fbpx

Your IELTS score: Changes announced for Student and Graduate Visas

A new Genuine Student Test will be introduced, assessing students' study intentions and economic circumstances. This initiative aims to deter individuals seeking to exploit the system by primarily seeking work opportunities.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

In a move aimed at bolstering the quality of education and safeguarding against potential exploitation in the workforce, the Albanese Government is set to implement significant changes to English language requirements for student and graduate visas.

Scheduled for implementation on Saturday, March 23, these alterations stem from key commitments outlined in the Migration Strategy, alongside recommendations stemming from the Migration Review.

The crux of the changes revolves around elevating English language standards. According to findings from the Migration Review, existing English language requirements for student visas may not adequately prepare students for success. Consequently, the minimum English language requirement for student visas (Subclass 500) will escalate from IELTS score 5.5 to 6.0, and for graduate visas (Subclass 485), from IELTS score 6.0 to 6.5.

Effective March 23, 2024, applicants will be subject to revised English proficiency criteria. The validity window for English language test results will also shrink from three years to one year for Temporary Graduate visas.

Moreover, the Government will wield its powers under Section 97 of the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act to suspend high-risk education providers from recruiting international students. Dubbed as “ghost colleges” and “visa factories,” these entities will face stern warnings, with a six-month window to rectify issues or risk suspension.

To further fortify the integrity of student visas, a new Genuine Student Test will be introduced, assessing students’ study intentions and economic circumstances. This initiative aims to deter individuals seeking to exploit the system by primarily seeking work opportunities.

In tandem, visitor visas will see an uptick in “no further stay” conditions to curb attempts to sidestep offshore student visa checks.

Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security Clare O’Neil​ said, “Since September, the Government’s actions have led to substantial declines in migration levels, with recent international student visa grants down by 35% on the previous year. The actions this weekend will continue to drive migration levels down while delivering on our commitments in the Migration Strategy to fix the broken system we inherited.”

For the Cambridge English Advanced (CAE), an overall band score of at least 176 and a score of at least 162 for each test component are necessary.

Applicants taking the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) must achieve an overall band score of at least 6.5 and a score of at least 5.5 for each test component. The Occupational English Test (OET) requires a score of at least B for each test component.

For the Pearson Test of English (PTE), applicants need an overall band score of at least 57, along with specific scores for listening, reading, speaking, and writing components.

Similarly, applicants taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT must achieve a total overall score of at least 83, with specific scores required for listening, reading, speaking, and writing components.

Melbourne-based migration expert Chaman Preet says the announcements previously made in regards to student visa and TR are being implemented from 23 march 2024.

“The most significant for both is in regards to English score changes for both the visas,” Ms Preet told Indian Link. “The applicants must pay specific attention to the English validity changes. These changes will significantly impact the applicants. It’s best to get expert advice and tread with caution.”

Read More: New ‘Workplace Justice Visa’ for temporary migrants

What's On