Dreaming of a new working life in Australia? Better English can help make your dream a reality
The test-takers queuing to check in for their English language test at the Pearson Professional Test Centre on a Wednesday in late August are from a multitude of different industries, careers and backgrounds. A programmer and a software engineer mingle with a start-up entrepreneur, a doctor and an accountant. All represent a fast-growing groups of skilled professionals and business elite and all have a driving ambition: to be approved for a skilled migration visa that will allow them to emigrate and work in Australia.
Australia has long been a magnet for those looking to make a fresh start in a new country. Of the 190,000 migration places offered for 2013/2014, more than 128,000 were reserved for skilled migrants – those with attributes and skills that make them attractive to the Australian public and private sectors. Some skilled migrants are sponsored by companies, others apply as independents. Australian territories and states can sponsor migrants and some visas are reserved for entrepreneurs and investors. All, however, need to meet the exacting entry requirements to achieve an Australian work visa.
The Australian skilled migration application process includes selection based on a points system. The current minimum number of points to apply for general skilled migration visas is 60 points; points are awarded based on factors that include age, post-secondary qualifications, occupation and importantly English language competency.
How to demonstrate English proficiency and superior English skills to earn additional visa points for your Australian work visa
The minimum DIPB requirement for language proficiency is PTE Academic 50 for general skilled migration. The reward for reaching a proficient English level (PTE Academic 65 or equivalent) is 10 points towards your general skilled migration visa application. If you can show superior English (PTE Academic 79 or equivalent) then you receive 20 points towards your application. For applicants who haven’t scored highly on work experience or qualifications this can make a crucial difference to the chances of getting a visa.
You can achieve these additional points as either a native or non-native English speaker. Consequently, being able to exhibit English language competence has become a critical part of the visa application process.
IELTS has long been the only test approved by the Australian government for visa applicants for both work and study. Since November 2014, in an effort to make it more convenient for applicants, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has approved a number of additional tests that can be used as proof of English language skills, including Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic).
As the test takers head into the Pearson Professional Test Centre for their session, the apprehension is palpable. They know that the test is key to a successful application and the new opportunities an Australian skilled migration visa will generate. They know that their new skills will also give them the “real life” English they need to get life down under off to a great start.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is generic in nature and you should always proceed based on your personal circumstances. This article originally appeared in Australia & New Zealand Magazine and has been edited from its original version to publish online. Read the original article.
Next week we take a look at how to prepare for success when taking an English proficiency test. Subscribe to our blog to have the post delivered immediately to your inbox!
About PTE Academic
PTE Academic is the world’s leading computer-based test of English for study abroad and immigration. It offers fast, flexible English testing: candidates can schedule their test as little as 24 hours in advance and typically receive their results within five business days. There are test centres in more than 50 countries worldwide and the test is accepted by governments, including the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection, and thousands of academic programmes worldwide. To learn more visit www.pearsonpte.com