Understanding the New English Language Requirements for Australian Student and Temporary Graduate Visas

As an international student or temporary graduate in Australia, it’s crucial to stay abreast of the latest visa requirements—especially when they can significantly impact your educational and residency goals. The landscape for international students in Australia has changed with new English language requirements for Student visas and post study graduate visas has taken effect from the 23rd of March, 2024. As the leading migration agency and your ally in this journey, as CEO and lead migration strategist, I want to break down what these changes mean for your journey down under.

Tightened English Proficiency for a Smoother Transition

The revised standards are part of a broader Australian Government Migration Strategy aimed at enhancing the educational experience for international students and equipping them for the skilled workforce. Notably, the minimum IELTS score for a Temporary Graduate visa (TGV) has increased from 6.0 to 6.5, with a consistent minimum of 5.5 across all components. Additionally, the validity of English test results for TGV applications has been reduced from three years to just one.

See table below for updated changes for Temporary Graduate visas lodged post 23rd March 2024

Test Score
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Overall score of at least 6.5 with a minimum score of 5.5 for each of the 4 parts
Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT) Total score of at least 83 with a minimum score of: 7 for listening, 8 for reading, 18 for writing, and 16 for speaking. (Note: TOEFL iBT is only accepted if taken on or before 25 July 2023)
Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) Overall score of at least 57 with a minimum score of: 43 for listening, 48 for reading, 42 for speaking, and 51 for writing.
Occupational English Test (OET) At least B for each of the 4 parts
Cambridge C1 Advanced test Overall at least 176 with a minimum score of at least 162 in each of the 4 test components

(Note: The information provided in this table should be cross-checked with the latest official requirements before any visa application is submitted.)

Student Visas: Elevating Standards

For Student visas, the required IELTS score has seen a hike from 5.5 to 6. However, students dedicated to English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) remain unaffected. The revised score for university foundation or pathway programs now stands at IELTS 5.5, ensuring students are well-prepared to transition to their main course of study. And it is crucial to know that your English language proficiency test results must be recent. To comply with the new regulations for your Student visa application, you must have completed an approved English language test within:

  1. The 2 years prior to the date your visa application is lodged, or
  2. The 2 years before a decision is made on your visa application, in instances where evidence of the English language test was not provided at the time of lodging the application.

Below is the updated table detailing the minimum English test scores required for different educational pathways:

English Language Test Providers Minimum Test Score Minimum Score with 10 Weeks of ELICOS/ Foundation Standard Program Minimum Score with 20 Weeks ELICOS/ Foundation Extended Program
IELTS 6.0 5.5 5.0
TOEFL iBT 64 46 35
Cambridge English: Advanced 169 162 154
PTE Academic 50 42 36
OET B for each component B for each component B for each component

(Table reflects the specific requirements as of the changes effective from 23 March 2024.)

Expert Guidance at Your Disposal

At Education and Migration Services Australia, we are experts in helping our clients gain residency in Australia. With 15 years of empowering international students and skilled migrants, our team is poised to navigate these changes with you. Whether it’s course enrolment or visa application, our expertise lies in crafting your pathway to Australian residency.

Don’t let these changes become a stumbling block. Book a meeting with our team today, and let’s strategise your successful journey in Australia.