Introducing the IELTS Prepare by IDP : 10-part video podcast series.


Call Australia home

Clean air and beautiful beaches. A strong economy and cultural diversities. These are just some of the reasons why so many people consider Australia the perfect place to call their new home.

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.

IELTS is one of the key tools you’ll need to move to Australia

What Australian visa do you need?

Do you live overseas and would like to create a future in Australia? There are a number of visa options available to you. Some allow you to live and work in Australia for a couple of years. Others allow you to stay in Australia indefinitely. We’ll introduce you to the skills based visas and employer sponsored visas. To be successful, you must meet some basic requirements for skilled migration, and pass the Australian immigration Points Test.

Skills based Australian visas

The purpose of the Skilled Migration Program is to attract highly employable people for migration to Australia. It is one of the most common forms of migration to Australia. If you have skills or qualifications that Australia needs, you can be:

Australian Visas issued under this category:

You can’t apply directly for these visas. Instead, you need an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs to apply for these visas. Planning to apply for an Australian visa under this category? You should express your interest through SkillSelect. This online program has two steps: first, submission of an EOI (Expression of Interest), and second, actual visa application. How does this work?

Get IELTS for your Skilled Visa

How does SkillSelect work?

  • Step 1: Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)

An Expression of Interest is not a visa application. But it still requires you to meet all the basic requirements for the visa. This includes reaching the minimum points for the visa. Your EOI is assessed based on the points you get in the points test. In fact, Your EOI will be ranked according to your score on the applicable points test.

If you can demonstrate superior English language skills, you can claim more points. More points means a higher ranking in your EOI application.

  • Step 2: Invitation to apply for a visa

If your EOI is successful, you receive an invitation to apply for a visa. In your visa application, you show that you achieved the score specified in the points test for your EOI.

Employer-Sponsored Visa

The alternative to general skilled migration is employer sponsored visas. The benefit is twofold: it allows Australian employers in need of skilled labour to find someone with a specific skill and sponsor them. On the other hand, it allows a skilled labourer of a foreign country to work with Australian employers and live in Australia.

Australian Visas Issued Under This Category:

  • Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482)

  • Employer Nomination (subclass 186)

  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187)

The Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa

For decades, the Temporary Work (subclass 457) was the most popular path to Australia. It filled skill shortages in key industries. However, in April 2017 the Australian Government reformed this visa subclass. As replacement, they introduced a new Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482).

The Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa

In place of the 457, two new streams of the Temporary Skill Shortage visa now exit. First, the Short Term Skills Shortage Stream. This grants a two-year stay and you can renew it for another two years. However, it doesn’t lead to PR unless you are in a regional area. Second, the Medium and Long Term Strategic Shortage Stream. This is a longer-term visa granting a four-year stay. It offers a path to PR after three years. But, there are some exceptions regarding the applicant’s role, salary and the size of their employer.

Get IELTS for your Skilled Visa

Immigration and the law

Legislation about immigration changes frequently. It’s important to check the Australian Department of Home Affairs 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 advice for student visas.

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When Australia's Melbourne University offered Alka Singh-Nand a scholarship, it was her ticket to an academic adventure.

Find out all that you need to know about Australian visas and the IELTS band scores you need for migration.

English proficiency levels

Learn about the different English language proficiency levels stated in the Department of Home Affairs website:

English proficiency level

IELTS score needed

Functional English

An average band score of at least 4.5 based on the 4 test components

Vocational English

An average band score of at least 5 based on the 4 test components

Competent English

An average band score of at least 6 based on the 4 test components

Proficient English

An average band score of at least 7 based on the 4 test components

Superior English

An average band score of at least 8 based on the 4 test components

Just remember, this is only a guide. The IELTS score you require will depend on which visa you need when moving to Australia. Find out what IELTS score you need at the Department of Home Affairs website.

Before you book your IELTS test, we recommend that you check with your university, workplace, or the Australian Government in order to understand the level of skill you need to demonstrate, and which version of IELTS you need.