English Language Proficiency Requirements for Australian General Skilled Migration Category!

Anyone who is planning to immigrate to Australia under the General Skilled Migration Visa category should be aware of the fact that they should have fluency in English language; otherwise they might be refused to grant an Australian visa. No matter how equipped you are with other details to meet the requirements of a job, you could be denied to be issued with a visa, thereby restricting you from immigrating to Australia and work there. The Immigration and Citizenship Department of Australia has set the English language norms, apart from other prerequisites required for immigrating under this category, so that they can find a good employment in the Australian economy.

Importance of IELTS score

Every prospective immigrant intending to migrate to Australia under the General Skilled Migration Visa category is required to take an IELTS test. The test consists of four components, viz. speaking, reading, writing and listening. In order to be able to apply for any of the permanent categories under GSM, the principal applicant is required to have ‘component’ English or ‘vocational’ English, if they nominate for a skilled trade occupation.

The Australian immigration categorizes seven English skill levels under the GSM visa category. They are:

  • Proficient English: A minimum score of seven points in every module of the IELTS test is required to be obtained by an applicant to be able to fall into this skill level. They then earn twenty-five points in the General Skilled Migration points test.
  • Competent English: This skill level requires the applicant to gain at least six points in each module of the test. They are further allocated with fifteen points in the GSM points test.
  • Concessional Competent English: Individuals with an average score of 5.5 in the English proficiency test come under this skill level. Applicants with this skill level are further allocated with fifteen points in the GSM points test, given they have considered to immigrate under the Subclass 487 visa category, as well as committed to attend English language tuition in one of the participating Territory or State and paid for that already.
  • Vocational English: Those who earn at least five points in each of the IELTS’ components belong to Vocational skill level. Individuals with this IELTS skill level are granted with fifteen points in the visa category points test, given they select a listed skilled occupation.

Vocational skill level is the marginal English requirement for Skilled Sponsored applicants under the employment nomination program. Apart from the above-mentioned categories, below are the three more English skill levels:

  • Functional English: Individuals with IELTS score of 4.5 points come under this level. In the GSM points test, they are not allocated with any point.
  • Limited English: The Limited English skill level includes those IELTS appearing applicants who score four points in every module of the English language proficiency test. Again, no points are awarded to these candidates in the GSM points test.
  • No English: Applicants with a little know-how of the English language belong to this skill level. They do not get any point in the GSM points test as well.

An applicant’s IELTS report is valid for maximum two years. If an applicant’s report expires this period, he/she is likely to be required to appear for the test once again. There are certain occupations, like Engineers and Teachers in Australia that require specific (prescribed) IELTS scores. Thus, in order to be eligible to apply for any of these occupations, an applicant must obtain the prescribed scores. For example, Engineers must score minimum six points in each of the IELTS testing modules in General Training Test, while Teachers must earn at least seven points in all of the IELTS testing modules in Academic Training Test.

For more information about the Australian Immigration Department’s English language proficiency requirements, contact an Immigration and visa consultant!

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