If you are presently searching for study options in Australia, you must have come across that you will have to meet certain English language requirements to procure a student visa. If you need the correct answers to all your queries, or you simply need detailed information on this topic, read this post that answers a few of the common questions.

Is It Mandatory to Meet English Language Requirements?

Most of the students have to meet English language requirements to have a successful entry into their preferred course and get an Australian student visa.

Students would exempt from offering evidence of the English language with their visa application if they belong to one of the below-mentioned categories:

  • Passport holders and citizens of the USA, UK, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, and Canada
  • Students that have completed a minimum of five years of study in New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, Australia, and the Republic of Ireland
  • Students who have enrolled in a full-time principal course (including the secondary exchange programs), a standalone ELICOS course, and a postgraduate research program
  • Students that have successfully finished the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education or higher degree in Australia in two years of applying a student visa or study at Certificate IV level
  • Defense or Foreign Affairs sponsored students
  • If you don’t belong to any of these categories then you need to submit evidence of English language proficiency. This evidence must be in the form of English language test scores or Confirmation of Enrolment.

What Different English Language Tests are accepted for the Australian Visa?

In order to get a student visa, you have to pass any one of the five English language tests.

IELTS – International English Language Testing System

TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language

PTE – Pearson Test of English Academic

CAE – Cambridge English

OET – Occupational English Test

What is the Minimum Test Score Required for English Language Tests?

The minimum score for English language test varies. Hence, it is important that you meet the minimum score requirements in order to get successfully an Australian student visa.

  • TOEFL iBT – The minimum test score is 46. The minimum test score where combined with at least 10 weeks ELICOS is 35. The minimum test score where combined with minimum 20 weeks ELICOS is 32.
  • IELTS – The minimum required test score is 5.5. The minimum test score where combined with at least 20 weeks ELICOS is 4.5 and minimum test score where combined with at least 10 weeks is 5.
  • PTE – The minimum test score required is 42. The minimum test score where combined with at least 20 weeks ELICOS is 30.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced Certificate in Advanced English – The minimum test score required is 162. The minimum test score where combined with at least 20 weeks ELICOS is 147. The minimum test score where combined with at least 10 weeks ELICOS is 154.
  • OET – The minimum test score is ‘B’ for each test component.

Are there any Important Considerations to English Language Requirement for Australian Visa?

Yes, there are a few important key considerations that you must know in context to English language requirements.

  1. The English language score is valid only for 3 years. Hence, the primary applicant must have a score in one of the five accepted tests, which is ‘valid for 3 years at the time of invitation.’ If you are unable to do so, your application will be rejected. If you pass the English language test after the invitation then the application is invalid. The basic requirement is to have ‘competent English.’
  2. The requirement for a secondary applicant is that they must have ‘functional English.’ But this needs to be through one of the following measures:
  • An English test not more than ’12 months old at the time of invitation.
  • Letter from the college stating the tertiary education or degree was in English or a letter from school confirming 5 years of education was in English.
  • Pay the Second visa application fee if none of the above, of AUD 4890
  1. Note, if the primary applicant is claiming 5 partner points then the requirement of the secondary applicant is competent English and not functional English. The requirement mentioned in point (b) above is in context to this requirement. For instance, if a secondary applicant is to offer 5 points to the primary applicant and has done positive skills assessment, then he/she must have competent English score in the last 3 years. However, he/she will not meet the requirement (b) which is meeting the English requirement of a secondary applicant in the last 12 months.

Will Recent Changes to the Student Visa Affect English Language Evidentiary Requirements?

A novel simplified student visa framework was implemented in the country in July 2016. The alterations include the introduction of a new immigration risk framework that determines the sum of evidence a student requires to supply with the application.

The students assessed at the lowest immigration risk level, based on their citizenship and Australian education provider, are eligible for streamlined evidentiary needs. This implies that they are able to meet the English language requirements for a student visa by offering COE or Confirmation of Enrolment, as it is identified that the English language criteria for their course are equal to or higher than those needed for a student visa. For students who are assessed at a higher immigration risk level will still need to offer evidence of English language proficiency through a certified test score.