English Language Requirements

Permanent Visas – English language requirements

For most Permanent Residency visas, applicants need to demonstrate their level of English language ability. The level of an applicant’s English language ability is commonly assessed using the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The IELTS test measures an applicant’s ability to communicate across all four language skills:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking

The Listening, Reading and Writing components of the test take approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete and the speaking component takes approximately 20 minutes to complete

There are two different IELTS tests that an applicant is able to take:

  • Academic
  • General Training

Due to the points allocated to English language ability in the migration points assessment, training for your IELTS test is one of the most effective ways to improve your points score and give your EOI the best chance of invitation.

Other accepted English language tests

Although the IELTS test is still the most commonly used, the DIBP now accept test results from the following institutions:

Subclass 457 Visa English requirements

Applicants must demonstrate that they have achieved a score of at least 4.5 in all four bands of the IELTS test and at least 5.0 overall, unless they meet one or more of the following exemptions:

  • They hold a passport from an exempt country: UK, Ireland, New Zealand, USA or Canada
  • They can demonstrate that they have at least 5 years of tertiary education in which the instruction was delivered entirely in English

Due to the time-constraints involved in visa applications it is advised that applicants establish their English Language requirements as soon as possible.


If you need assistance with arranging an IELTS test or require assistance with increasing your English language ability please contact one of our team.


Related pages:
SkillSelect & EOI
General Skilled Migration
Skilled Migration points assessment
189 visa
190 visa
489 visa