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AR LAW Services  |  Lawyers & Consultants  |  Masters of Australian Migration and Visa Law

English Language Competency

One of the requirements of general skilled migration is that the applicant must provide evidence of their English language competency.

Skilled Visas


There are four levels:

  1. Functional. The requirement here is either an IELTS average score of 4.5 or evidence of studies in an English language. It is also the minimum requirement for secondary applicants.
  2. Competent. In this instance, you must achieve an IELTS average score of 6 or hold an approved passport. It is the minimum level of English language competency for any skilled migration visa but provides no points.
  3. Proficient. The requirement here is an IELTS average score of 7. This provides a score of 10 points.
  4. Superior. You English language competency will be qualified as ‘superior’ if you achiever an average score of IELTS score is an average of 8. This provides a score of 20 points.


IELTS is the most common test to validate your English language competency.

This test comprises four components:

  1. Reading.
  2. Writing.
  3. Listening.
  4. Speaking.

Generally an applicant must show a certain minimum score in each of the four components to meet the requirements for GSM (i.e. competent, vocational and proficient English).

If the score is less than the required number in any component, English language competency has not been sufficiently proven. In such a case, the applicant must re-sit all four components.


So if you or anyone you know is thinking or applying for a skilled visa or has applied or has had an application refused or a visa cancelled [or appeal to the AAT] talk to us.  Book an initial 30 minute consultation for a flat fixed fee for the initial 30 minutes to discuss your issue with a Master Migration Lawyer.
Call 03 9614 0218 or email to make an initial 30 minute consultation at our Melbourne office. (conditions apply)
Note: this update, or any previous updates on this page, do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.
Please call our office to seek professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content on this page