English Language Requirements for Student and Temporary Graduate Visas

Recent updates have been announced regarding English language requirements for the Student (subclass 500) and Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visas, affecting all applications lodged on or after 23 March 2024.

For Student Visas (subclass 500):

  • The required English proficiency score has been increased from an IELTS score of 5.5 to 6.0, or its equivalent in other tests such as PTE Academic (50), TOEFL iBT (60), or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) (169).
  • The minimum score for eligibility to enroll in an English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) has been raised from an IELTS score of 4.5 to 5.0, or equivalent scores in PTE Academic (36), TOEFL iBT (45), or CAE (162).
  • Recognized university foundation or pathway programs now require a minimum score of IELTS 5.5, or equivalent in PTE Academic (42), TOEFL iBT (46), or CAE (162).
  • For students exclusively pursuing ELICOS, the English requirement remains unchanged.

Temporary Graduate Visas (subclass 485):

  • The threshold for the required English language proficiency score has increased from IELTS 6.0 to 6.5, with each test component (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) needing at least a 5.5 score.
  • Passport holders from Hong Kong and British National Overseas (BNO) are exempt from the new heightened requirements, maintaining the earlier benchmark of an IELTS score of 6.0 overall, with 5.0 in each component.
  • The validity period for English test results for Temporary Graduate visas has been reduced from three (3) years to just one. Applicants must now score the requisite level in one of the English tests within one year prior to their application date.


Although these updates are announced to commence on 23 March 2024, official legislative documentation formalizing these changes has yet to be published. We advise our clients and partners to stay vigilant for new legislative instruments on the Federal Register of Legislation.

Rest assured, Visa Plan Migration Lawyers will keep you updated on these developments as soon as they are officially enacted.


Scroll to Top