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Changes announced for the 476 and 485 visa – Lower English Requirements

Changes announced for the 476 and 485 visa – Lower English Requirements


The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has announced lower English requirements for the Skilled – Recognised Graduate (subclass 476) and Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visas. Originally applicants needed to meet “competent English” requirements for the 476 and 485 visa applications. For new applications lodged on or after 18 April 2015, applicants will now need to show one of the following:

  • an overall score of at least 6, with nothing below 5 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test
  • a score of at least 'B' in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) of an Occupational English Test (OET)
  • a total score of at least 64, with nothing below 4 for listening, 4 for reading, 14 for writing and 14 for speaking, in a Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT)
  • an overall score of at least 50 with nothing below 36 in each of the four test components (listening, reading, writing and speaking) in a Pearson Test of English Academic
  • an overall score of at least 169 with nothing below 154 in each of the four test components (listening, reading, w​​​​riting and speaking) in a Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test taken on or after 1 January 2015
  • evidence of holding a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland.

Comments by Chris Johnston – Principal Lawyer and Registered Migration Agent at Work Visa Lawyers

In recent times the English requirement for visa applications has been increased after the findings of correlation between English ability and employment outcomes for new migrants. This new change is a win-win for international students and the government as students will get a try-out at working and living in Australia for a period of up to 18 months. After fulfilling criteria such as 12 months employment and better English test results, which indicates a compatibility between the graduate and Australia, the 476 or 485 visa holder can then apply for permanent visa options.



This information is accurate on the 20 April 2015

Do you need help with a Skilled Migration visa application?

At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants for the skilled migration visa applications, which include the 476 and 485 visas. We are also experienced in the employer sponsored work visas, business skills visas and family visas.

If you require further information regarding your Australia visa options you can contact us through:

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