New English Language Requirements

New English Language Requirements

The Australian Government has made changes to English Language Requirements for Student and Temporary Graduate visas.

This change was announced as part of the Australian Government’s Migration Strategy released on 11 December 2023 and applies to all Student and Temporary Graduate visa applications lodged on or after 23 March 2024.

The Migration Strategy outlined how the English language reforms for student visas will support international students to have a positive educational experience in Australia, and prepare them for the skilled workforce should they wish to apply for a graduate visa post study.

Temporary Graduate visa (TGV)

  • The minimum score required for a TGV from IELTS test score increases from 6.0 to 6.5 (or equivalent), with a minimum score of 5.5 for each component of the test (reading, writing, speaking and listening).
  • The test validity window for a TGV decreases from 3 years to 1 year. TGV applicants now need to provide evidence that they have completed an English Language test within 1 year immediately before the date of the visa application.

Student visa

  • The minimum score required for a Student visa from an IELTS test score increases from 5.5 to 6 (or its equivalent).
  • The minimum score required to undertake a packaged ELICOS from IELTS increases from 4.5 to 5.0.
  • For students studying English only through ELICOS, there will be no change.
  • The test score required for students undertaking university foundation or pathway programs that deliver reputable English language training will be IELTS 5.5 (or equivalent).

Increasing English language requirements for students undertaking VET and higher education courses requires a similar increase in score for those taking packaged ELICOS courses. This ensures that students can transition successfully into their main course, with the appropriate level of English.

English Test Comparison

IELTS PTE Cambridge
Student visa requirement Overall 6.0 50 169
Temporary Graduate visa requirement Overall 6.5 57 176
Listening 5.5 43 162
Reading 5.5 48 162
Writing 5.5 51 162
Speaking 5.5 42 162

For more information on changes to the English Language requirements for a student, see Meet English language requirements.

Source: New English Language Requirements

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