Potential applicants and sponsors of the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) will be pleased to read that the English language requirements for this visa have now been officially lowered by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).
|English Language Requirements for 457 Visa|
The change, which took effect on 18 April 2015, means that 457 visa applicants can now meet the English language requirements by achieving a specified ‘average’ or ‘overall’ score. For example, an applicant for a 457 visa was previously required to achieve a score of at least 5.0 in each band of the IELTS test. However, an overall score of 5.0 in the IELTS test will now be accepted, provided that the visa applicant obtains a score of at least 4.5 in each band.
The minimum 457 English language test requirements are now as follows:
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS): Overall band score of 5.0 and 4.5 in each of the 4 test components
- Occupational English Test (OET): A grade of ‘B’ in each of the 4 test components
- Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT): Total band score of 36, with a score of 3 for the Listening and Reading components and a score of 12 for the Speaking and Writing Components
- Pearson Test of English (PTE): Overall band score of 36 and a score of 30 in each of the 4 test components
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): Overall band score of 154 and a score of 147 in each of the 4 test components.
The increased flexibility of the English language requirements will make it easier to apply for the 457 visa and will prevent applicants from sitting an English test multiple times because they failed to reach the minimum score in merely one component of the test. The fact that applicants are still required to achieve a reasonable score in each component of the English tests allows Australian employers to attract the most qualified and skilled overseas workers for their business, while ensuring that 457 visa holders have sufficient English skills to enable them to succeed in the Australian labour market.
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