English language IELTS requirements for Australia General Skilled Migration Visas

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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.



November 28, 2015 at 2:33 am

I am an early childhood educator and having masters in English literature. My work experience is 5 years. I did not achieve 6 band in each area..my band is over all 5.5 ,do I am eligible for skilled worker.


November 25, 2015 at 12:34 pm

hi i am spouse i want to know how much band i require in Ielts for AUSTRALIAN IMMIGRATION.


November 24, 2015 at 11:15 am

How is the job market for automobile service for exp graduate engineer in Australia


November 10, 2015 at 8:11 am

How many bands are required to apply for Australia????

    Immigration Experts

    November 14, 2015 at 5:01 am

    Hello Fatima,

    Minimum 6.5 bands are required for Australia.

mandeep kaur

November 9, 2015 at 8:34 am

Respected sir/madam ,
i had done bsc with math, eco. ,after that i had done pgdca and msc(it) .i have expericene of 4 years in IT .now i want to confirm that is there any option for me by which i can apply for PR in australia plz reply me as soon as possible .
Thanks Sir.

    Immigration Experts

    November 14, 2015 at 5:15 am

    Dear Mam,

    Please send your updated CV for review at mustaqali@abhinav.com if you are eligible than our immigration experts will get in touch with you.

Ateeque shaikh

November 8, 2015 at 10:29 am

I am aautomobile technician i want to go Australia so what should I do for this process

    Immigration Experts

    November 14, 2015 at 5:35 am

    Thanks for your valuable reply. First, you have to send your updated CV at mustaqali@abhinav.com, if you are eligible than our consular contact with you and give you the all information about the process.


November 2, 2015 at 10:04 am

i am M.A B.ed working as an high school teacher in on of the corporate school in India now i am looking for Pr Australia for teaching. can you suggest me that I am eligible or not and what are the requirements. now i am preparing for ielts. should i go for general or academic module to satisfy the needs for application on skilled occupation list

    Immigration Experts

    November 4, 2015 at 6:27 am

    Hello Vidya,

    Thanks for your comment. Can you please send us updated resume of self and spouse(if married) at mustaqali@abhinav.com for further guidance.


October 28, 2015 at 6:07 am


What is the band score required for second applicant ?

    Immigration Experts

    October 28, 2015 at 6:28 am

    Hello Manyika,

    All over 4 bands is required for second applicant.

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