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Definitions

The definitions on this page are in reference to Family Stream Migration, including visa Subclasses: 100, 101, 102, 103, 110, 114, 115, 116, 117, 143, 173, 300, 309, 310, 445, 801, 802, 804, 814, 820, 826, 835, 836, 837, 838, 864 and 884.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

Adoption compliance certificate

A certificate issued by a competent authority in the country in which an adoption takes place stating that the adoption is made in accordance with the Adoption Convention or an intercountry adoption agreement with a country prescribed for that purpose in the Family Law Act 1975.

Aged parent

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

Applicant(s)

The person (or persons) applying for a visa.

Assurance of Support (AoS)

A commitment to provide financial assistance to the applicant and their accompanying family members so they do not need to rely on any government forms of support for the duration of the AoS period and repay any recoverable social security payments made to the applicant or their accompanying family members during this period.
See: Fact sheet 34 - Assurance of Support

Australian mission

An Australian Embassy, High Commission, Consulate or Consulate-General or Australian Trade Commission.

Australian permanent resident

A non-citizen who, being usually resident in Australia, is the holder of a permanent visa.

Australian relative

An Australian relative must be:

  • your partner, child, parent, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew (or step-equivalent)
  • an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • usually resident in Australia.

B

Bridging visa

A Bridging visa is a temporary visa that allows you to remain lawfully in Australia for various reasons, such as while you are awaiting the outcome of your substantive visa application.

C

Carer

A person willing and able to give substantial, continuing and direct assistance to an Australian relative (or member of their family unit) who has a medical condition that impairs their ability to attend to the practical aspects of daily life.

Centrelink

Centrelink is the government department responsible for delivering social security payments and related services in Australia. More information about Centrelink and its services is available at the nearest Centrelink office in Australia or online.
See: www.centrelink.gov.au

Child

A child must be:

  • a natural (biological) child of the Australian parent; or
  • an adopted child or a stepchild of the Australian parent within the meaning of the Migration Act 1958; or
  • a child conceived through an artificial conception procedure (ACP) as provided for in the Family Law Act 1975; or
  • a child  born under surrogacy arrangements, where parentage has been transferred by court order under a prescribed State or Territory law.

Close relative

A close relative is your partner, child, parent, brother, sister, stepchild, step-parent, stepbrother or stepsister.

Complete application

An application that provides all information necessary for processing, including evidence of your relationship, completed health and character checks (if applicable) and other necessary documents.

D

De facto partner

A person is the de facto partner of another person (whether of the same sex or a different 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
  • 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.

De jure

Legally married.

Department

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Dependant

A person who is dependent on another person. (See 'dependent')

Dependent

A person is dependent on another person if, at the time of application lodgement, the first person has been wholly or substantially reliant on the other person for financial support to meet their basic needs (food, clothing and shelter):

  • for a substantial period immediately before that time and that reliance on the other person is greater than any reliance by the first person on any other person; or
  • due to the first person being incapacitated for work due to the total or partial loss of the first person's bodily or mental functions.

Dependent child

A child or stepchild, who has not turned 18 years of age, or, if aged 18 years or over, is a dependant. A dependent child must not have a partner or be engaged to be married.

DNA

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) is the genetic material present in every cell of the body. For example, it is in blood, saliva, skin and hair. A comparison of genetic material from two or more people can show whether they are biologically related to each other.

E

Eligible New Zealand Citizen

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, or
  • 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 for these certificates on 26 Februrary 2004).

F

Family head

The family head is generally the person who is most likely to meet the primary legal criteria for the grant of the visa.

Fiancé relationship

A relationship where a couple is engaged to be married or betrothed. In the context of partner migration, the term fiancé is used to mean a man and a woman who intend to marry each other.

G

Guardian

In relation to a child, means a person who:

  • has responsibility for the long-term welfare of the child
    and
  • has, in relation to the child, all the powers, rights and duties that are vested by law or custom in the guardian of a child, other than:
    1. the right to have the daily care and control of the child
      and
    2. the right and responsibility to make decisions concerning the daily care and control of the child.

H

Hague Convention

The Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption signed at the Hague on 29 May 1993.

I

Immediate family

Your partner and dependent children.

Interdependent partner

A partner who is mutually dependent on you. This is usually a same-sex partner.

Note: This definition only applies to applications and applicants who applied for a visa prior to 1 July 2009.

Interdependent relationship

A relationship in which a couple have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others. The relationship between them is genuine and continuing, and they live together, or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis. This is usually a same-sex partner relationship.

Note: This definition only applies to applications and applicants who applied for a visa prior to 1 July 2009.

L

Lawful non-citizen

A non-citizen who holds a valid visa.

Long-term partner relationship

A spouse or de facto relationship that has continued for three years or more; or two years or more if you have a dependent child (other than a stepchild) of the relationship.

M

Married relationship

The definition for married relationship is covered by the definition of 'spouse'.

Member of the family unit

This is generally a partner or dependent child of the family head. It may also include single (unmarried, widowed, separated or divorced) relatives who reside with, and are dependent on, the family head.

Migrate

If applying from outside Australia, the applicant will be applying to migrate. If applying in Australia, the applicant will be applying for permanent residence. In these web pages, the term 'migrate' will generally cover both.

N

Near relative

A person who is your or your partner's parent, brother, sister, adult child or non-dependent minor child (or step equivalents of these relationships).

Notice of intended marriage (NOIM)

A Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) that is completed by a couple who intend to marry in Australia.

Non-dependent minor child

A child who has not turned 18 and is not wholly or substantially in the daily care and control of the applicant or of the applicant's partner.

Not related by family

You must not be related by family. This means you and your sponsor must not:

  • be an ancestor or descendant of one another
  • have a parent in common.

Related by family includes relationships traced through an adoptive parent, and for this purpose, also includes any adoption that may have been declared void or has ceased to have effect.

O

Office of the department

A regional office of the department in Australia.

P

Parent

Parent includes:

  • a natural (biological) parent
  • an adoptive parent
  • a step-parent
  • the parent of a child conceived through an artificial conception procedure
  • the parent of a child born under surrogacy arrangements, where parentage has been transferred by court order under a prescribed State or Territory law.

Note: for the purposes of migration law, formal adoption of a child has the effect of severing the legal relationship between that child and the child’s biological parent/s.

Partner

A partner is your spouse or de facto partner (including same-sex partners).

Partner category visa

A Prospective Marriage or Partner visa.

Permanent resident

A non-citizen, being usually resident in Australia, who is the holder of a permanent visa.

Permanent visa

A visa permitting a person to remain indefinitely in Australia.

Provisional visa

A temporary visa allowing a person to enter and remain in Australia until a decision is made on the permanent visa application.

Prospective adoptive parent

A person who:

  • has been approved by an Australian state or territory adoption authority as a suitable person to adopt the child and who intends to bring the child to Australia under the supervision of that authority - in this case, adoption will be completed in Australia, or
  • has been allocated the child for adoption under the provision of the Hague Convention or the Australia/China Adoption Agreement.

R

Recent passport-size

A 45mm x 35mm photograph taken within the past six months. This should be of the head and shoulders only, and should show the person facing the camera and against a plain background. You should print the name of the person on the back of each photograph.

Registrable offence

In relation to the sponsorship limitation for child and partner visas, means any of the following:

  1. an offence that is a registrable offence within the meaning of any of the following Acts:
    1. the Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act 2000 (NSW)
    2. the Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004 (Vic.)
    3. the Child Sex Offenders Registration Act 2006 (SA)
    4. the Crimes (Child Sex Offenders) Act 2005 (ACT)
  2. an offence that would be a registrable offence under paragraph 1 if it were committed in a jurisdiction mentioned in that paragraph
  3. an offence that is a reportable offence within the meaning of any of the following Acts:
    1. the Child Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004 (Qld)
    2. the Community Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004 (WA)
    3. the Community Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2005 (Tas.)
    4. the Child Protection (Offender Reporting and Registration) Act (NT)
  4. an offence that would be a reportable offence under paragraph 3 if it were committed in a jurisdiction mentioned in that paragraph.

Remaining relative

Someone who is the brother, sister or child (or step-relative or adopted relative to the same degree) of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, and who, together with their partner (if any) have no near relatives other than those who are usually resident in Australia and are Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens.

Relative

A close relative or a grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or step equivalent. (See 'close relative')

S

Second-stage processing

In the context of partner migration: usually two years after the application for a partner visa was made, persons who are holders of a temporary Partner, Spouse or Interdependency visa are assessed as to whether they continue to meet all the requirements for the grant of a permanent Partner, Spouse or Interdependency visa.

Settled

A person is considered settled if they are an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen who is lawfully resident in Australia for a reasonable period. In normal circumstances, two years is considered to be a reasonable period. For Australian citizens this period may be reduced to at least three months.

Sponsor

The sponsor is generally the Australian relative who undertakes sponsorship obligations. For permanent visa applicants, the sponsor generally undertakes to provide support to the applicant and any accompanying family members during their first two years of residence in Australia, including accommodation and financial assistance to meet living costs, as required.

Spouse

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.

State/territory adoption authority

An Australian State or Territory Government agency responsible for managing the arrangements for adopting children from overseas, including assessing and approving prospective adoptive parents.

Stepchild

In relation to a parent, means either of the following:

  1. A person who is not the child of the parent but who is the child of the parent's current partner, or
  2. A person who is not the child of the parent but:
    1. who is the child of the parent's former partner, and
    2. who has not turned 18, and
    3. in relation to whom the parent has:
      1. a parenting order in force under the Family Law Act 1975 under which the parent is the person with whom a child is to live with, or who is to be responsible for the child’s long-term or day-to-day care, welfare and development; or
      2. guardianship or custody, whether jointly or otherwise, under a Commonwealth, State or Territory law or a law in force in a foreign country.

Substantive visa

Any visa other than a bridging visa or a Criminal Justice visa.

T

Temporary visa

A visa permitting a person to remain temporarily in Australia.

U

Usually resident

The place that a person is 'usually resident' is decided taking into account their physical residence (where the person eats, sleeps, has a home) and the person's intention to make that place their home.

V

Visa

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

Last modified Wednesday 27 August 2014