Australia Raised English Language Standard For General Skilled Migration Visa Applicants!

With beginning of the New Year, Australia’s immigration department made amendments to the English skill requirement for applicants who would immigrate under the General Skilled Migration Visa category. Let’s have a look at the changes that are in effect from January 1, 2010:

  • English skill requirement for all GSM visa applicants who nominate trade occupations have increased. Now, the applicants are required to gain a minimum of 6.0 points on Competent English on each of the four facets of an IELTS test.
  • Applicants would not gain points for the General Points Test for vocational English. Earlier, there was a provision of receiving a minimum of 5.0 points for vocational English on each components (four) of an IELTS test.
  • Moreover, if applicants intend to apply with concessional competent English, they would require to get an average of 6 points in IELTS test.
  • A state or territory would no longer restrict prospective immigrants claiming ‘concessional competent English’ to fulfill the condition of getting sponsorship or nomination.
  • Principal applicants would not be awarded with points in the General Points Test if they rely on their partners’ points; given the later have vocational English.
  • The English language standard for prospective immigrants applying under Skilled-Regional Sponsored GSM Visa category has been increased from an average of 5.5 points to an average of 6.0 points in an IELTS test.

From the above, one thing is clear that prospective immigrants planning to enter Australia under the GSM Visa category would now require to have higher level of English proficiency. However, the new requirements will only apply to applicants who have filed applications after January1, 2010. Applications filed before the commencement of the changes – May 12, 2009 would not require to meet these criteria!

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