The Australian Government has implemented changes to the subclass 457 visa program to slightly relax the English language requirements for visa applicants.
What are the new requirements?
For visa applicants who do not meet the exceptions to the English language requirements, one of the following test scores must be shown:
- 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 components;
- An Occupational English Test (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 36 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;
- 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; or
- 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.
What are the exceptions to English language testing?
The following exceptions will now apply to requiring English language testing:
- If the nominated occupation does not need a level of English language proficiency for grant of registration, licence or membership, and:
- The visa applicant holds a passport holder from Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America; or
- The visa applicant has completed at least five years of full-time study in a secondary or higher education institution where instruction was conducted in English.
- The visa applicant is paid a salary that is more than the English language requirement exempt amount, which is currently $96,400.
Should you require specific advice regarding English language requirements for subclass 457 visa applicants, please contact Principal Lawyer, Rebecca Berkovic, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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