Apr 30

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English language IELTS requirements for Australia General Skilled Migration Visas

Australian Department of Immigration and citizenship has fixed the English language norms keeping in mind a simple fact that Immigrants who are fluent in the English language will be able to find a job in the Australian economy soon. Not to mention, this will also help the new immigrants in social networking in a distant land. However, poor language skills can be devastating to the likelihood of their career success, even if they qualify through all the necessary requirements of the job.

Skill levels based on the IELTS score

Accordingly, Australia requires all prospective economic migrants to take an IELTS test. Speaking, reading, writing and listening are the four main components of this test, on the basis of which, the language skills of the applicants is evaluated. To be eligible to apply for one of the permanent General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa categories, the main applicant must have ‘competent’ English or ‘vocational’ English, if they nominate for a skilled trade occupation.

The Australian immigration regulations identify seven English skill levels after assessing the fluency and competence of the applicant in the Queen’s language under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas:

1. Proficient English – Applicants who score a minimum of 7 points in their IELTS test score in each of the 4 components of the test are honoured to be included in this skill level, which is the highest in the test score. The applicant of this level are awarded 25 points in the GSM points test.

2. Competent English – Applicant of this level are the ones who have an IELTS test score of at least 6 points on each of the 4 components of the test. They are granted 15 points in the GSM points test.

3. Concessional Competent English – This level comprise in the applicants with the average band score of 5.5 in their IELTS score. The applicant is given 15 points in the GSM points test, if they have applied for the Skilled – Regional Sponsored visa and has paid a fee to attend English language tuition in a participating State or Territory.

4. “Vocational” or “Better than functional” English – Applicants with an IELTS score of at least 5 points in each of the 4 components of the test are included in this level. The applicant gets 15 points in the GSM points test, if they nominate for a skilled trade occupation. This is the minimum English requirement for Skilled sponsored applicants and a requirement for the Employer nomination scheme.

5. Functional English – Applicants who obtain an IELTS average band score of at least 4.5 points is listed under this skill level. These applicants do not get any points in the GSM points test.

6. Limited English – An IELTS average band score of at least 4 based on the 4 test components causes the applicant to be included under this skill level and not get any points benefit in the GSM points test.

7. No English – Applicants listed in this level usually have very limited understanding of English language skills. These applicants are not given any points in the GSM points test.

An IELTS report is normally valid for two years only and the Australian Immigration regulations require that the applicants undergo a fresh test if his earlier test report has expired and is more than two years old.

It is important to note that some occupations have minimum prescribed IELTS score requirements and applicants must obtain that minimum score to be eligible to apply for visa for such a nominated occupation. Two of such most common occupations are Engineers and teachers.

While Engineers need to have a minimum band of 6 in each of the IELTS testing modules in general training test, the minimum requirement for teachers is a band of 7 in each of the IELTS testing modules in Academic training test. These two occupations also require the applicant to appear in and provide the IELTS result as a part of the immigration assessment process.

Visa Application Charge

Anyone who is 18 years or above and have less than ‘functional’ English and applied under the below mentioned visa classes, is required to pay a second instalment and any other charge due, before they are granted a visa. The visa officer will tell you when and how to pay.

  • – Skilled – Independent
  • – Skilled – Sponsored
  • – Skilled – Regional Sponsored
  • – Business skills
  • – Employer nomination (excluding religious workers)
  • – Labour agreement (excluding religious workers)
  • – Distinguished talent
  • – Former resident
  • – Former citizen
  • – Family of New Zealand citizen

It is thereby strongly recommended that the applicant take preparatory classes before appearing in an IELTS test.

Summary: IELTS test is an integral part of the Immigration process under the Australia General Skilled Migration Visa. This test is required for the principal applicant as well as spouse and adult dependents above 18 years of age, unless you are lucky to be included in the category of people who are exempted to appear for the IELTS test.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.immigration.net.in/2009/04/30/english-language-ielts-requirements-for-australia-general-skilled-migration-visas/


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  1. Gurpreet kaur

    i got ielts band 5,How can i apply Australia with / without spouse

    1. sanam

      Hello Gurpreet,

      Please note to qualify for Immigration you need minimum 6 in each component of IELTS.

  2. ajay

    which type of ielts is required for engineers, general or academic ielts please suggest me regrading..

    1. sanam

      Dear Ajay,

      Applicants are required to score minimum 6 in each of the component in either General or Academic modules of the IELTS.

  3. Simranjeet

    I got 5 band can i apply for master in Australia with spouse

    1. sanam

      Dear Simranjeet,

      Please note that “We are an Immigration Consultant and does not offer services for student visas, work permits or job placements for any country.”

  4. vipin

    IELTS SCORE 5.5 how I can apply AUS visa

    1. Immigration Experts

      Dear Vipin,
      Thanks for the comment. Can you send me updated CV (gourav@abhinav.com) After that our counselor will guide you.

  5. nishant majmudar

    I got overall 5.5 band In ielts general module but not less than 5 in individual. So can I go to canada/australia for any diploma course based on this result?
    I have done Mechanical Diploma from vadodara,india.
    Please revert.

    1. Immigration Experts

      Dear Nishant,
      Thanks for the comment. Can you send me updated CV (gourav@abhinav.com) After that our counselor will guide you.

  6. Gurpreet Singh

    I got 5 band in ielts
    L 5.5
    R 4.0
    S 5.0
    W 6.0
    can i apply for australia

    1. Immigration Experts

      Dear Gurpreet,
      Thanks for the comment. Can you send me updated CV (gourav@abhinav.com) After that our counselor will guide you.

  7. Veera


    I did my Btech in computer science and Engineering and since 4 years am working in one of the Top MNC company as software engineer .

    Am planning to write general IELTS to migrate to Australia . May i know maximum band score to aim in IELTS and also with in how many days i will be getting PA upon submitting my IELTS score.

    Thanks in advance.

  8. Mohamed

    Ielts 6.5
    Reading 8 listening 6 speaking 6 but writing 5.5
    Is there any exceptions for visa 190????

    1. sanam


      You need minimum 6 in each component to qualify for Immigration.

  9. Prince

    I got 6.5band in general .and did bsc nursing.and I have 2years works experience in govt sector and 2 years in private sector.so tell me please can I apply for Australian PR with spouse

  10. Soujanya

    I got ielts overall score 7 with 7,6.5,6.5,7 respectively.i am planning to apply for pr or some work visa in Australia.can you guide us how to proceed further.i have 4 yrs of IT experience on MNC.

    1. sanam

      Dear Soujanya,

      Please forward your detailed resume at sanam@abhinav.com and we shall guide you further.

  11. Bony

    Listening =7.0,
    Reading =7.5,
    Writing =6.0,
    Speaking =6.5,

    I am a BSC IT holder with more than 16 years experience and my IELTS results are given above. …
    is there any options for me to any countries

  12. sheema

    I have 5.5 in ielts. Can I apply for pr.

  13. paramjit kaur

    I want to about any age limit for applying for staff nurse PR fir Australia.
    Paramjit kaur

  14. Preet

    I got 6bands in general ielts. Can I apply for australia pr visa with spouse

    1. Immigration Experts

      Dear Preet,
      Thanks for your comment. Please forward me your updated CV to proceed further.

  15. harpreet kaur

    I got 6 band can i apply for master in australia with spouse

    1. Immigration Experts

      Dear Harpreet,
      Thanks for your comment. Please forward me your updated CV to proceed further.

  16. Bhavesh Patel

    I have Graduate Mechanical engineer and have got 5.5bands IELTS score,can i qualify for any permenant residency in Australia.Please reply

  17. kulwinder kaur

    staff nurse with ielts 5.5 band in general do i qualifie for any course in austrila

    1. sanam

      Dear Kulvinder,

      Please note that we are an Immigration consultants and do not assist in education visas.

  18. Yashika Arora

    I had given my ielts exam in november , but i didnt get that much marks, which i needed or as my agent guide me which was 7 in each. But recently, i heared, that some rules has been changed frm 5th january 2015. So may i knw how much band i required for PR in Australia. Plz guide me

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