New English language assessment options announced for Australian visa applicants

by Ray Clancy on November 24, 2014

in Immigration Documentation

Australian visa applicants now have more choice in English language testing with the addition of two new assessment options, it has been announced.

Temporary graduate, skilled, work and holiday, and former resident visa applicants are now able to take advantage of the changes.

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The Australian government wants to offer visa applicants more choice in regards to English language testing

It means that applicants are now able to use scores from the Test of English Language as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) and the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) as evidence of their English language ability.

“This development affords applicants more choice in providers while also increasing competition within the English language testing market,” said Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Michaelia Cash.

The tests are alternatives to the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Occupational English Test (OET) and have been accepted in the Student visa programme since 2011.

Cash confirmed plans to further expand the English language test market are on track with Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test scores are set to be accepted from the start of the New Year.

Individuals planning to take an English language test before lodging an expression of interest or visa application can visit the Immigration Department’s website for more information.

Meanwhile, officials also reminded overseas students who have recently graduated, or are about to graduate, from an Australian education provider could be eligible for the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa.

Depending on your qualification, this visa allows you to stay in Australia for up to four years, to gain valuable work experience. Also, it does not restrict the type or amount of work you can do.

“Employer sponsorship is not required for this visa, but it is important to understand that finding a job is your responsibility,” said a Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) spokesman.

“If you are completing your course at the end of 2014 and you would like to apply for the Temporary Graduate visa, you may wish to start organising some of your documents now,” the spokesman explained, adding that these might include a medical certificate, police check, skills assessment, health insurance and English language test, though not every applicant for the Temporary Graduate visa will need to provide all of these documents.

“If these documents are ready when you apply for the visa, your application can be processed quickly. Keep in mind that some documents must be provided when you lodge your application, otherwise your application may be refused,” the spokesman pointed out.

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