Visas and Residency – IELTS and PTE

Updated: Aug 3

Not sure of what score you need to get on PTE Academic, IELTS General Training, or IELTS Academic? Before you start your IELTS or PTE coaching course, here are a few resources to help you with your visa or residency application.

What are you applying for?

Depending on the type of application – i.e. visa, residency – different English tests (and scores) are required. This can also change depending on the country. The Australian Department of Immigration’s Visa Finder has a search engine that provides the requirements for the different types of visas/residency you may be eligible for.

Which tests are accepted?

In Australia, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection accepts the following English tests:

  1. International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

  2. Occupational English Test (OET)

  3. Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT)

  4. Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic

  5. Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test (also known as Certificate in Advanced English)

However, by far the most common are IELTS General Training, IELTS Academic, and PTE Academic (**Note! PTE General is not accepted by the Australian Department of Immigration!**).

Depending on what you are applying for, you will need to get a score that falls into one of these categories: Functional, Vocational, Competent, Proficient, or Superior.



Table from: https://www.border.gov.au/Lega/Lega/Form/Immi-FAQs/aelt

Which test should I take?

If you are not sure which test to take, or you want to know more about PTE Academic, check out our previous blog post to help you make the right choice.

How long are my results valid for?

Both IELTS and PTE scores are valid for up to 2 years. So you can use them in different applications for different purposes during this period. After this time is up, you will have to take another test.

Are there differences between countries?

Both PTE and IELTS are recognized worldwide and as such can be used at different institutions. However, as mentioned above, different departments, countries, and visas can ask for different tests, so always check your application requirements before taking a test. Furthermore, as PTE is a relatively new test, it is not as common as IELTS across the globe, though fortunately, in Australia it is a very common alternative these days!

More information

Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic)

Check out the PTE website for a table of minimum scores as well as a list of visas that accept PTE: http://pearsonpte.com/pteacademic-australian-visas/

IELTS General Training and Academic

For more information on using IELTS for immigration, test information, and how to book your test, head to the migration page on the IELTS website: https://www.ielts.org/what-is-ielts/ielts-for-migration/australia

To check if the organisation or institution you are applying to accepts IELTS check here:

https://www.ielts.org/about-the-test/who-accepts-ielts-scores

Start your engines!

If you’re ready to start preparing for your test, get in touch with us at English Key and start an IELTS or PTE preparation course today! Our lovely staff can assist you in taking the right exam for your purposes! Contact us today.


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