Australia Migration, Immigration Australia, Migrating to Australia
20th July 2008 about | WA Tourist Info | copyright | contact us | privacy policy | terms | sitemap |
Migration Institute of Australia Member
Registration Number 1971 and 2748
Registered to Provide Migration Advice
MARN numbers:
0208366, 0426675, 0641256, 0742456 and 0640237
More info about Immigration Australia, Visa Australia
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Terms & Definitions

Australian Migration Terms and Definitions

Frequently Asked Questions

Terminology & Definitions


  • Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs
  • This is the federal government body responsible for setting the immigration policy, numbers, they process the visas etc

Financial / Fiscal year

  • In Australia the financial year runs from 1 July – 30 June annually.
  • Visa Caps (numbers of visa approved under specific category e.g. skills) apply for one financial year
  • In your country the fiscal year definition applies to business skills applications where you need to evidence audited statements for 4 fiscal years

Lodgement day

  • The laws that apply and are relevant for your specific visa on the day you lodge your application are the laws and regulations that will apply when processing your visa application.
  • Lodgement day is also important when it comes to your age – in terms of visa regulations, you remain “the age you are on the day you lodge” until your visa is processed and a decision is made.  This may not be the fountain of youth discovered, but it does help when you are in a critical age group e.g. 44.


  • Critical ages for all skilled visas are : 29, 34, 39, and final cut off date is age 44 and 364 days.
  • For business skills visa applications – age 54 is critical!
  • For retirement visas the main applicant must be age 55 +

Family sponsorship

  • For family to sponsor you (and read the skilled Australian and parent visa section well) they must be settled Australian residents – that means resident in Australia for at least 2 years (730 days) as permanent residents.
  • Which relatives can sponsor you ?
    • a grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew
    • a step-grandparent, step-grandchild, step-aunt, step-uncle, step-niece or step-nephew
    • or a close relative
    • spouse
    • child, adopted child
    • mother, father, stepmother, stepfather
    • brother, sister,  stepbrother or sister


  • People often refer to a  permit  when they want to migrate. There is no such thing. You do not get a permit, you apply for a visa, and a visa allows you certain privileges and rights, i.e. right to work, right to stay, right to enter Australia multiple times, or restricting the nature of allowed activities.


  • This is what you need to move to Oz – either permanently, or temporarily.
  • You get various “types” of visa e.g. Student visa, holiday visa, temporary residence visa,
    • Permanent residence visa etc.  There are over 120 types and subclasses of visa …. and depending on your circumstances, you can apply for one or more of these visas
    • Certain visas allow you to work here, others to conduct business, others to study and so forth.
    • Your visa will allow you to do “anything” unless it has a restriction printed on it, or unless the criteria for the specific visa restricts certain activities e.g. work or study restrictions.


  • Permanent Residence – this  visa allows you to stay in Australia indefinitely. You have basically the same rights as a citizen e.g. access to social security, but no Aus passport and you are not required to vote (mandatory for citizens).
  • Generally you have 4 to 5 years in which to enter Australia after grant of a PR visa


  • This is a Temporary Residence Visa.
  • It is “used” (applied for) by many different profiles i.e. for holiday purposes, for study purposes, to live in Australia for a period of up to 4 years and so forth.
  • Many people who just fail to meet a PR requirement, come over on a TR and then the work towards a position where they can apply for a PR visa e.g. establish a business here, gain additional qualifications and many more options. BCIS will NEVER recommend a TR visa for these applicants unless we are certain that they will have a good shot at a PR visa later on.

Member of a family unit

  • All members of a family unit may apply for a visa at the same time – no additional charges apply.
  • Person A is a member of the immediately family of another person B if A is a spouse of B, or, A is a dependent child of B, or, A is a parent of B, and B is not 18 years or more.
  • A dependent child: Is  child that is wholly dependent on his parents for financial and emotional support (usually under 21 and a full time student if over 18)

Designated areas

  • Does this mean you have to go stay in the bush ? No …Designated areas include for example – all of Victoria (or nearly all) and all of South Australia. In other states, it generally excludes only the major metro areas. Also remember that you are usually only required to stay there for 2 or 3 years – not a big deal taken into account the bigger picture.


  • The cost indications in the visa sections include:-
    • All Application fees paid to the Dept of immigration in relation to the application
    • All costs of lodging the visa (e.g. mail, courier etc)
    • All professional fees charged by BCIS
    • Where applicable, all occupations assessment costs
    • Your clients area in our website where you follow your application progress
    • All our phone calls / faxes to you in relation to your application
  • What is excluded ?
    • Cost of sending your documents to BCIS
    • Your medical and X Ray exams
    • Cost of obtaining Police clearances
    • Cost of obtaining documents e.g. birth certificates
    • Cost of making photocopies and certifying your documents
    • Review Costs (where applicable)
    • Priority occupations assessment charges payable to the relevant assessment authority
    • Where required, cost of exams, tests for select occupations e.g. pilots
    • -Business plans for business visas

There are no hidden or other costs.

Processing times

  • It is important to note that the processing times indicated are just that – an indication. There are many variables at play with visa applications that could speed up or slow down the processing of your application
  • Processing times shown are based on current average processing times for 50% of all applications lodged.
  • Processing times are a function of a few aspects:-
    • Completeness and correctness of the application when lodged
    • Medical factors
    • Submission by the agent
    • Number of applications lodged and processed in a specific visa class or category during the year
    • Visa Caps set for that year
    • Efficiency, correctness and speed in replying to the queries from DIAC during processing (critical) – and note that there are always queries !
    • Pocessing times may be 25% under the indicated time or as much as 75% over the indicated time.

Visa Caps

  • Caps are the number of visas that DIAC plan to grant in one financial year.

Can I “renew” a visa?

  • No, if your visa expires, you can not “renew” it. You will have to apply for a new visa from scratch.
  • Also see section on residents return visas.



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