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Important Update: New English Requirements for Australian Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) Visas

Calling all international graduates! Are you looking to extend your stay in Australia and gain valuable work experience after completing your studies? The Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa is a great option, but there have been some recent changes to the English language requirements you need to be aware of.

What's Changed?

As of March 23, 2024, the Australian government has increased the minimum English language proficiency score required for the Subclass 485 visa. Previously, an IELTS (or equivalent) score of 6.0 overall was sufficient. Now, you'll need to demonstrate a higher level of English by achieving a minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5. Additionally, all four test components (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) must now score at least 5.5.

There are exemptions if you are a citizen of and hold a valid passport from:

  • the United Kingdom

  • the United States of America

  • Canada

  • New Zealand or

  • the Republic of Ireland.

If you are a British National (BNO) or Hong Kong passport holder please refer to the

Department of Home Affairs Website for applicable English Test score

For all citizens of all other countries, you must have scored one of the following in the 12 months before you apply for SC 485 visa



Overall score of at least 6.5 with a minimum score of 5.5 for each of the 4 parts

Overall score of at least 57 with a minimum score of:

  • 43 for listening

  • 48 for reading

  • 42 for speaking and

  • 51 for writing.

Total score of at least 83 with a minimum score of:

  • 7 for listening

  • 8 for reading

  • 18 for writing and

  • 16 for speaking.

(TOEFL iBT – only accepted if taken on or before 25 July 2023)

At least B for each of the 4 parts

Cambridge C1 Advanced test

Overall at least 176 with a minimum score of at least 162 in each of the 4 test components



Why the Change?

The Australian government believes that stronger English skills are essential for success in the Australian workforce. This increased requirement aims to ensure that graduates have the necessary communication abilities to thrive in their chosen professions and integrate smoothly into Australian society. These changes form part of the Australian Government’s Migration Strategy released on 11 December 2023.

Who is Impacted?

This change applies to all new applications lodged on or after March 23, 2024. If you have submitted your visa application before this date, the previous English language requirements will still apply to you.

What are your Options?

Here are some steps you can take:

  • Take an English language test: If you haven't already, register for an approved English language test like IELTS, PTE, or TOEFL.

  • Improve your English skills: If you're nearing the required score but haven't quite reached it, consider enrolling in an English language course to hone your abilities.

  • Consider alternative pathways: If you're struggling to meet the new requirements, explore other visa options that may have different English language benchmarks.

Remember, this update is designed to ensure you have the best possible chance of success in the Australian job market. By demonstrating strong English skills, you'll be well-positioned to secure employment and make a valuable contribution to the Australian workforce.

For more information on changes to the English Language requirements for a 485 visa or to discuss your visa options contact our team at Leading Edge Migration and our experts will be able to guide you.

Source: Department of Home Affairs - Temporary Graduate visa (Subclass 485):

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