Changes to English Language Requirement Scores – Subclass 457, 476 and 485 visas

Effective 18 April 2015, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) have reduced the English Language test scores for:

  • Subclass 457 visas (Temporary work – Skilled)
  • Subclass 476 visas (Recognised Graduate)
  • Subclass 485 visas (Temporary Graduate)

Significant changes for Subclass 457 visas:

  • Scores from TOEFL, IBT, Pearson PTE and Cambridge CAE are now accepted. Previously only IELTS and OET were accepted.
  • Exemption from English language test if applicants can provide evidence of five (5) cumulative years of study in English at secondary or tertiary level. Previously, it was mandatory to have five (5) consecutive secondary or tertiary study in English.
  • An average band score of 5 is required in IELTs.

Subclass 457 Visa applications – English test scores in ONE of the following:
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Graduate Temporary Subclass 485 Visas and Post Study Work Stream: English Language requirement in ONE of the following:

Applicants will still meet the English Language requirement, if they hold a valid passport issued by United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland.
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Other important changes to Subclass 457 visa program:

  • Lowering the minimum salary for exemption from $250,000 to $180,000.


IMMI 15/050 – 457 visas – Market Rate Salary Exemption: Migration Regulations 1994 – Specification of Income Threshold and Annual Earnings 2015