Australia Migration, Immigration Australia, Migrating to Australia
Username:

Password:



Forgotten Password
Free Registration for Assistance | About Us | Contact us | Sitemap | Secure Client Log in
More info about Immigration Australia, Visa Australia

A Migration Lawyer is available

to assist you - Register now


Registered to Provide Migration Advice

English Language Requirements

for skilled visa applications

Requirements to evidence English Language abilities

If you are applying for Skilled Migration, you will need to prove your English language ability. The required level of English depends on the visa subclass you are applying for and there are 4 different levels of English which may be relevant:
  • Superior English: 20 points in GSM points test
  • Proficient English: 10 points in GSM points test
  • Competent English: threshold requirement for General Skilled Migration, Graduate Temporary Subclass 485 visa and ENS/RSMS Direct Entry
  • Vocational English: threshold requirement for 457 Skilled Worker (Temporary) and ENS/RSMS Temporary Residence Transition Stream
  • Functional English: for secondary applicants seeking to avoid paying the English Language Charge
Timing of English Test The timing of the English language requirement depends on the type of visa being applied for:
  • General Skilled Migration: time of invitation
  • RSMS and ENS visas: time of application
  • Skilled Worker (Temporary) Subclass 457: evidence of English can be provided after lodgement.
As it can take some time to obtain a booking for a test and to receive the results, you may wish to plan to take the English test well ahead of time. Validity of English Tests
  • Tests conducted up to 3 years prior to lodgement of an application will be accepted by the Department of Immigration.
  • The only exception to this is for functional English - this requires testing to have been done at most 12 months before lodgement.
Acceptable English Tests
  1. The IELTS test is the most common way of evidencing English language ability. Either the Academic or General Training versions of the test are acceptable to the Department of Immigration, but some skills assessing authorities require applicants to sit the Academic version. You will need to obtain a minimum score in each band of the IELTS (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking) in a single sitting.
  2. The Occupational English Test (OET) is also accepted as evidence of proficient and superior levels of English. The OET is only appropriate for medical and allied health professionals.
  3. The Pearson Academic Test of English (Pearson PTE) and TOEFL Internet Based Test (TOEFL iBT) are now accepted for all skilled subclasses, apart from 457 visas. Most state and territory governments also recognise these tests, as do some skills assessment authorities.
  4. The Cambridge Test of English is also accepted from January 2015.

Vocational English

Vocational English is the required level to obtain a 457 visa, and also ENS and RSMS visa through the Temporary Residence Transitional stream for people who have held a 457 visa for 2 years with the employer.

Required scores to establish Vocational English are as follows:

Listening

Reading

Writing

Speaking

IELTS

5

5

5

5

TOEFL iBT

4

4

14

14

PTE Academic

36

36

36

36

OET

B

B

B

B

Cambridge (CAE)

154

154

154

154

Competent English

For most skilled visas, you will need to show at least Competent English to meet the threshold criteria. If you hold a passport from one of the following 5 countries, you can establish competent English without completing an English test:

  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Ireland

Otherwise, you would need to complete a recognised English language test and obtain the following score:

Listening

Reading

Writing

Speaking

IELTS

6

6

6

6

TOEFL iBT

12

13

21

18

PTE Academic

50

50

50

50

OET

B

B

B

B

Cambridge (CAE)

169

169

169

169

Competent English gives you 0 points in the Skilled Migration Points Test, but is an essential requirement to be able to lodge a skilled visa.

Proficient English

If you demonstrate proficient English, this will give you 10 points for English language ability.

Even native English speakers must undertake English language testing to obtain points for proficient English or higher.

Scores required for Proficient English are:

Listening

Reading

Writing

Speaking

IELTS

7

7

7

7

TOEFL iBT

24

24

27

23

PTE Academic

65

65

65

65

OET

B

B

B

B

Cambridge (CAE)

185

185

185

185

Superior English

If you demonstrate Superior English, this will give the maximum of 20 points for English language ability. Minimum scores for Superior English are:

Listening

Reading

Writing

Speaking

IELTS

8

8

8

8

TOEFL iBT

28

29

30

26

PTE Academic

79

79

79

79

OET

A

A

A

A

Cambridge (CAE)

200

200

200

200

Functional English

If your spouse or partner has less than functional English, then you would need to pay the "English Education Charge" to cover English language tuition in applying for skilled migration.

You can show you have functional English ability by providing evidence of one of the following:

1. Completion of a degree, higher degree, diploma or trade certificate that required at least 2 years of study in English medium

2. Completion of all years of primary education and at least 3 years of secondary education in English medium; or

3. Completion of at least 5 years of secondary education in English medium; or

4. Scoring at least 4.5 averaged over the four components of the IELTS test within the 12 months before application, or during processing; or

5. Completion in Australia of at least 1 year of full-time study or equivalent part-time study towards a degree, higher degree, diploma, or associate diploma in English medium.

6. In some circumstances, functional English can be established via interview

You can also demonstrate functional English by completing an English test and scoring as follows:

Test component

Average across test components only

IELTS

4.5

TOEFL iBT

32

PTE Academic

30

OET

n/a

Cambridge (CAE)

147

 

To prove that you have functional English you must provide evidence of one of the following:

As a dependent (over 18) on a visa application, you have to meet the functional English criteria to avoid the English loading fee of $ 4885

  • You are the holder of a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, or the Republic of Ireland and you are a citizen of that country.
  • An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test result of an average band score of at least 4.5 based on the four test components of speaking, reading, listening and writing. Your test must have been completed within 12 months of visa application lodgement or can be completed during visa application processing.
  • A Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT) test result of a total band score of at least 32 based on the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening. Your test must have been completed within 12 months of visa application lodgement or can be completed during visa application processing.
  • A Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic test result of an overall band score of at least 30 based on the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening. Your test must have been completed within 12 months of visa application lodgement or can be completed during visa application processing.
  • A Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test result of an overall band score of at least 147 based on the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening and the test must have been taken on or after 1 January 2015. Your test must have been completed within 12 months of visa application lodgement or can be completed during visa application processing.
Username:

Password:



Forgotten Password