The existence of Adverse Information that has come to the attention of the Immigration Department, may affect the capacity of an organisation or person to sponsor or nominate persons for work, training and temporary activity visas.
Adverse Information may include, but is not limited to, information about a sponsor (or a person/company associated with the sponsor) becoming insolvent, or contravening (or allegedly contravening) a Commonwealth, State/Territory law relating to:
- Immigration (including sponsorship obligations)
- Industrial relations
- Occupational health and safety
- People smuggling and related offences
- Slavery, sexual servitude and deceptive recruiting
- Terrorism; or
- Trafficking in persons and debt bondage
Age Pension (certain parent visas)
A prospective applicant will have reached the Age Pension age if they:
- Are at least 66 of age and were born between 1 January 1954 and 30 June 1955; or
- Are at least 66.5 years and born between 1 July 1955 and 31 December 1956; or
- Are at least 67 if born on or after 1 January 1957;
- Meet certain residence requirements and
- Meet an income and assets test. See https://www.dss.gov.au/seniors/benefits-payments/age-pension
Reaching this age, does not mean that the applicant becomes eligible for the Aged Pension.
Rather, it allows the applicant to apply for certain parent visas while in Australia, and by doing so, they obtain a bridging visa and have the right to remain in Australia during the processing of their parent visa application.
Annual market salary rate (AMSR)
The Annual market salary rate for a position to be offered to an overseas worker (eg for 482 TSS, 494 or 186 purposes) is determined by having regard to the pay of equivalent Australian workers in the same position at the same location as follows:
- If there is an equivalent Australian worker in the nominating organisation, regard is had to any existing Enterprise Agreement or Award (if applicable) or contracts of employment and salaries of existing workers; or
- If there is no equivalent Australian worker in the nominating organisation, then regard is had to:
– if applicable, any existing Enterprise Agreement or Award; or
– advertisements for the last 6 months in the same location, remuneration survey or advice from unions or employer associations.
Assurance of Support
An Assurance of Support may be required by a person sponsoring a visa applicant, before the visa can be granted.
Visas which require an Assurance of Support, include, parent visas.
An Assurance of Support is a legal commitment by an eligible person (not necessarily the sponsor) to repay to the Australian Government certain welfare payments paid to migrants during their respective Assurance of Support period. Respective Assurance of Support periods are:
- 10 years for Contributory Parent visa holders or
- Up to 4 years for all other visa types where an Assurance of Support is needed.
Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO)
The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is a classification system that provides for the standardised collection, analysis, and dissemination of occupation data, including job duties and skills entry thresholds. The Department uses ANZSCO codes and occupation information, where assessment of a visa applicant’s skills to undertake a specific occupation in Australia is a processing requirement (relevant visas include, ENS 186, Skilled Migration 190, Regional Migration 491 and 494 and the 482 TSS).
ANZSCO occupations, including job duties and skills entry thresholds, can be viewed at the Australian Bureau of Statistics website:
Australian study requirement
This requirement is relevant for the 485 visa or when claiming points under the 189, 190 and 491 pathways.
The core components of this requirement are:
- The applicant must have been awarded at least one degree, diploma or trade qualification at an Australian based institution;
- The course was CRICOS registered;
- The study was in English;
- The applicant completed their course as a result of at least two academic years (92 weeks according to CRICOS) study;
- The applicant was physically present in Australia for at least 16 calendar months to complete the study; and
- The applicant held a visa that allowed them to study during that period.
Balance of Family Test (parent migration)
The balance of family test measures the parent’s links to their children in Australia compared with their children located elsewhere.
A parent meets the balance of family test if:
- At least half their children and stepchildren are “eligible children” (see below); and
- there are more eligible children living permanently in Australia than children living in any other single country.
A parent’s and their partner’s children and stepchildren and adopted children, are counted in the balance of family test.
Children are not counted if they:
- are deceased;
- have been removed from their parents’ exclusive legal custody by adoption, court order or operation of law;
- are registered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as refugees and live in a camp operated by the UNHCR; or
- live in a country where they suffer persecution or human rights abuse and can’t be reunited with their parents in another country
A stepchild is:
- the parent’s current partner’s child, or
- the parent’s former partner’s child who is under 18 years of age and in relation to whom the parent has guardianship, custody or a parenting order in force under the Family Law Act 1975.
A child is an “eligible child” if they are:
- an Australian citizen, or
- an Australian permanent resident usually resident in Australia, or
- an eligible New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia
Any other child of the parent is an ineligible child and is deemed to be resident overseas.
Children who are in Australia on a temporary visa are not considered to be usually resident in Australia.
All visa and citizenship applicants must be of good character and pass the character test.
Failing the character test could lead to the refusal of an application or cancellation of a visa already issued.
In summary, a person will fail the character test where:
- They have a substantial criminal record (see below)
- They have, or have had, an association with an individual, group or organisation suspected of having been, or being, involved in criminal conduct
- Having regard to the person’s past and present criminal conduct, the person is found not to be of good character
- Having regard to the person’s past and present general conduct, the person is found to be not of good character
- There is a significant risk that the person will engage in criminal conduct in Australia, harass, molest, intimidate or stalk another person in Australia, vilify a segment of the Australian community, or incite discord in the Australian community or in a segment of that community, or represent a danger to the Australian community or a segment of that community.
A person is considered to have a substantial criminal record for the purposes of the character test if they have been:
- sentenced to death or imprisonment for life
- sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 12 months or more
- sentenced to two or more terms of imprisonment (even if served concurrently) where the total is 12 months or more
- found by a court to not be fit to plead in relation to an offence but found to have committed the offence and detained in a facility or institution
Competent English may be demonstrated by providing evidence of having received the below scores in a relevant English language exam:
- A score of at least 6 on each of the four components of a General or Academic IELTS test;
- A score of at least B in each of the four components of an OET;
- A TOEFL iBT test score with at least the following scores in the four test components: 18 for speaking, 13 for reading, 21 for writing and 12 for listening;
- A PTE Academic test score of at least 50 in each of the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening;
- A Cambridge C1 Advanced test score of at least 169 in each of the four components.
The English language examination must be less than 3 years old at the time of the visa application. Applicants holding passports from UK, USA, Ireland, Canada and NZ, stating that they are citizens of those countries, are deemed to have Competent English. This does not include, for example, UK passport holders who are Overseas British Nationals.
Complying Significant Investment
To be granted the 188 visa, under the Significant Investor stream, the applicant must make (before the grant of the visa), a complying significant investment of at least AUD$5 million when requested by the Immigration Department.
The investments must be in the following proportions:
- at least AUD$500,000 in venture capital and growth private equity funds which invest in start-ups and small private companies
- at least AUD$1.5 million in approved managed funds. The managed funds must invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange
- a ‘balancing investment’ of at least AUD3 million in managed funds
The managed funds can invest in a range of assets, including companies listed on the Australian stock exchange, Australian corporate bonds or notes, annuities and commercial real estate.
Investment in residential property is not permitted and there are strict limits on investing in residential property through managed funds.
The applicant must have a genuine intention to hold the complying significant investment for at least 4 years.
Under the business and investment visa pathways, a Designated Investment is one offered by the applicable State/Territory Treasury Corporation, and usually include the following features:
- Primary-issue government securities with a maturity of no less than 4 years from the date of purchase
- Non-transferable and non-redeemable (that is, the security cannot be sold to another investor or sold back to the issuing authority before maturity)
- Repayment of principal on maturity is guaranteed by the State/Territory government issuing the security.
Repayment of principal on maturity is guaranteed by the State/Territory government issuing the security.
Under the business and investment visa pathways, an Eligible Investment includes:
- Ownership interests in a business
- Cash on deposit
- Stocks or bonds
- Real estate
- Gold or bullion
- Loan to a business
Eligible New Zealand citizen
Eligible New Zealand citizens are eligible to sponsor applicants for particular types of visas (such as partner, parent, skilled migrant). In certain cases they are also eligible to apply for Australian citizenship.
A person is an eligible New Zealand citizen if they are a New Zealand citizen who:
- was in Australia on 26 February 2001 and held a Special Category visa (subclass 444);
- was in Australia for at least one year of the two years before 26 February 2001; or
- has a certificate issued under the Social Security Act 1991 that states that they were residing in Australia on a particular date.
Eligible Student visa (for subclass 485)
A student visa is an eligible student visa provided the student visa holder is not supported by the Department of Defence or Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister.
Expression of Interest
An Expression of Interest is an online form which must be completed if a person wishes to apply for a Skilled Migration Visa (subclasses 189, 190 and 491) or a business visa (subclasses 132 and 188). The information provided in this form notifies the Immigration Department of a person’s ability to satisfy the criteria for their preferred visa and indicates that they would like to receive an invitation to apply for the visa.Information to be included in the Expression of Interest includes such matters as:
- English language skill level
- Positive skills assessment in nominated occupation (if applicable)
- Studies completed
- Work experience
- Business and investment experience
Information provided on the Expression of Interest is considered by the Immigration Department of Immigration in each invitation round for two years, or until an invitation is issued (whichever occurs first).
Note that an Expression of Interest is not a visa application and does not entitle the applicant to the grant of a bridging visa to remain in Australia.
Functional English may be demonstrated by providing evidence of having received the below scores in a relevant English language exam:
- A score of at least 4.5, based on the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening in a General or Academic IELTS test;
- A TOEFL iBT total band score of at least 32, based on the four test components of speaking, reading, writing;
- A PTE Academic overall band score of at least 30, based on the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening;
- Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) overall score of at least 147 based on the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening.
The English language examination must be less than 12 months old.
Other ways applicants can demonstrate functional English include:
- they undertook education toward a degree, a higher degree, a diploma or a trade certificate in an institution in Australia for at least 1 year and all instruction was in English; or
- they completed a degree, a higher degree, a diploma or a trade certificate in an institution outside Australia that required at least two years of full-time study and all instruction was in English; or
- they undertook all primary school years and at least 3 secondary school years where all instruction was in English; or
- they undertook at least 5 secondary school years where all instruction was in English.
Applicants holding passports from UK, USA, Ireland, Canada and NZ, stating that they are citizens of those countries, are deemed to have Functional English. This does not include, for example, UK passport holders who are Overseas British Nationals.
There are different health requirements for permanent and temporary visa applicants. In general, the objectives of the health criteria are to:
- Minimise public health and safety risks to the Australian community
- Contain public expenditure on health and community services
- Maintain access of Australian residents to health and community services
Visa applicants may be required to undergo a prescribed medical examination as part of the visa application process.
Visa applicants must meet the health criteria for the visa to be approved. In some instances, there is provision for a health waiver (for example partner and child visas, 482 TSS and 186 TRTS), which if exercised, means that the visa can be granted despite that fact that an applicant does not meet the health criteria.
Invitation to Apply
An Invitation to Apply is essential for applicants wishing to apply for a Skilled Migration visa (eg subclasses 189, 190 and 491) or a business visa (eg 188 or 132). To obtain an invitation, intending applicants must first submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect to demonstrate their ability to meet the requirements for the visa.
Labour Market Testing (LMT)
In most cases, LMT is required to be undertaken before a sponsor may lodge a 482 TSS or 494 nomination application.
LMT must be undertaken over at least 28 days within the 4 months immediately preceding lodgement of the nomination application.
LMT requirements are strict. Please see this link for further details: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/employing-and-sponsoring-someone/sponsoring-workers/nominating-a-position/labour-market-testing
Also referred to as Primary Applicant, is the person applying for the visa who will attempt to satisfy all criteria for the grant of the visa. To be read with definition for Secondary Applicant.
Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills (MLTSSL) List
The MLTSSL contains the occupations that can nominate for the following visa programs:
- 482 Medium Term stream
- 186 Direct Entry Stream
- 189 Skilled Independent
- 485 Graduate Work stream
The list can change at any time and without notice.
Please follow this link to view the MLTSSL having regard to the visa subclass https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/what-we-do/skilled-migration-program/what-we-do/legislative-instruments
Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA)
This is the regulatory body for registered Migration Agents in Australia.
OMARA maintains a register of professional migration agents in Australia.
Registered agents must adhere to a strict Code of Conduct.
Please click this link to be redirected to OMARA’s website
Ownership interest (business visas)
Ownership interest in relation to a business, means an interest in the business as:
- a shareholder in a company that carries on the business;
- a partner in a partnership that carries on the business; or
- the sole proprietor of the business including such an interest held indirectly through one or more interposed companies, partnerships or trusts.
For a number of visa pathways, applicants must meet a points test. These visas include:
- 189, 190 and 491 Skilled Migration visas
- Certain 188 business visa streams
There are a range of factors that are taken into account in determining whether a person meets the points test, including:
- English language skill level
- Studies completed
- Work experience
- Business and investment experience
Prohibited degree of relationship (partner visas)
A prohibited degree of relationship is a relationship between a person and his or her ancestor/descendent (ie, between a parent and a child or grandparent and a grandchild) or between a brother and a sister (full or half blood). This applies to natural and adoptive relationships.
Under the business and investment visa pathways, a qualifying business means an enterprise that:
- is operated for the purpose of making profit through the provision of goods, services or goods and services (not including rental property) to the public; and
- is not operated primarily or substantially for the purpose of speculative or passive investment.
Areas outside of the metropolitan cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are designated as regional areas for immigration purposes.
There are additional visa pathways where a position or business is located in regional Australia.
The designated areas that form part of the regional Australia can be found at https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia/regional-migration/eligible-regional-areas
Regional Certifying Body
This is relevant for the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494).
A regional certifying body is an organisation which has been approved by the Minister for Immigration to assess the annual market salary rate for the position, prior to the lodgement of the nomination application..
A list of these bodies may be found here https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/skilled-employer-sponsored-regional-494/regional-certifying-bodies
A family member, such as a partner (married, de facto or registered) or child of the Main or Primary Applicant.
At the time of the visa application, it is the general rule, that children must be less than 23 years of age, to be included in the application of the Primary Applicant.
Settled in Australia
A person is settled in Australia if they :
- have lived lawfully in Australia for a reasonable period (usually at least 2 years); and
- are an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
In certain circumstances, the Department may consider eligible persons as settled, if they have lived in Australia for a lesser period.
Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
The STSOL contains the occupations employers can nominate for the 482 Short Term stream.
The list can change at any time and without notice.
Please follow this link to view the STSOL having regard to the visa subclass https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/what-we-do/skilled-migration-program/what-we-do/legislative-instruments
Unless otherwise stated on this website, this term includes persons living in a married or de facto or same sex relationship with one partner. It also includes persons who have registered their relationships under one of the eligible Australian State or Territory Relationship Registers. Spouses have a commitment to a shared life as partners – whether or not they are legally married – to the exclusion of all others.
Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)
Unless an exception applies, the TSMIT is the minimum salary amount that must be paid to a worker for certain types of visas (for example the 482 TSS). It is set against current living costs in Australia to ensure that visa holders have sufficient income to independently provide for themselves in Australia.
The current TSMIT can be found at: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/regional-sponsor-migration-scheme-187/salary-requirements