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Changes to Temporary Work Visa English Requirement

English language average test scores are now accepted for employer sponsored visa subclass 457 applications. For example, an overall band score of 6 in IELTS will now be accepted for 457 visas – previously, a minimum of 6 in each band (Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking) was required.

This change will lessen the enormous frustration of applicants taking the test repeatedly to get a minimum score in each band in a single sitting.

Additional Changes

In addition, the government announced the following changes that also came into effect on 18th April 2015:

  • The list of English language providers has expanded and now include test of English as a Foreign Language internet – based test (TOEFL IBT), Pearson Test of English (PTE); and Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) test (conducted on or after 1 January 2015). Previously, only the IELTS and OET were accepted
  • An exemption will be granted when an applicant can provide evidence of 5 cumulative years of study in English at the secondary or tertiary level, rather than proof of five years consecutive secondary or tertiary study in English
  • The term of standard employer sponsorship has been extended to 5 years commencing from the date of approval
  • The sponsorship period for start-up businesses has been extended from 12 months to18 months
  • The market salary exemption threshold has been reduced from $250,000 to $180,000 this is now in line with the marginal tax rate
  • The notifiable period for sponsors has been extended from 10 working days to 28 calendar days
Summary

These changes reduce restrictions on 457 programs while increasing its flexibility. Amending the English language requirements to an average test score will benefit both applicants and sponsors, without diminishing the English language standards of 457 holders. This change will support 457 will allow applicants to score more highly on the test competencies that they will need in their jobs and daily lives in Australia.

If you are interested to apply for an employer sponsored visa or need to advice for your plans to migrate to Australia, please call us at +65 62990245 to schedule an appointment.

Sources:

http://www.immi.gov.au/Visas/Pages/457.aspx
http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2015L00564