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Competent English

English proficiency

You must show evidence of meeting the competent English requirement unless you hold a valid passport from one of these countries:

  1. the United Kingdom;
  2. the United States;
  3. Canada;
  4. the Republic of Ireland;
  5. New Zealand.

There are no other exemptions available. Please note that you must provide evidence that you meet the competent English requirement at the time the application is lodged.

Approved tests

If you are not exempt, you must provide results from an approved test that equal competent English language ability.  The following tests are acceptable:

TOEFL iBT tests are no longer being accepted by the Department of Home Affairs from 26 July 2023.

NOTE: Some test providers offer alternative versions of their tests that you can take at home or online, such as TOEFL iBT – Special Home Edition, OET@Home and IELTS Indicator. The Department of Home Affairs does not accept any ’at-home’ or ‘online’ test for Australian migration purposes.

Minimum scores

The minimum scores required are as follows:

Test Minimum scores for test components
Listening Reading Speaking Writing
IELTS 6 6 6 6
PTE 50 50 50 50
CAE 169 169 169 169

Test validity

For the purposes of a visa application, English test results are valid for 3 years.