Need to retake one skill? IELTS One Skill Retake is here.


IELTS as proof of English language proficiency

The Australian government’s Department of Home Affairs accepts IELTS as proof of English language proficiency for all visa categories. In fact, IELTS is the only tests accepted by all immigration authorities of Australia, the UK, New Zealand and Canada.

For migration to Australia, you may need to show that you have an understanding of the English language. So, to prove this, the Department of Home Affairsexternal icon can ask you to show that you’ve done an official language test, like IELTS. You may also have to show that in the 3 years before you apply you have gained the minimum scores needed for your visa.

When you migrate to Australia and are applying for a visa, you may come across different language proficiency levels. For example, there is functional English and vocational English. But also competent English, proficient English and even superior English. Each of these levels has a different IELTS score.

English language proficiency levelTest componentIELTS score
Functional EnglishOverall score4.5
Vocational EnglishListening5
Competent EnglishListening6
Proficient EnglishListening7
Superior EnglishListening8

It’s a big step to move to a new country. Thankfully, you’re not alone. We’ll help you with some background information about the types of visas are available and what Australia has to offer you.

Immigration and the law

Legislation about immigration changes frequently. It’s important to check the Australian Department of Home Affairsexternal icon website for changes that may apply to you. If you are interested in Australian student visas, work visas, or looking to migrate permanently, you need to lodge an application with the Australian Government. You may want to consider getting support from a lawyer or migration agent. However, you can also get free adviceexternal icon for student visas.

Full list of Australian visas

Check the full list of Australian visas to see which one requires you to show English language proficiency.

Business, Talent and Regional Visas
  • Business Innovation and Investment (permanent) visa (subclass 888): English test required

  • Business Innovation and Investment (provisional) visa (subclass 188): English test required

  • Business Owner (subclass 890)

  • Business Talent (Permanent) visa (subclass 132): English test required

  • Distinguished Talent visa (subclass 124): English test required

  • Distinguished Talent visa (subclass 858): English test required

  • Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186): English test required

  • Investor visa (subclass 891)

  • Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191)

  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187): English test required

  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 494): English test required
  • Expert IELTS advice from IDP IELTS Coaches

    Practise your IELTS skills in Writing, Reading or Speaking and receive a personalised action plan to improve your IELTS band score.

    • Get one-on-one coaching with an official IELTS expert
    • Practise writing tasks online and receive a personalised feedback report
    • Complete a reading task and get a personalised feedback report
    Practise your IELTS skills with an official mock test for IELTS Writing, Reading or Speaking