How successful is the English test for Australian immigrants?

Immigration candidates were “surprised” and immigrant agents were confused after an unexpected change in the federal budget last week as English requirements were introduced in Australia’s partner visa application in 2021.

The Labor Party, multiculturalists and demographers criticized the decision as unfair and reminiscent of White Australia, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison called it “pro-immigrant and pro-Australia.” Expressed.

Deputy Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said the change would improve “social cohesion” and allow more immigrants to find employment in Australia, and details of the requirements will be announced in the coming months. Here’s what we know so far:

English requirements already exist for some visas

The Australian immigration system can be divided into five main groups. Visitor visas, humanitarian visas, research and training visas, family and partner visas, and work and skilled visas.

Research and skilled stream visas already have some English requirements. This depends on the visa in the stream you are applying for.

For example, on a training visa (subclass 407), the applicant must have “functional” English (this means in the next section), but apply for an employer nomination visa (subclass 186). Those who do are “competent” English.

For some visas, the primary applicant’s partner or dependents will also be required to meet the English requirements or, in some cases, pay an additional fee of up to $ 9,000 instead of meeting the requirements.

Citizens of the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Canada and New Zealand do not need to take a test to prove they are English-speaking.

Are you functional, professional, competent, skilled, or superior?

There are five levels of English proficiency, starting with functional English and progressing to profession, ability, proficiency, and excellence.

Future migrants can choose to take one or more of the five international tests offered by various external companies to prove their skill level.

Everyone examines listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills, but the offerings are slightly different, such as physical examination or online.

The tests for all layers are the same, but the higher the layer, the higher the minimum score required for each component.

Applicants can take the test as many times as they need to get the required score, but they will have to pay for each test. For example, a seat in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) costs $ 355 for a less than three-hour exam.

Another option accepted by the Australian Government, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), also costs about $ 300 in just over three hours.

John Hooligan, National President of the Australian Institute for Immigration, the premier agency for immigration agents, said that immigration agents usually sue for success in English tests when an application is required. It states that it is a prerequisite for raising.

“When they come to me, I tell them to take an English test and come back. Without the test, we can’t do anything for them, they apply I can’t, “he said.

How well do you work in the test?

As mentioned above, the government accepts English test results from various providers, but all have different questions. However, it tests the same skill. Read, listen, Writing and speaking..

Reading skills are tested by providing text such as product notifications, event descriptions, book pages, and asking immigrant candidates to answer a series of short questions based on the information provided. Below are some reading practice questions from the UK-based provider IELTS.

IELTS practice reading test.


The listening component plays the audio track of the conversation between the two and, like the reading section, the candidate must fill out an answer sheet based on what they say.

The IELTS practice questions in this section show a recording of a telephone conversation between a shipping company worker and a customer who wants to send a box. After hearing, candidates will be asked to fill out a fictitious booking form with the details disclosed over the phone.

IELTS exercises for listening tests.

IELTS exercises for listening tests.

The write component tests two different types of write communication. Practical texts such as letters and documents, and essays that assert perspectives.

In IELTS practice questions, respondents are asked to write a letter to the university accommodation manager or local library in less than 150 words. Essay questions ask test takers to respond to prompts such as “Why shopping is so popular?” -At least 250 words.

To test the speech, people are asked to introduce themselves and talk to the examiner after receiving a specific prompt, such as “What is the most interesting part of your town?” Or “How long have you lived here?”

Exercises for the speaking component of the IELTS test.

Exercises for the speaking component of the IELTS test.


This process is “very difficult,” said Hourigan, a registered immigration agent.

“People from isolated remote communities are often illiterate in their own country … they generally do not pass through it.”

What are the requirements for a new partner visa?

The Home Office has not yet released all the details of how the changes will work and will be in talks with major interest groups over the next few months.

This requirement requires that the partner visa applicant and its sponsor (permanent resident or citizen of Australia) have a “functional” level of English or “prove that they have made reasonable efforts to learn English”. We know that there is.

SBS News understands that this can be demonstrated by completing a class through the Australian Immigration English Program (AMEP) or attending an English language institution, and everyone must take one of the above tests. Suggests no.

Last week, Mr. Tudge said that completing a 500-hour AMEP class is an example of how much effort can be demonstrated. Free classes are available through distance learning in Australia’s states and territories.

Importantly, this requirement is not introduced on interim partner visas (subclasses 309 and 820) and must only be met at the permanent residence stage (subclasses 100 and 801).

Applications for a provisional partner visa and a permanent partner visa are usually made at the same time, and the provisional visa allows the applicant to stay in Australia until a permanent visa decision is made or the application is withdrawn.

The changes will be introduced in late 2021 and will only apply to new partner visa applicants. In other words, those who have already submitted the application will not be affected.

SBS News also understands that this requirement does not apply to people with humanitarian visas who want to take their families to Australia.

There is also an exemption for people in compelling and compassionate situations, such as when someone has a learning disability.

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How successful is the English test for Australian immigrants?

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