Huge Changes for Student and Graduate English Language Requirements

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Significant changes to the English language requirement for Student and Temporary Graduate visa in Australia are set to take effect from 23rd March 2024. These changes aim to ensure that visa holders have sufficient English language proficiency to thrive in academic and professional settings. 

The Department’s recent communication to Education Providers in Australia outlined the following changes to the English language requirement for the Student and Temporary Graduate visa:

For Student Visas (subclass 500):

  • The minimum test score required for English proficiency is raised from IELTS 5.5 to IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent).
  • The minimum score required to undertake a packaged English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) increases from IELTS 4.5 to IELTS 5.0 (or equivalent).
  • Students enrolled in recognized university foundation or pathway programs that provide reputable English language training must achieve a score of IELTS 5.5 (or equivalent). 

For Temporary Graduate Visas (subclass 485):

  • The minimum required score for English proficiency rises from IELTS 6.0 to IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent), with a minimum score of 5.5 for each component of the test (reading, writing, speaking, and listening).
  • Passport holders from Hong Kong and British National Overseas (BNO) are exempt from the increased minimum English language requirement. Their settings remain at IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent), with a minimum score of 5.0 for each component of the test.
  • The validity window for English language test results will decrease from three years to one year for all Temporary Graduate visa applications. Applicants must provide evidence of the completion of an English language test no more than one year before the date of the visa application.

The changes aim to uphold the integrity of Australia’s visa system while facilitating the successful integration of international students and graduates into Australian society but many students in Australia will struggle to meet updated requirements.

If you are unsure of your visa situation or that of someone you know, contact Easy Migrate and speak to a member of our experienced team.