IMPORTANT NEWS! Student and Graduate English language requirements increase

The Department has circulated a document to Education Providers that advises of changes to English language requirements applicable to Student visa and Temporary Graduate visas. The changes apply to all visa applications lodged on or after 23 March 2024. 

The document states the following: 

Student visas SC 500: 

  • The minimum test score increases from 5.5. to 6.0 IELTS or equivalent.
  • The minimum score to undertake a packaged ELICOS course increases from 4.5 to 5.0 (allowing packaging with no more than 20 weeks of ELICOS with main program).
  • Students undertaking recognised university foundation or pathway programs that deliver reputable English language training require a score of IELTS 5.5. These recognised courses will be listed on the Department’s website. 
  • For students studying English only through ELICOS, there will be no change.

Temporary Graduate visas SC 485:

  • The minimum score required increases from IELTS 6.0 to 6.5 (or equivalent) with a minimum score of 5.5 for each component of the test.
  • For passport holders from Hong Kong and British National Overseas (BNO) English language requirement remains at IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent), with a minimum score of 5.0 for each component of the test.
  • The test validity window for all Temporary Graduate visa applications decreases from three years to one year and test have been completed no more than one year immediately before the date of the visa application. 

However, despite the document stating that these changes commence on 23 March 2024, there are currently no legislative instruments released that bring these changes into effect. This gives me hope that applicants who have already prepared their documents for visa submission are still on time to lodge it before the official changes are implemented.

You can ask me questions at any time.

Just email me at and describe your migration issues!

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