New English language testing options now accepted for most skilled visa applications

The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) and TOEFL internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) are accepted as alternative English tests for visa applications lodged on or after 23 November 2014. These tests are now accepted as well as the IELTS and OET, and this will be welcomed by many visa applicants.

Some important points to note about these changes:

Required Scores:

The score required for each band will depend on the level of English you are seeking to establish.

Test Validity

  • Test results are valid for 3 years – you must lodge your visa application within 3 years of undertaking the test.
  • If you have done a test prior to 23 November, you can still use the test result, so long as it is less than 3 years old at the date of application.
  • The changes do not affect applications lodged prior to 23 November 2014.

Visas Affected
The changes affect most skilled visa types, including:

  • General Skilled Migration
  • Graduate Temporary Subclass 485
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
  • Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS)
  • Business Migration

The changes do not affect the 457 Temporary Work – Skilled visa.

Functional English:

Pearson and TOEFL are also now acceptable for establishing Functional English. Functional English is important for determining whether any included dependents need to pay the English Language Charge. Tests are only valid for 12 months for the purposes of establishing Functional English.