English Requirements for Australian Visas

Here is a list of the most commonly used Australian visas and their English requirements.

Level of English required for all Australian visas

Visa Type Level of English
482 TSS Visa
  • Medium and Long Term TSS Visa (482): IELTS 5 (no skill below 5) or equivalent
  • Short-Term TSS Visa (482) : IELTS overall 5 (no skill below 4.5) or equivalent
ENS 186 visa IELTS 6 in all skills or equivalent
RSMS 187 visa IELTS 6 in all skills or equivalent
Most Skilled Migration visas (189 visa, 190 visa and 491 visa and 494 visa)
Competent English (IELTS 6 or equivalent in all skills) 0
Proficient English (IELTS 7 or equivalent in all skills) 10
Superior English (IELTS 8 or equivalent in all skills) 20

Other Australian visas and their English requirements:

188A & 188B Business visas: There is no minimum English language requirement for the business migration subclasses. However, applicants with less than functional English will need to pay an English Language Charge before receiving their visas.

Points are available for:

  • Vocational English (5 minimum in each of the 4 components of IELTS or equivalent): 5 points
  • Proficient English (7 minimum in each of the 4 components of IELTS or equivalent): 10 points

Validity of English Tests

Tests conducted up to 3 years prior to lodgement of an application are accepted by the Department of Immigration.

Applications that need a functional English require testing to have been done at most 12 months before lodgement.

A summary of test score equivalencies for all English language tests accepted by the department is provided below.

English Language proficiency level IELTS TOEFL iBT PTE Academic OET Cambridge (CAE)
Vocational 5.5 Listening & Reading 4.0
Writing & Speaking 14
36 B 154
Competent 6.0 Listening: 12 Reading: 13
Writing: 21 Speaking: 18
50 B 169
Proficient (for points tested
Skilled visas)
7.0 Listening & Reading: 24
Writing: 27 Speaking: 23
65 B 185
Superior (for points tested
Skilled visas)
8.0 Listening: 28 Reading: 29
Writing: 30 Speaking: 26
79 A 200

Partner visa 820 (onshore) and subclass 309 (offshore): applicants with less than functional English (average 4.5 in IELTS or equivalent) will need to pay an English Language Charge before receiving their visa.

Related: English Test for Permanent Stage of Partner Visas

Work & Holiday

Competent English (IELTS 6 or equivalent)

For most skilled visas, you will need to show at least Competent English to meet the threshold criteria. If you hold a passport from one of the following 5 countries, you can establish competent English without completing an English test:

  1. Canada
  2. New Zealand
  3. United Kingdom
  4. United States
  5. Ireland
Covid-19 and at home language tests​

Some testing centres have tests that you can take at home, such as TOEFL iBT ​​–​ Special Home Edition, [email protected] and IELTS Indicator. DHA does not currently accept these tests.

​​Score Ranges​

English testing organisations will sometimes adjust their score ranges as new research and knowledge about English testing is developed. We consider these changes carefully before we make any adjustments to the scores required for our English Levels. Where it is decided that scores will change, a notice will be put on this website with information on how it may impact yo​u.

If you would like to find out more about the English language requirements or discuss your visa options further, please book an appointment.

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