Important IMMEDIATE changes to English Language Requirements for Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate Visas)

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Published: 25 March 2024
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Are you ready to lodge your subclass 485 visa? Read this first!  

On 23 March 2024, The Department of Home Affairs changed the English requirement for 485 visas. 

What has changed?  

English test only valid for 1 year: You must have obtained your English test in the last 12 months.  Tests older than 12 months cannot be used or your visa will be refused.  

English level has increased: The minimum score required has increased to: 

  • IELTS: overall 6.5 with a minimum score of 5.5 for each component of the test 
  • PTE: overall of 57, with at least 43 in listening, 48 in reading, 42 in speaking or 51 in writing or equivalent test. 
  • OET: B in each 
  • TOEFL: overall of 83, with at least 7 in listening, 8 in reading, 16 in speaking or 18 in writing 
  • CAE: overall 176 with a minimum score of 162 for each component of the test 

Are there any exceptions to this English requirement?  

Yes, if you hold a passport from:  

  • Canada 
  • New Zealand 
  • Republic of Ireland  
  • United Kingdom 
  • United States of America   

If you hold one of the five English-speaking passports you can provide evidence of your passport in lieu of an English test for the subclass 485 visa.  

Passport holders from Hong Kong and British National Overseas (BNO) have a lower English requirement: 

English level remains at the pre-23 March 2024 requirements.  

  • IELTS: overall 6 with a minimum score of 5 for each component of the test 
  • PTE:  overall of 50, with a minimum score of36 for each component of the test 
  • OET: B in each 
  • TOEFL: overall of 64, with at least 4 in listening, 4 in reading, 14 in speaking or 14 in writing 
  • CAE: overall 169 with a minimum score of 154 for each component of the test 

I’ve just lodged my 485 visa application. Do I need to do anything?  

  • If you lodged your visa before 23 March 2024. No, the changes occurred on this date.  
  • If you lodged your visa after 23 March and your English was incorrect, it is crucial you seek advice quickly.  
  • If you are about to lodge and you do not have the English level required, book an English test straight away and seek advice straight away.   

More changes to come:  

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Need help or advice?  

If you have questions or need further clarification about these changes, consult one of our Registered Migration Agents at