Various Australian visas have English language requirements. Not surprisingly, visa applications under the skilled migration program, including the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) (Subclass 482) visa are affected by these requirements.
What are the English requirements for primary applicants?
Unless exempt from English testing requirements, a primary applicant must provide evidence of their English language proficiency at a prescribed level with one of the 5 testing bodies.
Each testing body has differing methodologies and scoring systems, and the minimum requirements depending on whether the applicant is nominated under an occupation in the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) or the Medium to Long Term Skilled Shortage List (MLTSSL). There are slightly more onerous requirements for those applying for an occupation under the MLTSSL.
As summary of the requirements is set out in the table below:
|An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall test score of at least 5.0 with a score of at least 4.5 in each of the four test component.
|IELTS overall band score of at least 5.0 with a score of at least 5 in each of the test components.
|An Occupational English Test (OET) score of at least “B” in each of the four components.
|OET score of at least ‘B’ in each of the four components.
|A Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) total score of at least 35 with a score of at least 3 for each of the test components of listening and reading, and a score of at least 12 for each of the test components of writing and speaking.
|TOEFL iBT total score of at least 35 with a score of at least 4 for each of the test components of listening and reading, and a score of at least 14 for each of the test components of speaking and writing.
|A Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic overall test score of at least 36 with a score of at least 30 in each of the four test components
|PTE Academic overall test score of at least 36 in each of the test components.
|A Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) overall test score of at least 154 with a score of at least 147 in each of the four test components.
|CAE overall test score of at least 154 with a score of at least 154 in each of the test components.
The scores must have been achieved within 3 years of the valid visa application lodgement date.
Which test you use is a matter of preference. We encourage you to review the testing methods above by clicking the links above to see what you are most comfortable with.
Are there any exemptions to the English language requirements?
Fortunately, the relevant legislative instrument provides exemptions to the above requirements. These exemptions are set out in the below table:
|Primary applicants who are a citizen of, and hold a valid passport issued by, one of the following countries: United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland.
|A copy of the relevant passport is sufficient.
Primary applicants who have completed at least five years of full-time study in a secondary and/or higher education institution where the instruction was delivered in English. Note: Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses are considered part of higher education for the purposes of the TSS program.
Applicant should provide a letter from the relevant education institution containing the following information:
|Primary applicants who (1) are nominated in an occupation that requires them to hold registration, licence or membership; (2) have been granted the required registration, licence or membership; and (3) were required to demonstrate a level of English language competency equivalent to, or better than, the level of English language proficiency that is required under the TSS program, in order to be granted the required registration, licence or membership.
A link to the page of the registration authority where this information is publicly available (such as via the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency [AHPRA] website) or a copy of the registration certificate.
|Applicants who are an employee of an overseas business who is coming to Australia to work for that company or their associated entity; and have a nominated annual earnings of at least AUD$96,400.
|An employment contract and evidence of the associated entity status (e.g. a letter from the parent company).
If you have any questions about English requirements for your TSS visa, or require information about English requirements for other visa categories, feel free to contact us by email at [email protected] or phone +61 3 9016 0484.