New English requirements have come into effect for the 457 Visa programme.
Now, applicants are only required to score 5.0 overall in an IELTS test, and can still pass the test even if one category scores a 4.5.
As you may be aware, IELTS is one of two accepted English testing authorities for migration purposes (the other is TESOL), and they assess English skill based on four categories: listening, reading, writing and speaking.
These changes should make it easier for skilled workers to come to Australia temporarily.
The other lowered English scores for the 457 Visa are as follows:
- OET – Occupational English Test: this is a test for medical and allied health professionals. A “B pass” is required for all 4 components of the OET; or
- TOEFL iBT: total band score of 36, with at least 3 in Listening and Reading and at least 12 in Speaking and Writing; or
- PTE Pearson Test of English (Academic): Average band score of 36, with minimum of 30 in each band; or
- CAE Cambridge English: Advanced: Average band score of 154, with minimum of 147 in each band.
Zeke Bentley, migration lawyer with The Migration Place, believes:
“These changes makes sense – the majority of skilled foreign workers coming over on 457 visas have extraordinary trade skills but limited formal written English skills. Given you do not need write English to tile, paint, plaster or fit electricals, it makes sense to relax these requirements.”