Your dreams of studying in an Australian institute will come true if you successfully obtain your Student Visa Subclass 500. This visa allows the holder to stay in Australia for up to five years, during which they can also work for 20 hours a week to cover various expenses. Besides, international students can also bring their family members under this visa.
However, meeting all the student visa eligibility requirements is highly necessary to achieve visa application success. This blog mostly focuses on the English language requirements for the Visa 500, which you must be aware of before applying.
Why is it necessary to meet English language requirements?
The official and most-used language in Australia is English, and for a comfortable stay, you must prove to have sufficient English language proficiency.
How can you prove that you have adequate English language skills?
For a successful Student Visa 500 application, you must provide valid proof of your English language skills when you apply. To check which documents you need exactly, you may use the ‘Document Checklist Tool’ available on the Department of Home Affairs website. You have to enter your home country and the education provider’s name to check the requirement.
Usually, to prove that you have sufficient English language proficiency, you have to show that:
- You have obtained a specific test score in an internationally-accepted English language test, or,
- You are exempted from this requirement.
One thing to note here is that while assessing your application, the Department of Home Affairs may ask you for English language skill documents at any time, even if the Document Checklist Tool shows that there is no need to submit any evidence along with the application.
As the COVID-19 pandemic is still there, the Department of Home Affairs may allow you extra time to submit your English language test scores if you failed to take the test due to the pandemic.
What English language tests you may appear for, and how many points must you score?
There are several English language tests conducted across the world and accepted internationally. For different tests, different overall band scores will be required. Also, if you take an English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS), the minimum band score will reduce, depending on the period you have studied for.
Five common tests are as follows.
International English Language Testing System
The International English Language Testing System or IELTS is the most accepted test globally and in Australia. If you decide to appear for the IELTS, you must obtain the following score.
- 5.5, if you have not taken the ELICOS
- 5, if you have studied ELICOS for at least 10 weeks
- 4.5, if you have studied ELICOS for at least 20 weeks
Test Of English As A Foreign Language
This test is popularly known as TOEFL, and to apply for the 500 Visa, you have to provide the result of the internet-based test format. Your overall score should be as follows.
- 46, if you have not taken the ELICOS
- 35, if you have studied ELICOS for at least 10 weeks
- 32, if you have studied ELICOS for at least 20 weeks
Cambridge English: Advanced
If you take Cambridge English Advanced (CAE), the minimum requirement will include:
- 162, if you have not taken the ELICOS
- 154, if you have studied ELICOS for at least 10 weeks
- 147, if you have studied ELICOS for at least 20 weeks
Pearson Test of English Academic
If you take the PTE Academic, you must obtain a minimum overall band score of:
- 42, if you have not taken the ELICOS
- 36, if you have studied ELICOS for at least 10 weeks
- 30, if you have studied ELICOS for at least 20 weeks
Occupational English Test
Occupational English Test candidates cannot enroll in ELICOS and must obtain at least a B in each test component.
As an applicant, you must remember that the test results should not be older than 2 years when applying.
Another point to note is that your university may ask for a higher test score. So, you must check it on their website before you apply.
When can you fall into the exemption category?
If you fall into the English language exemption category, you will not need to provide any English language test score along with your Student Visa 500 application. However, you will be exempted from this requirement only if one of the following conditions applies.
You are from an English-speaking country
If you have valid citizenship and a passport from an English-speaking country, you are not required to take any English language test. These countries include:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
- New Zealand
- Republic of Ireland
You are a student in a special category
Students sponsored by Defence and Foreign Affairs are exempt from the English language requirement. This condition will also apply if you are a Secondary Exchange Student.
You are enrolled in one of the eligible courses
Students enrolled in some specific courses do not need to submit an English language test. These courses include:
- A registered school course
- An English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS)
- A registered doctoral research course
- A registered course that will not be delivered in English
You have studied for a minimum of 5 years in an English-speaking country
Besides holding citizenship or a passport, studying in an English-speaking country for at least 5 years will also make you eligible for exemption. This list includes six countries:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
- New Zealand
- The Republic of Ireland
- South Africa
You have completed an AQF-approved course in the 2 years before the application
If you have completed a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education or a similar course leading to an AQF (Australian Qualifications Framework) qualification equivalent to Certificate IV or higher level, an exemption will apply. However, in that case, you must meet some requirements.
- You should have completed this course in the 2 years before the application.
- You should have studied in Australia with a valid Australian student visa.
- The language of the course was English.
However, you must always discuss this exemption matter with a registered visa consultant in Perth before you apply.
What else do you require to be eligible for the 500 Visa?
In addition to the English language requirements, you must also meet several other eligibility criteria.
- Your age must be at least 6.
- You should receive your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) from your desired institute before the application.
- If you are under 18, you must make the necessary welfare arrangements.
- Every student visa applicant and family member included in the application must have the relevant health insurance coverage from when they arrive in Australia. Usually, you will require the OSHC (Overseas Student Health Cover).
- You must show evidence that you want to come to Australia as a student and stay here temporarily.
- You must also have enough financial capacity to cover all the costs during your stay.
- Meeting the health and character requirements is mandatory.
Get application help from a registered migration agent in Perth.
Australian migration agents are popular for the top-notch services they have provided all these years. With the help of the internet, you can contact the best Migration Agent in Perth from anywhere in the world. So, get in touch with them and make your application a success.