Australia Student Visa | English Requirements

Student visa (Subclass 500)
Is English proficiency compulsory?

Is English proficiency a requirement for Australia Student Visa application?

Australia Student Visa, like any other visas, has its own criteria that must be met before the Department of Immigration (Department of Home Affairs) grant you the visa.

One of the criteria for the grant of an Australia Student Visa is cl. 500.213 or English language proficiency requirements.

Cl. 500.213 states, if required by the Minister, the applicant must give evidence that he or she has a level of English language proficiency that meets the requirements specified in an instrument (IMMI 18/015 – click here to view).

However, Australia Student Visa applicants may be exempted from providing evidence of having English proficiency if they:

  • hold a valid passport issued by the UK or USA or NZ of the Republic of Ireland
  • successfully completed at least 5 years of study in English in 1 or more of the following countries:
    • Australia
    • Canada
    • NZ
    • South Africa
    • the Republic of Ireland
    • UK
    • USA
  • not more than 2 years before applying for Student visa (Subclass 500) has successfully completed in English:
    • a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 11 and Year 12) in Australia
    • a substantial component of a course leading to a qualification from the Australian Qualifications Framework at Certificate IV level or higher while holding a Student visa (Subclass 500).

Unless the above apply to you, you will be required to provide evidence of your English proficiency if the Department of Immigration or the AAT (Administrative Appeals Tribunal) ask, even if you have no previous English language knowledge and you wish to come to Australia to study or learn English.

Student visa (Subclass 500) IELTS PTE requirements

What scores do I need?

Test NameShort nameMin test score
International English
Testing System
IELTS(a) Overall 5.5; or
(b) Overall 5 if packaged with at
least 10 weeks’ ELICOS; or
(c) Overall 4.5 if packaged with at
least 20 weeks’ ELICOS
Test of English as a
Foreign Language
TOEFL iBT(a) 46; or
(b) 35, if packaged with at least
10 weeks’ ELICOS; or
(c) 32, if packaged with at least
20 weeks’ ELICOS
Cambridge English:
Advanced (CAE) test
Certificate in
(a) 162; or
(b) 154, if packaged with at least
10 weeks’ ELICOS
(c) 147, if packaged with at least
20 weeks’ ELICOS
Pearson Test of
English Academic
PTE(a) 42; or
(b) 36, if packaged with at least
10 weeks’ ELICOS
(c) 30, if packaged with at least
20 weeks’ ELICOS
Occupational English
OETa score of at least B for each test
component of the OET

You should note that an English test does not need to have been conducted before the visa application is made, but can occur during the decision-making process.

If your current student visa has expired, you may still apply for a new student visa (click here to learn if you are eligible).

Australian migration law is complex and difficult to understand, contact our immigration lawyer for a consultation (fee applies) to help you decide if you satisfy the English proficiency requirements for a Student visa (Subclass 500) (click here to find out how an immigration lawyer or registered migration agent can help you). You may also refer to our FAQs for answers regarding visa application or visa cancellation by clicking here.

best immigration lawyer Melbourne
Immigration lawyer provide free migration advice

041 222 4020 or WeChat: AUDvisa

This article is not intended to be or taken as migration legal advice. The author of this article disclaims any liability for any action or omission on the information provided or not provided in this article. You should always consult an immigration lawyer or a registered migration agent to form an informed opinion on your immigration matter.

Related Posts