457 English language Requirements
The new laws governing 457 visa applications require all applications lodged on or after 1 July 2013, be subject to an English language requirement.
The last change to the English requirement for the 457 visa occurred back on the 14th April 2009 when applicants were required to obtain an IELTS score for certain occupations whilst other occupations were exempted from this requirement.
Since 1 July 2013, the 457 English language provisions have referred to
"Vocational English" as defined in the Migration Regulations 1994, Reg 1.15B
rather than specific IELTS score.
Within the regulations for the 457 visa certain applicants may be exempted from providing evidence of English ability.
DIAC's policy guidelines state;
"If an applicant is an exempt applicant, there is no discretion for officers to request an English language test as evidence of their English language proficiency."
The people who do not need an IELTS test score are as follows:
- Applicant has current valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or Republic of Ireland, to a citizen of that country.
- Applicant is nominated in occupations that require registration/licensing/membership which necessitates a higher than vocational level of English to procure.
If a license, registration or membership is needed to work in the nominated occupation and a level of English language proficiency higher than vocational English is required to procure them;
If an applicant has such registration, membership or license; evidence needs to be provided by the relevant body confirming the English language level required to procure them.
a. Evidence that the applicant has the English language level to obtain that registration/ licensing/ membership.
b. In cases of conditional or provisional registration/licensing/membership, the applicant needs to provide evidence that they have the English language level required for full registration/licensing/membership
- Applicant has been nominated in an occupation that has an equal or higher base salary than the salary level specified in a legislative instrument (currently $96,400 for an average of 38 working hours a week) and grant of a visa is 'in the interests of Australia'
- Applicant has completed at least five consecutive years of full-time study in a secondary and/or higher education institution where the instruction was delivered in English
- Applicants who have been nominated in relation to an activity or occupation that will be performed at a diplomatic or consular mission of another country or an office of the authorities of Taiwan located in Australia.
People who are not exempt from the language testing requirement need to provide an IELTS test score of five in each of the four components or an OET score of "B" in each of the four components. The required score can be from tests taken upto three years before the application or after the submission of application.
Normally case officers will request evidence of meeting the English language requirement if it hasn't been provided with the application.