Today we’re going to compare the four English language test most migrants take – the IELTS General and Academic, the PTE Academic, and the TOEFL iBT. To make it easy to see the differences, we’ve broken down the tests into three sections:
- Test overview.
- The parts of the test.
- How long it takes to get your test results.
At the end of the comparison you’ll not only understand the differences between the tests, you’ll also know each English language test better.
Let’s get started:
In the test overview, we give you a short description of what each test assess and how it’s done.
1 and 2. IELTS General and IELTS Academic:
The IELTS tests assess your abilities in listening, reading, writing and speaking – in less than three hours. The Listening, Reading and Writing sections of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them. The Speaking section, however, can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests. Your test centre will advise.
3. PTE Academic
PTE Academic assesses listening, reading, speaking and writing all via computer in a single three hour test session. To complete a PTE Academic test, you will need to attend a secure Pearson test center. You will use a computer and headset to listen to, read and respond to questions.
4. TOEFL iBT
The TOEFL iBT test measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. It also evaluates how well you combine your reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills to perform academic tasks. The TOEFL iBT test is given in English and administered via the internet. It takes about 3 hours total for the 4 sections of the test (Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing).
All four English language tests assess your speaking, writing, reading and listening skills. However, the PTE Academic test assess your speaking and writing skills in one session while the other English tests assess each skill in an individual session.
1 and 2. IELTS General and IELTS Academic: Listening (30 min)
You’ll listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write your answers to a series of questions. Assessors will be looking for evidence of your ability to understand the main ideas and detailed factual information, the opinions and attitudes of speakers, the purpose of an utterance and evidence of your ability to follow the development of ideas.
3. PTE Academic: Speaking & Writing (77 – 93 min)
- Personal introduction.
- Read aloud.
- Repeat sentence.
- Describe image.
- Re-tell lecture.
- Answer short question.
- Summarize written text.
- Essay (20 mins).
4. TOEFL iBT: Reading: (54 – 72 min)
You’ll read three or four passages from academic texts and answer 30 to 40 questions.
1 and 2. IELTS General and IELTS Academic: Reading (60 min)
The Reading section consists of 40 questions, designed to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument and recognising writers’ opinions, attitudes and purpose.
- General: Reading material includes extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. These are materials you’re likely to encounter on a daily basis in an English-speaking environment.
- Academic: Reading material includes three long texts which range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. These are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers.
3. PTE Academic: Reading (32 – 40 min)
- Reading & writing: Fill in the blanks.
- Multiple choice, choose multiple answers.
- Re-order paragraphs.
- Reading: Fill in the blanks.
- Multiple choice, choose single answer.
4. TOEFL iBT: Listening (41 – 57 min)
You’ll listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, then answer 28 – 39 questions.
1. IELTS General: Writing (60 min)
Topics are of general interest. There are two tasks:
- Task 1: You’ll be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information, or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.
- Task 2: You’ll be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be fairly personal in style.
2. IELTS Academic: Writing (60 min)
Topics are of general interest to, and suitable for, test takers entering undergraduate and postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration. There are two tasks:
- Task 1: You’ll be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and asked to describe, summarise or explain the information in your own words. You may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object or event.
- Task 2: You’ll be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Responses to both tasks must be in a formal style.
3. PTE Academic: Listening (45 – 75 min)
- Summarise spoken text.
- Multiple choice, choose multiple answer.
- Fill in the blanks.
- Highlight correct summary.
- Multiple choice, choose single answer.
- Select missing word.
- Highlight incorrect words.
- Write from dictation.
4. TOEFL iBT: Speaking (41 – 57 min)
Express an opinion on a familiar topic; speak based on reading and listening tasks. You’ll complete four tasks in total.
1 and 2. IETLS General and IELTS Academic: Speaking (11 – 14 min)
The speaking section assess your use of spoken English. Every test is recorded.
- Task 1: The examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes.
- Task 2: You will be given a card which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic.
- Task 3: You will be asked further questions about the topic in Task 2. These will give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issues. This part of the test lasts between four and five minutes.
3. TOEFL iBT: Writing (50 min)
You’ll have to write essay responses based on reading and listening tasks, and support an opinion in writing.
When do you get your results?
Waiting for the results on such an important test is nerve-racking! It helps to know for how long you’ll have to wait. Here we break down the time frames:
1 and 2. IELTS General and IELTS Academic:
If you’ve taken a paper-based test, your Test Report Form will be available 13 days after you complete the test, but if you’ve taken a computer-delivered test, your results will be available between 5 and 7 days after your test.
3. PTE Academic
Typically, PTE Academic results are available within five business days.
4. TOEFL iBT
Score reports are available and can be viewed online in your TOEFL iBT account approximately six days after your test date. If you requested a paper copy, it will be mailed to you approximately 11 days after your test date.
For even more information on each test, go to the individual websites:
Want to know which test you should take?
Our immigration consultants advise on English language tests during the assessment process. You’ll find out if you have to take an English test and which English test is best for your situation.
The first step is an initial assessment to see if you are eligible for immigration to Australia. Should this assessment show that you are eligible, you can choose to proceed with a comprehensive assessment. It is during this assessment that our advisors give advice on English tests.
To book your initial assessment, simply complete and submit this short form. You’ll hear from one of our consultants within 24 hours to get started on your immigration journey.
The key to not being overwhelmed is to know what should get priority status. That’s why we’ve drawn up a handy list that details your 6 most important tasks.
We’ve also included helpful links so you can start planning your arrival in Australia right away.
1. Apply for a tax file number
Your tax file number (TFN) is a unique identifier issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). This number is yours for life, even if you change your name, change jobs, move interstate or go overseas.
While having a TFN is not compulsory, it is highly recommended to get one. Without a TFN you’ll pay more tax and you also won’t be able to apply for government benefits, lodge your tax return electronically or get an Australian business number.
How to apply for your TFN
Migrants on permanent and temporary resident visas can apply for a TFN on the ATO website. You can also call ATO or visit an ATO service centre, but an online application is the most efficient way to do it.
2. Enrol with Medicare
Medicare is Australia’s national healthcare system and provides free or subsidised healthcare to Australians and permanent residents. Under Medicare, you can access a range of health care services, including:
- Medical services by doctors, specialists and other health professionals.
- Hospital treatment.
- Prescription medicines.
To enroll with Medicare, you’ll have to go to a Medicare Service Centre with all the required documents. If you meet the criteria, you’ll get a temporary Medicare card number. You’ll receive your Medicare card by post after approximately three weeks.
You can read more about Medicare and how to enroll with it on the Australian government’s Human Services website.
3. Enrol your children in a school
If you have children of school-going age, you’ll want to enroll them in a school as soon as possible.
In Australia, children must attend school from the ages of 5 to 16. Thereafter, 16 and 17-year olds must be enrolled in school or a training organisation, be employed or be in a combination of school/training/employment.
To choose a school, you can go to MySchool.edu.au. MySchool lets you compare schools to find the school that’s best for your children.
Once you’ve chosen a school, you can either call or visit the school. It is best however to follow your state or territory’s guidelines. These are the education websites:
- Australian Capital Territory: www.education.act.gov.au
- New South Wales: education.nsw.gov.au
- Northern Territory: education.nt.gov.au
- Queensland: education.qld.gov.au
- South Australia: www.education.sa.gov.au
- Tasmania: www.education.tas.gov.au
- Victoria: education.vic.gov.au
- Western Australia: www.education.wa.edu.au
4. Apply for a driver’s licence
You must have a valid driver’s licence to drive in Australia. This could be either your foreign driver’s licence or an Australian driver’s licence. Most states and territories will, however, require you to apply for a local driver’s licence after having been in their region for a certain period of time. This period is usually 90 days.
We’ve written extensively about driving in Australia legally on our blog. You can read the article here.
5. Open a bank account
Your life will become infinitely easier once you have a bank account set up. You’ll then be able to receive your salary, make withdrawals, set up debit orders, and save.
If possible, open a bank account within six weeks of your arrival in Australia. During this period, you’ll only need your passport as identification. Once the 6-week period is over, you’ll need additional documentation which may still prove difficult to show.
These are some of the top banks in Australia:
- Commonwealth Bank
- Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)
- National Australian Bank
- Westpac Bank
- Bank of Queensland
- Macquarie Bank
- Bendigo Bank
- AMP Bank Ltd
- Suncorp Bank
Be sure to give the bank your tax file number to avoid higher interest rates of taxation on interest earned!
6. Find a family doctor
Your family doctor is your first port of call when your family’s health needs looking after. For this reason, choosing a GP is of utmost importance. In Australia you can change doctors, so feel free to do so if the first doctor you approach does not feel like the best fit for your family.
You can find a GP in your area with Healthdirect, which is a government-funded service providing quality, approved health information and advice. Healthdirect also offers comprehensive advice on how to find the right health professional on their website.
Your next question would certainly be how to see a doctor. Melbourne-based GP and Vice President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) Dr. Tony Bartone explains to SBS that “You can see a doctor without a Medicare card. However, you’ll be expected to complete a private form or account for that treatment. If you do have a Medicare card, the Medicare card will cover a certain amount of the fees.”
Now you can breathe a little easier! Your list of things to do when you arrive in Australia is done. You know what to do and where to go. Simply tick these to-do’s off one by one and you’ll settle into your new life in no time.
Go ahead – bookmark this page immediately! Then start reading…
Can anyone immigrate to Australia?
No, it is not anyone who can move to Australia. You have to be eligible for an Australian visa in order to be able to immigrate to Down Under.
Can a 50/60/70-year old immigrate to Australia?
This question is usually asked by people who think they are too old to immigrate to Australia. There are various answers:
- You are unfortunately too old at 50 or above for a skilled migrant visa. Skilled migrant visas are only open to applicants 45 years or younger.
- You are still eligible for an Employer Sponsored visa if you’re under the age of 50.
- If you’re over the age of 50, there are visa options open to you. You can read more about these visas on our blog.
What do I need to immigrate to Australia?
The most important ‘need’ is meeting the criteria for immigration to Australia. The basics criteria relates to age, health, and character. Other requirements range from being in the right occupation to getting enough points in your skills assessment.
The specific visa you qualify for will reveal whatever else you’ll need to immigrate. This could be, for example, the documentation to submit.
Can a medical condition stop you from immigrating to Australia?
Yes, medical conditions could stop you from immigrating to Australia. If you’re concerned about a medical condition you have, it’s best to get advice from our licensed advisors.
What are the skills Australia need?
Australia needs a great number of skills in areas ranging from education to the automotive industry. The specific skills are related to occupations and are captured on skill shortage lists.
There is an in-depth discussion about Australia’s skill shortage lists on our website.
Can I move to Australia as a tiler/nurse/architect/etc?
You should do an immigration assessment to see if you can move to Australia in your occupation.
As explained above, Australia actively seeks applicants in some occupations. However, qualifying for a work visa requires more than just your occupation appearing on a skill shortage list. You’ll also have to meet the other requirements of the visa and the specific criteria attached to your occupation.
You can find a list of occupations needed in Australia on our website. This list is constantly updated, so continue coming back to it if you don’t see your occupation at the moment.
How do I get a visa for Australia?
This question does not have a short answer. The truth is that your individual circumstances and the visa you qualify for largely determines the application process you have to follow.
What we can tell you for sure is that the starting point is an immigration assessment to determine if you’re eligible for an Australian visa.
After how many years can you get Australian citizenship?
Permanent residents are eligible for Australian citizenship after living in the country for four years. The main requirements are that you have been:
- Living in Australia on a valid visa for the past 4 years (at the time of your application).
- A permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen for the past 12 months.
- Away from Australia for no more than 12 months in total in the past 4 years, including no more than 90 days in total in the past 12 months.
You can read more about gaining Australian citizenship on Immigration Australia’s website.
What are the costs to consider when moving to Australia?
There are various costs to consider if you want to immigrate to Australia. These include but are not necessarily limited to:
- Immigration Australia fees.
- Immigration advisor fees, if you work with an advisor.
- Flights to Australia.
- Relocation costs, including your household goods and pets.
- Living costs. Check that your salary will be enough to cover all your needs and wants.
If you like to plan ahead, also consider these costs:
- Housing – compare renting vs buying a home.
- School fees, if you have children.
- Banking costs.
- Buying a car, if you’re not shipping yours.
What’s the first step if I want to immigrate to Australia?
The first step is always an eligibility assessment to see if you qualify to live in Australia. Not only will the assessment show if you qualify for a visa, it will also detail the next steps to take.
While there are free online assessments available, it’s wise to get a licensed advisor to do your assessment. A licensed advisor is up to date on all regulations and knows which questions to ask.
Can my parents immigrate to Australia?
Yes, your parents are allowed to join you in Australia. This is provided your parents meet the requirements to do so. The parent visa options are:
- Parent visa (subclass 103): For retirees.
- Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa: The applicant must have a Parent Sponsor.
- Aged Parent visa (subclass 804): Applicants must be old enough to receive the age pension in Australia.
- Contributory Aged Parent visas (subclasses 864 and 884): Applicants must be old enough to receive the age pension in Australia.
- Contributory Parent visas (subclasses 143 and 173): For retirees.
Can I immigrate to Australia with a criminal record?
All visa applicants to Australia must be of good character. This means you must pass Australia’s character test and remain of good character.
You may not pass the character requirements in some circumstances. These include but are not limited to cases where:
- You have a substantial criminal record.
- Your past and present criminal or general conduct shows that you are not of good character.
- There is a risk that while you are in Australia you would:
- engage in criminal conduct;
- harass, molest, intimidate or stalk another person;
- vilify a segment of the Australian community;
- incite discord in the Australian community or in a part of it; or
- be a danger to the Australian community or a part of it.
- You have been convicted, found guilty or had a charge proven for, one or more sexually based offences involving a child.
You can get all the visa character requirements on Immigration Australia’s website.
What are the different types of visas for Australia?
Australia offers visas that enable migrants to do all of the following:
- Work in Australia for an employer under either as a skilled migrant or sponsored by an employer.
- Work in Australia as an entrepreneur.
- Join a spouse, fiance or life partner.
- Join family – visas for parents and children.
Didn’t see your burning questions here?
Australia is big. The Kimberley region in Western Australia is roughly three times the size of England. Australia’s largest national park is nearly half the size of Switzerland. It’s no surprise that there’s so much to explore Down Under – especially its great outdoors!
1. Swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef
At Ningaloo Reef, off Western Australia’s north coast, you can swim with the giant but gentle whale shark. These beautiful creatures visit the reef every year from April to July. Other inhabitants you’ll see while gliding through the blue ocean waters are turtles, dugongs, manta rays and 500 species of tropical fish.
2. Sail the Whitsundays
The Whitsundays are made up of 74 islands and is situated on the beautiful tropical coast of Queensland, Australia. With the Great Barrier Reef hugging this part of the coastline, the waters are typically calm, which makes it deal for sailing, as well as snorkeling, diving, and swimming.
Most of the Whitsundays islands are uninhabited and protected by six national parks, making this part of Australia an enchanting experience. You won’t soon forget the dazzling sands of Whitehaven Beach or the charming Heart Reef.
3. Abseil in the Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains is a rugged region in Australia’s New South Wales. Its most famous landmark is the Three Sisters. These ‘sisters’ are three rock pinnacles that tower over the valleys, waterfalls, and dense eucalyptus forests below.
You can explore the Blue Mountains by foot, mountain bike, or 4×4, but abseiling down the mountain cliffs is the by far the most thrilling way to do it.
4. White water rafting down the Franklin River
The Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park is named after the rivers that twist and cascade their way through this rugged part of Tasmania. The best of the rivers are said to be the Franklin.
This powerful river offers spectacular scenery, roaring rapids, and pockets of tranquility. It is one of the wildest and most memorable experiences in Australia when you negotiate the river by kayak.
5. Walk the coastline of the Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road meanders along 243 kilometres of Australia’s south-eastern coast between the cities of Torquay and Allansford. Running alongside it is the Great Ocean Walk.
As the name suggests, the Great Ocean Walk is a hiking route that runs along the coastline. It’s no mean feat at 100 kilometres that takes 8 days to complete!
Every step is worth it though! You get to breathe in the fresh ocean air, step as close to the sheer cliffs as you can handle, and take in the majestic 12 Apostles.
6. Watch a sunset over Uluru
Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is on just about everyone’s Australian bucket list. It’s a massive red stone monolith in Australia’s arid Red Centre.
Let’s contextualise just how massive – Uluru rises 348 meters above the surrounding desert plain and it takes roughly three hours to walk the circumference!
While Uluru is a special sight any time of the day, those in the know highly recommend seeing it at sunset. This is when Uluru’s colours change as the sun sets on it, making it glow a majestic red colour.
7. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef
This list would not be complete without adding the iconic Great Barrier Reef. The Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and stretches along more than 2000 kilometres of Australia’s coastline.
Your number one choice for an up-close-and-personal encounter with the abundant marine life in the Reef should be a snorkeling experience. You’ll get to appreciate the vivid corals, over 1500 species of tropical fish, sea turtles, giant clams, rays and dolphins in their natural habitat. Few other experiences come close!
Whether or not your children automatically gain Australian citizenship is dependent on the type of visa or status you hold at the time of their birth.
Children born in Australia where at least one parent is a citizen or permanent resident
If you or your partner is an Australian citizen or permanent resident when your child is born, your child automatically gets Australian citizenship. Once your child’s birth certificate is issued, you can apply for their passport.
Children born in Australia where both parents are permanent residents
Australian legislation states that if you are both permanent residents, your child will get citizenship. This means your child get their citizenship status as well as an Australian passport.
Children born overseas to permanent residents
Children born outside of Australia to permanent residents, whether it’s one or both parents, don’t automatically qualify for Australian citizenship. These children also do not qualify for citizenship by descent.
Instead, you’ll have to apply for a permanent visa for your child. Once your child receives their visa, they are free to enter and live in Australia.
The visa in question will likely be the Child Visa (subclass 101), as most children born outside Australia to permanent resident parents have to apply for this visa. At the moment, 90% of these visas take up to 19 months to process.
Children born in Australia to parents on visas
If both you and your partner are in Australia on a visa then legally your child will hold the same type of visa. While you don’t have to apply for your child’s visa, you must inform the Department of Home Affairs of your child’s birth so that a visa can be attached to your child’s passport.
Neglecting to notify the Department of your child’s arrival can lead to complications. Specifically if you travel with your child outside of Australia without a visa. The golden rule? Get in touch with the Department as soon as possible after your child’s birth!
When it comes to getting permanent residency, your child will receive this status at the same time as you do. It is also important to note that children born in Australia who hold temporary visas and live in Australia for 10 consecutive years, are eligible to apply for Australian citizenship.
Get in touch if you need professional assistance with a child visa application
Should you find yourself in a position where you have to apply for a visa for your child, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can get in touch online or call us on either +27 (0) 11 234 4275 or +27 (0) 21 202 8200.
Our immigration agents can explain all the visa requirements, do an assessment, and help you put together your application from start to finish. We’re there for you every step of the way.
The OECD, an international organisation that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world, decided to look at factors that directly affect people’s daily lives.
Factors such as healthcare, schooling, and social security. The results are contained in the organisation’s Better Life Index – and Australia is doing well!
Australia is among the top countries in the Index
The Better Life Index compare the 35 member countries of the OECD plus key partners such as Brazil, Russia and South Africa. The quality of life is measured against 11 topics, each with up to four indicators, and Australia is one of the top scorers in most areas.
In Australia, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD32,759 a year. This is only USD845 less than the OECD average of USD33,604 a year.
Around 73% of people between the ages of 15 and 64 in Australia are employed, which is above the OECD average of 68%.
With 81% of adults aged 25 to 64 having completed upper secondary education, it is clear that education is important to Australians.
In terms of the quality of the country’s education system, the average student scored 502 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This score is higher than the OECD average of 486.
The life expectancy at birth in Australia is around 83 years. This is three years more than the OECD average of 80 years. When breaking it down by gender, women’s life expectancy is 85 years while the life expectancy for mean is 80 years.
Australians are hard workers! While the OECD average for employees working long hours is 11%, the average in Australia is 13%. On average, men work longer hours than women.
The air quality in Australia is the best among all the countries in the Better Life Index! The level of air pollutants small enough to enter and cause to the lungs is only 5.2 micrograms per cubic meter. The OECD average sits at 13.9 micrograms per cubic meter.
When Australia’s were asked if they’re satisfied with Australia’s quality of water, 93% of people said they were. This is 12% higher than the OECD average of 81%.
You’ll enjoy a strong sense of community in Australia. No less than 95% of Australians believe they know someone they could rely on in time of need, more than the OECD average of 89%.
Given all of the above, it should come as no surprise that Australians are satisfied with life. When asked to rate their general satisfaction on a scale from 0 to 10, Australians gave it a 7.3 grade on average. This is higher than the OECD average of 6.5.
With such a high quality of life it’s no surprise that Australia is a dream destination for migrants from across the world! Get in touch if you’d like also like to make Australia your home.
The many specialist terms and phrases especially get confusing really quickly. ANZSCO, de facto, SkillSelect…The list goes on!
That’s why we wanted to help out today with an Australian immigration glossary. You’ll find the most common, and pertinent, immigration concepts on here as well as their definitions.
If you need further clarification on any term or phrase, or have any other immigration questions, you’re welcome to contact us to speak to one of our agents.
Your Australia immigration glossary
A person who is old enough to be granted an Australian age pension.
Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations as published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The person (or persons) applying to migrate to Australia.
Australian Migration Program
The Australian Migration Program is the program under which people with skills in demand in Australia are invited to move to Australia permanently. The Program runs from 1 July to 30 June each year.
Biometrics is a means of identifying and authenticating a person through features of that person’s body. Examples include:
- Face structure (photos).
Copy of a document authorised, or stamped as being a true copy of the original, by a person or agency recognised by the law of the applicant’s home country.
Your child is your:
- Biological child.
- Adopted child.
Your spouse, children, parents and siblings as well as stepchildren, parents and siblings.
Not legally married, but in a spouse-like or spouse-equivalent relationship. Some people refer to these partners as a ‘common law spouses’. Additionally:
- You are committed to a shared life excluding all others.
- Your relationship is genuine and continuing.
- You live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis.
- You are not related by family.
A person who is wholly or substantially reliant on a family member for financial support to meet their basic needs, or a person who is wholly or substantially reliant on a family member for financial support due to being incapacitated for work because of the total or partial loss of bodily or mental functions.
A natural, adopted, or stepchild who has not turned 18 years of age. Such a child is:
- Not married, engaged or in a de facto relationship; and
- Wholly or substantially reliant on you for their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter.
To apply for a visa as a dependent child aged 18 years or older, the child must be:
- Dependent on you more than any other person for their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter, or
- Unable to work to support themselves because they have a disability that totally or partially affects their bodily or mental functions.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection, which was a department of the Government of Australia that was responsible for immigration, citizenship and border control. The DIBP has now been subsumed into the Department of Home Affairs, which combines it responsibilities with a number of other portfolios.
Eligible New Zealand citizen
An eligible New Zealand citizen (ENZ) is a person who:
- Holds an Australian permanent residence visa; or
- Is defined as a protected SCV holder under the Social Security Act 1991.
Your employer is the person or organization that pays you to work for them.
Expression of Interest (EOI)
An Expression of Interest, commonly abbreviated to EOI, is the way you are able to show your interest in applying for a skilled visa to migrate to Australia.
A relationship where a couple is engaged to be married.
Your spouse and dependent children.
The International English Language Testing System, which is used to assess your English language ability.
Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority. You can check on MARA’s website to see if an immigration agent is licensed and registered.
Members of the family unit
For visa purposes, the following people are recognized as the man applicant’s family unit:
- Spouses and de facto partners.
- The main applicant’s children, or their partner’s children, who are not engaged, married or in a de facto relationship, and who are:
- Under the age of 18; or18 to 23 years of age and dependent on the main applicant or the main applicant’s partner; or
- 23 years or older and dependent on the main applicant or the main applicant’s partner due to a partial or total physical or mental disability.
- The dependent children of the main applicant or their partner.
When applying for Remaining Relative Visas, near relatives are defined as:
- Your parents or stepparents.
- Your partner’s parents or stepparents.
- Siblings or step-siblings.
- Children or stepchildren who are 18 years or older and who are not dependent on you.
- Children or stepchildren who are under the age of 18 and not in your or your partner’s daily care.
Partner refers to married and de facto spouses, fiancees, and interdependent partners.
This refers to a person who holds an Australian permanent visa and is usually a resident in Australia. Generally, permanent residents can live, work and study with much fewer restrictions than temporary visa holders.
A visa permitting a person to remain indefinitely in Australia.
For many of the skilled categories, you must complete a points test and score at least a minimum points score in order to continue with your visa application.
A temporary visa allowing a person to enter and remain in Australia until a decision is made on the permanent visa application.
A qualifying business is one that is:
- Operated for the purpose of making profit through the provision of goods, services or goods and services the public; and
- Not operated primarily or substantially for the purpose of speculative or passive investment.
A relative is your:
- Partner, child, parent, brother, sister, stepchild, stepparent, stepbrother or stepsister.
- Grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or step equivalent.
Australia will consider you ‘settled’ if you:
- Have lived legally in Australia for reasonable period, usually at least 2 years; and
- Are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
Your sibling is someone who has at least one parent in common with you.
Skilled migration to Australia is one of the most common ways to obtain a visa for Australia. It allows for applicants to obtain a work visa on the grounds of:
- A job offer (sponsorship) from an Australian Employer.
- A particular state or territory wishing to nominate an individual.
- A family member being able to act as the immigrant’s sponsor.
- An individual who may have studied in Australia and now wishes to work there.
- The applicant having sufficient points to make an independent application (without nomination, sponsorship or relevant studies).
Skilled Occupations List (SOL)
If you are intending to apply under any skilled migrant visa, you must have a nominated occupation which is on the SOL at the time you apply.
SkillSelect is an online service which helps Australia to manage its skilled migration programme. The primary goal is to make sure that the skilled migration programme focuses on and is fully based on the economic needs of Australia.
For some categories you must have a sponsor. This is an Australian citizen or permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen who is prepared to sponsor your application and who undertakes to assist the application, to the extent necessary, financially and in relation to accommodation for a period of 2 years.
A spouse is your husband or wife where you’re married to each other under a marriage that is valid for the purposes of Australia’s Migration Act. It is also required that you:
- Have a mutual commitment to a shared life excluding all others.
- Have a genuine and continuing relationship.
- Live together or don’t live separately and apart on a permanent basis.
A stepchild is the child of your current or former partner. If the stepchild is the child of your former partner, the child must be under the age of 18 and you must have either:
- An Australian parenting order that is in force, saying that you are to live with the child and look after them.
- Legal guardianship or custody of the child.
Some visas allow your eligible family members to apply to join you in Australia as subsequent entrants after you’ve been granted your visa.
Australia’s temporary residence policy facilitates the entry, on a temporary basis, of people who can contribute to the economic, cultural and social development of the Australian community.
Temporary residence visas allow people to live and work in Australia for a limited time. Initial stay in Australia is generally for more than 3 months but not more than 4 years.
Permission to travel to, enter and remain in Australia for a period of time or indefinitely.
To work is to perform an activity in Australia in exchange for remuneration. This could be payment or some other form or reward.
The good news is that there are visas that allow for people over 50 to immigrate to Australia.
The condition, of course, is that you meet the all the requirements of the visa you’d like to apply for.
Here we’ll take a look at your Australian visa options if you are older than 50:
- Business Innovation Stream (Provisional) Visa
- Business Talent Visa
- Parent Visas
Business Innovation Stream (Provisional) Visa (subclass 188)
The subclass 188 visa is a four-year provisional visa. As a provisional visa it is the first step towards permanent residency. In this case, permanent residency is via the Business Innovation and Investment Visa (subclass 888).
The requirements to meet under the subclass 188 visa will depend on the stream under which you apply:
- Business Innovation stream: You want to establish, develop and manage a new or existing business in Australia.
- Investor stream: You want to make a designated investment of at least AU$1.5 million in an Australian state or territory, and maintain business and investment activity in Australia.
- Significant Investor stream: You are willing to invest at least AU$5 million into complying investments in Australia, and maintain business and investment activity in Australia.
For both the Business Innovation and Investor stream, you must be under the age of 55. That’s not much older than 50, so don’t take too long to apply if you’re already 50!
Business Talent Visa (subclass 132)
The subclass 132 visa allows you to establish a new business or develop an existing business in Australia. It has two streams:
- Significant Business History stream: For high-calibre business owners or part-owners who want to do business in Australia.
- Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream: For people who have sourced venture capital funding from a member of the Australian Venture Capital Association Limited (ACVAL).
You must have state nomination to apply for the subclass 132 visa and you must be 55 years of age or younger. States or territories may waive the age requirement if you can meet certain requirements.
There are several Parent visas available to the parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents, and Eligible New Zealand (ENZ) citizens:
- Parent visa (subclass 103): You must apply as a retiree.
- Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa: You’ll need an approved Parent Sponsor in order to apply.
- Aged Parent visa (subclass 804): You must be old enough to receive the age pension in Australia.
- Contributory Aged Parent visas (subclasses 864 and 884): You must be old enough to receive the age pension in Australia.
- Contributory Parent visas (subclasses 143 and 173): You must apply as a retiree.
The other requirements for these visas range from meeting the balance-of-family test and having a sponsor to meeting the health and character requirements. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss the requirements in detail.
Want to know if you’re eligible for immigration to Australia?
If you’re nearing 50 or are older than 50 and would like to know if you qualify for any of the visas above, please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can do so via phone on either +27 (0) 11 234 4275 or +27 (0) 21 424 2460 or via email.
The first step is an initial immigration assessment to uncover any immigration options open to you. To book your assessment right away, simply click here and submit your details. One of our consultants will endeavor to contact you within 24 hours to get the ball rolling.
Sure, but can you speak it to the level Immigration Australia requires? Can you demonstrate your reading, listening and writing skills well? And when was the last time you were subjected to the nail-biting anxiety of having to complete an exam in a certain time?
The score of your English language test could determine whether or not you can submit a visa application. Won’t you want to be as prepared as can be?
Tip 1: Understand the test format
Both of these tests consist of four parts:
In turn, each part consists of a set of questions and tasks. Familiarising yourself with all the parts, questions and tasks will prepare you for what’s coming on test day. Going in blind is setting yourself up for failure!
Let’s give you the Listening component of the IELTS as an example:
You’ll listen to four recordings. Each recording is done in a different accent and only played once. After listening to the recordings, you’ll have to answer questions based on what you’ve heard. This part of the test is broken down into four parts with 10 questions each. The formats of the questions include:
- Multiple choice.
- Sentence completion.
- Plan/map/diagram labelling.
- Form/note/table/flow-chart/summary completion.
Can you already see why it’s important to prepare for your English test?
Tip 2: Practice with sample tests
Completing sample test materials will help to prepare you for the test in a big way! You’ll be able to:
- Familiarise yourself with the test format.
- Experience the types of tasks you’ll be asked to do.
- Test yourself under timed conditions.
- Review your answers and compare them with model answers.
This is like the tests that came before the big end-of-year exams at school. Do you think you would’ve done half as good in the exam if you didn’t write the tests beforehand?
Tip 3: Consider working with an English language teacher
If you’d prefer someone to guide you, instead of preparing on your own, working with an English language teacher is the way to go.
Usually teachers offer tutor sessions over Skype and – big plus – it’s one-on-one. The teacher will introduce you to the test format, take you through sample tests, give feedback, and focus on your developmental areas.
Clients of Intergate can access our list of recommended English language teachers. If you haven’t asked for it yet, do so today.
Tip 4: Know what to expect on test day
Think back to your finals at school. Remember how you had to be seated at a certain time? Remember that you had to have at least two pens?
The English language test environment is similar. You’ll have to bring stipulated items with in order to be able to write your test. And you’ll have to be on time!
Your English language teacher, if you work with one, will be able to prep you on all the requirements. If you’re a client of ours, you can also speak to our advisors to find out what to expect on test day.
This is not ‘just’ an English test.
This test forms part of Australia’s eligibility criteria for anyone who wants to live and work Down Under. Scoring well is crucial to increasing your overall points score and thus your chances of immigrating.
If you don’t prepare for your English test, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. You might also end up having to pay for another test – and we’re sure you wouldn’t want to do that.
Many people assume there is one answer, but this is not the case. Australia’s many visa options each have their own requirement. Sure, some criteria are shared, like health and character conditions for instance, but the main qualifying requirements are not shared.
The starting point to uncovering the criteria you’ll have to meet to be eligible for a visa, based on your personal situation, is asking yourself two key questions. Here are those questions:
What do I want to do in Australia?
Do you want to work for an employer, as is the case for many visa applicants? Or do you want to work in your own business? Perhaps you want to join family or work in Australia after completing your studies?
Knowing what you want to do is important because it determines the requirements you’ll have to be able to meet.
Let’s look at some examples.
If your goal is to work, i.e. obtain a work visa, you could look at general skilled migration or employer sponsored visas. For the former you’ll have to have an occupation that’s on a skills shortage list, be between the ages of 18 and 45, and achieve a positive skills assessment. You won’t necessarily need a job offer. However, for an employer sponsored visa, you must have a job offer from an Australian employer.
Or, say you want to join your significant other who is an Australian in the country. In this case, your spouse, life partner or fiancé must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or Eligible New Zealand citizen. Additionally, Immigration Australia wants proof of the fact that you are in a genuine and committed relationship.
Before we continue, let’s clarify that these are the crucial requirements to meet in each instance, but not all the criteria to satisfy. Our advice is to do further reading on our website to explore Australia’s visa options and requirements in detail:
Will any family members join me?
It goes without saying that you don’t want to leave your family behind when you move to Australia. In some cases, depending on the type of visa, partners and children are allowed to apply as subsequent entrants. If your visa does not allow subsequent entrants, family members will have to apply for a visa based on their intention and meet that visa’s requirements.
Please feel free to chat to our immigration advisors for further clarification.
The next steps
Once you have a handle on what you want to do in Australia, it’s recommended to do an eligibility assessment to determine if you meet all of the requirements for immigration to Australia.
Keep in mind that your eligibility will depend on a combination of factors, for instance work experience and qualifications, and not just the requirements listed here. As we said, the questions discussed here are only the starting point.
If your assessment has a positive outcome, you’ll be able to proceed with a visa application. This is when the real work starts! It’s during this stage that you’ll gather all documents and supporting evidence, and do any required tests, such as the IELTS.
Sound like a lot to take on yourself? You don’t have to necessarily. You are welcome to contact us for an assessment and assistance with your visa application. You’ll be glad you did!