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  • Writer's pictureElan Rysher

Higher English Requirements for Student and Temporary Graduate Visas Announced

The Department of Home Affairs has informed Australian Education Providers of changes to the English language requirements for Student (subclass 500) and Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visas. These changes are expected apply to visa applications lodged on or after 23 March 2024.

Student Visas (subclass 500)

->The minimum English test score will increase from an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 5.5 to 6.0 (or equivalent score in other tests, such as Pearson PTE).

->The minimum score to undertake a packaged English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) will increase from an IELTS score of 4.5 to 5.0 (or equivalent).

->Students undertaking recognised university foundation or pathway programs that deliver reputable English language training will require a score of IELTS 5.5 (or equivalent). These recognised courses will be listed on the Department’s website.

->For students studying English only through ELICOS, there will be no change.

Temporary Graduate Visas (Subclass 485)

->The minimum score required will increase from an IELTS score of 6.0 to 6.5 (or equivalent), with a minimum score of 5.5 for each component of the test (reading, writing, speaking, and listening).

->The test validity window for all Temporary Graduate visa applications will decrease from three years to one year. Applicants must provide evidence that they have completed an English language test no more than one year immediately before the date of the visa application.

->Passport holders from Hong Kong and British National Overseas (BNO) are not required to meet this increased minimum English language requirement. The settings for this group remain at an IELTS score of 6.0 (or equivalent), with a minimum score of 5.0 for each component of the test.

These changes are set to commence on 23 March 2024. However, at the time of writing this article there is no update to the legislation to bring these changes into effect. Applicants who may be affected by these changes should consider seeking advice before lodging their applications.

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Elan Rysher is a Registered Migration Agent and Qualified Student Counsellor. He is the main Writer for ImmiUpdates and the founder of Rysher Migration. Being a former migrant himself, Elan is passionate about helping others fulfil their Australian dream.


Information (or the lack of it) contained in ImmiUpdates should not be relied on as immigration assistance or advice. ImmiUpdates expressly disclaim any liability, arising at law, in equity or otherwise, for any information published or not published in past, the present or future editions of the blog. People seeking immigration assistance should seek advice from a registered migration agent and those seeking legal advice should consult a lawyer. The copyright in the newsletter belongs to Rysher Migration Services and no part of the blog is to be reproduced by any means without the written consent of Rysher Migration Services.


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