bodily or mental functions.
Dependent child
A dependent child is the child or step-child, of the main applicant, the main applicant's partner. They must have legal responsibility for the child. The child must:
  • not be married, engaged to be married or in a de facto relationship and
  • be under 18
  • if they have turned 18, are wholly or substantially reliant on the main applicant or the main applicant's for their basic needs, or are incapacitated for work.
Designated Area
If you are applying for the Skilled � Regional Sponsored visa subclasses 475 or 487, on the basis of being sponsored by an eligible Australian relative, your sponsor must also usually reside in a designated area of Australia, as specified by the Minister in an instrument in writing. A list of Australia's designated areas is available.
See:Designated Areas of Australia
Eligible New Zealand citizen

An eligible New Zealand citizen is a New Zealand citizen who at the time of their last entry to Australia would have met their health and character checks and:

  • held a Subclass 444 (Special Category) visa on 26 February 2001
  • held a Subclass 444 visa that was in force for at least one year in the two years before 26 February 2001
  • has a certificate, issued under the Social Security Act 1991, that states the citizen, for the purposes of the Social Security Act, was residing in Australia on a particular date (Centrelink stopped accepting applications from these certificates in February 2004).

If your sponsor is an Eligible New Zealand citizen, they may be required to undertake medicals and provide police clearances.

IELTS – International English Language Testing System
This is the testing system accepted by the department to assess your English language ability for migration purposes.
Applicants applying from outside Australia will be applying to migrate. Applicants applying from within Australia will be applying for permanent residence. In the context of General Skilled Migration information, the term 'migrate' covers both scenarios.
OET – Occupational English Test
In some professions, applicants are required to pass this test as part of the skills assessment process.
See:Skills assessment and assessing authorities
Other Dependent Relatives
Other relatives of you or your partner may be considered in the application if they meet all of the following:
  • they have no other relative able to care for them in their own country and they either:
    • are not currently married, engaged or in a de facto relationship
    • are usually resident in your household
    • rely on you for financial support for their basic needs and you have supported them for a substantial period
    • rely on you more than any other person or source.

Example: An aged, unmarried relative.
Paper application
A visa application that is not lodged online and is either posted or couriered to the department for consideration.
Partner means your spouse or de facto partner (including same-sex partners).
Pass mark
The total number of points you must score to pass the points test. You must reach the pass mark in effect on the day you lodge your application for your application to proceed.
See: What is the Points Test?
Permanent visa
A visa permitting a non–citizen to remain in Australia indefinitely.
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.
See: What is the Points Test?
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.
Regional Australia/low population growth metropolitan areas
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.
See:Regional Australia/Low Population Growth Metropolitan Areas
Secondary Applicant
Includes the partner and dependent children of the main applicant; dependent children of the main applicant's partner; and other dependent relatives of the main applicant, and their partner.
SOL – Skilled Occupation List
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 relevant at the time you lodge your application.
See: Do you have a skilled occupation?
Some General Skilled Migration categories require sponsorship. Unless you have been nominated by a state or territory government, to be granted a Skilled – Sponsored visa (subclass 176 or 886) or Skilled – Regional Sponsored visa (subclass 475 or 487) you must be sponsored by an eligible relative who meets all of the following:
  • aged 18 years or over
  • usually resides in Australia
  • is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.
If you are applying for a Skilled � Regional Sponsored visa (subclass 475 or 487) your sponsor must also usually be a resident in a designated area of Australia before you lodge your application.
A person is the spouse of another person if the two people are in a marriage that is legally valid in Australia, and:
  • 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
  • they live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis.
A stepchild is a child of your current partner or a child of your former partner when the child is under 18 years and you have a legal responsibility to care for that child.
Example: When your former partner is deceased and you have legal custody of your former partner's child.
Substantive visa
Any visa other than a Bridging visa or a Criminal Justice visa.
Temporary visa
A visa permitting a person to enter and/or remain in Australia temporarily.
The department
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
Permission to travel to, to enter and/or to remain in Australia for a period of time or indefinitely.

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