IELTS Skilled Visa
A number of review cases through the MIGRATION REVIEW TRIBUNAL (MRT) for skilled visa applicants, whose visa applications had been refused by DIBP, indicated that many applicants do not pay sufficient attention to the IELTS requirement in their applications.
In Australian migration law Schedule 2 criteria define the requirements for the applicant to satisfy in order to qualify for the visa, either at the time of application or prior to a ‘final determination’. English language proficiency is, in most cases, essential to the grant of visa. Whilst IELTS itself is not specified in the law, an ‘instrument in writing as specified by the Minister’ is. This invariably includes IELTS skilled visa.
The IELTS skilled visa score (or other testing system as specified by (DIBP) an applicant will require to qualify for the skilled visa is typically defined by the Australian Classification of Occupations (ASCO) bodies. Some occupations, for example, will require ‘Vocational English’ and others may need ‘Competent English’ as defined in r.1.15C of the Regulations.
- ‘Vocational English’ is defined in r.1.15B of the Regulations. For Subclass 176 visa applications, r.1.15B(5) relevantly provides that a person has ‘vocational English’ if the person satisfies the Minister that the person has achieved, in a test conducted not more than 2 years before the day on which the application was lodged:
(a) an IELTS test score of at least 5 for each of the 4 test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening; or (b) a score: (i) specified by the Minister in an instrument in writing for this sub-subparagraph; and (ii) in a language test specified by the Minister in the instrument