Applicants for a number of visas are to be given more choice in English language testing. Even if you have a passport that exempts you from English language testing (UK, USA, Canada, Ireland or New Zealand) you may want to have an English test for additional points towards a points based skilled employment visa!

From November 2014, people applying for Temporary Graduate, Skilled, Work and Holiday and Former Resident visas will be able to provide the department with a test score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) or the Pearson Test of English Academic. These tests are in addition to the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Occupational English Test (OET) currently used.

A final implementation date in November will be published on the Immigration department’s website later this year. Scores from these additional tests will be benchmarked against the IELTS equivalency. A list of the visa subclasses accepting scores from the alternative tests and a summary of test score equivalencies is available on the Department’s website here.

The department will also be able to accept scores from the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test from early 2015, and later in the year further details will be published. Scores from a Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test taken before the 2015 implementation date will not be accepted by the department.

It is not currently known if applicants for the 457 visa will be able to provide the Department with scores from these alternative tests, because the subclass 457 programme is being independently reviewed. The review is expected to report to government by mid-2014.

Contact Putt Legal for more information.


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