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English language

Competent English

​​​​​​At-home or online tests

Some test providers offer alternative versions of their tests that you can take at home or online, such as TOEFL iBT – Home Edition, OET@Home, PTE Academic Online, IELTS Online (General and Academic) and IELTS Indicator. Home Affairs does not accept any ’at-home’ or ‘online’ test for Australian migration purposes.

The Department accepts scores from approved tests undertaken at secure test centres. The tests accepted by the Department are listed in the table below. If you have questions about a particular test, you can contact the test provider.

​What to provide

To prove you have competent English, provide evidence of one of the following:

  • That you are a citizen of and hold a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland, with your application. British National (Overseas) passports are not acceptable as evidence of competent English.
  • You have an obtained one of the following English language test results:
  • Specified test results
    TestScore​​​
    International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic or General Training​)At least 6 fo​r each of the 4 components
    Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT - only accepted if taken on or before 25 July 2023)
    At least 12 for listening, 13 for reading, 21 for writing and 18 for speaking
    Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)At least 50 for each of the 4 components
    Occupational English Test (OET)At least B for each of the 4 components

    ​Cambridge C1 Advanced test

    From 12 February 2024, only results from the paper-based Cambridge C1 Advanced test (previously known as Cambridge English: Advanced CAE) will be accepted for Australian visa and migration purposes.

    Test scores for both C1 Advanced paper-based and computer-based tests, taken before 12 February 2024, are still accepted.​

    At least 169 in each of the 4 components

    When to provide proof

    When you must have taken your test and when to provide it
    SubclassApplicantWhen to provide Validity
    ​Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)Main/primaryBy time of applicationTest cannot have been undertaken more than 3 years before the date of application
    Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) – Temporary Residence Transition Stream
    Main/primaryBy time of applicationTest cannot have been undertaken more than 3 years before the date of application
    Business Innovation and Investment (provisional) subclass 188) (Entrepreneur stream)Main/primary 
    By time of invitationTest cannot have been undertaken more than 3 years before the date of invitation
    Skilled Independent (subclass 189)(Points tested stream)Main/primary
    By time of invitationTest cannot have been undertaken more than 3 years before the date of invitation
    Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)Main/primary
    By time of invitationTest cannot have been undertaken more than 3 years before the date of invitation
    Skilled Regional (provisional) (subclass 489)(first provisional stream)Main/primary
    By time of invitationTest cannot have been undertaken more than 3 years before the date of invitation

    ​Skilled Work Regional (provisional) (subclass 491)

    ​Main/primary
    ​By time of invitation
    ​Test cannot have been undertaken more than 3 years before the date of invitation
    ​Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (subclass 494)
    ​Main/Primary 
    ​By time of application
    ​The test cannot have been undertaken more than 3 years before the date of application
​​For the subclasses 189, 190, 489 and 491,​ if you are claiming partner points, your partner must also have competent English at the time of invitation.​