There are 4 tiers of English that may be relevant for applicants:
- Superior English
- Proficient English
- Competent English
- Vocational English
- Functional English
Competent English is the threshold requirement for GSM and ES visas while proficient and superior English abilities will entitle applicants for GSM visas to 10 and 20 points respectively. For GSM visas, evidence of English language ability must be provided at the time of invitation for the visas and for ES visas, this evidence will be required at the time of application. English language tests are valid from 3 years prior to the required time of submission with the exception of functional English which is required to have been done within 12 months of lodgement.
The Department of Home Affairs (the Department) only accepts evidence of English language ability from the following providers:
- IELTS Australia
- Pearson Academic Test (PEARSON PTE)
- Cambridge English (CAE)
- Occupational English Test (OET) – only for medical and health professionals
COVID-19 and English Language Testing
The influence of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the suspension of many Australian English test centres, leaving applicants uncertain as to whether this is still required or how such evidence can be provided.
Evidence of English language ability will still be required by applicants despite the current situation, however, certain test centres for some of the approved providers above are still in operation.
Below is a link allowing you to view the next available testing date for each testing location currently in operation. Ensure that you check each testing centre in your state to confirm which centres are still in operation.
IELTS Australia: https://ielts.com.au/find-test-centre/
Pearson Academic PTE: https://v2.ereg.ets.org/ereg/public/workflowmanager/schlWorkflow?_p=TEL
Cambridge English (CAE): https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/find-a-centre/find-an-exam-centre/
OET (Occupational English Testing): https://www.occupationalenglishtest.org/test-information/test-dates-locations/
The above links will allow you to access the testing centres still in operation by approved providers and the next available date to sit your test.