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New English Language Requirements for Student and Temporary Graduate visas in Australia

Graduate And Student Visas English Language Testing Requirements Increase From 23 March 2024

The Minister of Home Affairs continually introduces changes to the student visa requirements. A recent confirmation to elevate the English language testing requirements, specifically for temporary graduate and Australia Student Visas applications, took effect on 23 March 2024.

** Check required documents for Australian Immigration with Australian Visa Application Document Checklist Tool  for free.


New English Language Thresholds For Australia Student Visas

The English language requirements’ legislative instrument for subclass 500 – Student Visa has been registered. It will be effective the same day the genuine student requirement replaces the genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement.


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The IELTS Score Requirements

  • The required IELTS test score is an overall minimum band score of 5.0 if the applicant’s principal course is partnered with at least 20 weeks of an ELICOS.
  • The IELTS requirement elevates to an overall band score of 5.5:
    • if the applicant’s principal course is accompanied by at least 10 weeks of an ELICOS or
    • if they are enrolled in a standard or extended foundation program.

What is A Standard or Extended Foundation Program?

This is a nationally recognized preparatory course for students who have not met the academic entry requirements for their intended Australian undergraduate university degree or an eligible pathway program. After completion, this course will provide academic entry into the second year of an Australian undergraduate degree.

The minimum test score for all others is an IELTS overall band score of 6.0 unless otherwise exempt.

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Other Equivalent Score Requirements

Here’s a list of all the other approved English language tests:

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Certain Applicants Are Exempt

However, there are exemptions, which include applicants who:

  • are citizens and passport holders of Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
  • are either a Foreign Affairs student, a Defence student, or a secondary exchange student.
  • are enrolled only in either a course not delivered in English, an ELICOS, a registered school course, or a registered post-graduate research course.
  • completed in the last 2 years before lodging their application a substantial component of a course leading to at least an Australian Qualifications Framework Certificate IV or higher qualification that was conducted in Australia, in English, and while the applicant was holding a student visa.
  • completed in the last 2 years before lodging their application, a senior secondary certificate of education conducted in Australia and in English.
  • has successfully completed a minimum of 5 years of study in English in one or more of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, or the United States of America.

Another significant exemption is whether the request is made by the decision maker or is required by using an online computer program, which refers to the Document Checklist Tool weighing the following criteria to determine the necessary evidence:

  • the country of passport
  • education provider
  • type of visa applicant

Recently, education providers have been mindful of wanting to keep or enhance their ranking. They have reportedly cancelled some enrollments for students from higher-risk countries to prevent visa refusals from affecting their ranking.



**Want to work in Australia? V&I is here to help you.

Note that, the New English requirement will only apply to new student visa applications, effective March 23, 2024.

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