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Glossary of Australian Immigration Acronyms

Written By John Unger
Tue, Mar 21, 2017
John Unger

Australian Border Force
The operational enforcement arm of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Responsible for investigation, compliance and immigration detention operations.

Australian Standard Classification of Occupations
You may encounter this acronym when dealing with older applications. ASCO was superseded by ANZSCO in 2006. 

Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations
This document (access available on-line) was developed jointly by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Statistics New Zealand.  It provides a listing and description of occupations designed as a means of comparing Australian and New Zealand census and employment statistics with those of other countries.  The Australian immigration department has used the listing to identify occupations for the purposes of visa applications (see CSOL and SOL)

Bridging A visa (class WA subclass 010)
Australian immigration architecture has three different types of visa – temporary, permanent and bridging.  Temporary and permanent visas are ‘substantive’ visas.  A bridging visa is not a substantive visa.  When a person who holds a substantive visa (Visa 1) makes an application for another substantive visa (Visa 2), a Bridging A visa is granted.  The Bridging A visa remains inactive while Visa 1 is in effect.  If the processing of the application for Visa 2 is still ongoing when Visa 1 expires, the Bridging A visa will become active.  Its purpose is to allow the person to retain their lawful status in Australia and generally will provide the person with work rights similar to those provided by Visa 1.  It will generally remain in effect until a decision is taken on the application for Visa 2, but is extinguished if the person leaves Australia (see BVB).

Bridging B visa (class WB subclass 020)
As noted under BVA, a Bridging A visa is extinguished is a person leaves Australia.  If a person holding a BVA while they are waiting for a decision on a visa needs to travel overseas, they should apply for a Bridging B visa.  A BVB is similar to a BVA, but also contains a travel facility.  Note that the travel facility may be time limited. 

Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List
A list of ANZSCO occupations which can be sponsored for a 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visa, a 407 Training visa, an Employer Nomination visa, or for points-based skilled migration nominated by a State of Territory.  CSOL is revised periodically. (See ANZSCO and SOL).

Department of Immigration and Citizenship
Former name of the Australian immigration department.

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Employer Nomination Scheme
The ENS – or subclass 186 – visa permits employers to sponsor employees for permanent residency.  There are two ‘streams’. The Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream is specifically a pathway for an employee who has been sponsored for a 457 visa to transition to permanent residency.  A requirement is that the employee must have worked full-time for the employer for at least two years.  The second stream is the Direct Entry (DE) stream.  It requires the individual to provide a positive skills assessment and demonstrate at least 3 years’ work experience.  (See RSMS)

Electronic Travel Authority
The ETA – or subclass 601 – visa is a visa for tourists or business visitors.  It is available to the passport holders of a limited number of countries and is obtainable online against payment of a service charge of $20.

Business visitors holding an ETA can make general business or employment enquiries, investigate, negotiate, sign or review a business contract, carry out activities as part of an official government to government visit or participate in conferences, trade fairs or seminars as long as they are not being paid by the organisers.  They are not permitted to engage in work or provide services to a business or organisation in Australia. (See eVisitor)

eVisitor – or subclass 651 – visa
Similar to an ETA, but for a different range of nationalities (See ETA)

Labour Market Testing
457 visa sponsors must test the local labour market for some occupations to ensure that there is no suitably qualified and experienced Australian citizen or permanent resident or ‘eligible temporary visa holder’ readily available to fill the position they wish to nominate.

Market Salary Rates
457 visa sponsors must demonstrate that they will employ their nominee under equivalent (or better) terms and conditions as for an Australian employee.  Remuneration must be at or above the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) and be ‘at least equivalent’ to what an Australian in the same position receives, or would receive. (See TSMIT)

Permanent Residence / Permanent Residency

Regional Certifying Body
Specific organisations authorised by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection to advise the immigration department on RSMS applications.  An RCB ‘certifies’ an RSMS nomination as part of the RSMS application process. (See RSMS)

Resident Return visa
Visas for current or former Australian permanent residents and former Australian citizens who want to travel overseas and return to Australia as permanent residents.  Note:  Only Australian citizens have an automatic right of entry to Australia. All non-citizens need a visa that allows them to enter and remain in Australia.

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme
A visa similar to the ENS with more generous application criteria but only for businesses operating in designated regional areas (See ENS, RCB).

Skilled Occupation List
A sub-set of CSOL, it is a list of ANZSCO occupations relevant for people applying for independent points-based skilled migration, family sponsored points tested visas and the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa.  (See ANZSCO and CSOL).

Trades Recognition Australia
A skills assessment service provider specialising in assessments for people with trade skills gained overseas or in Australia, for the purpose of migration and skills recognition.

Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold
The TSMIT is a salary threshold used by the 457 program as an indicator that an occupation is skilled and to ensure that a visa holder has reasonable means of support whilst in Australia.
The TSMIT was implemented on 14 September 2009 to replace the Minimum Salary Level and is specified in a Legislative Instrument.  It is currently set at $53,900 (not including superannuation). It had been indexed annually, but it has not varied since it was set at $53,900 in July 2013. 

A skills assessing authority for a wide variety of professional, vocational and professional occupations.

Visa Entitlement Verification Online
A software system designed and operated by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection that allows individuals to check their work rights.  Registered organisations are also provided access to the system. 

The information above is of a general nature only. It relates to matters as of the date it was prepared. It is not intended as specific advice, and should not be relied on as a substitute for appropriate professional advice based on a thorough examination of a particular situation. If specific advice is required, please contact a registered migration agent at TSS Immigration. 

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