RW5.1 Minimum standard of English
- Principal applicants under Religious Worker residence instructions and partners and dependent children aged 16 and older under all Residence from Work categories meet the minimum standard of English if:
- they provide a Test Report Form (no more than 2 years old at the time the application is lodged) from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), showing they achieved an "Overall Band" score of 5 or higher in the IELTS General or Academic Module; or
- they provide evidence that they have an English-speaking background (see RW5.5) which is accepted by an immigration officer as meeting the minimum standard of English; or
- they provide other evidence which satisfies an immigration officer that, taking account of that evidence and all the circumstances of the application, the person meets the minimum standard of English. These circumstances may include but are not limited to:
- the country in which the applicant currently resides;
- the country(ies) in which the applicant has previously resided;
- the duration of residence in each country;
- whether the applicant speaks any language other than English;
- whether members of the applicant's family speak English;
- whether members of the applicant's family speak any language other than English;
- the nature of the applicant's current or previous employment (if any) and whether that is or was likely to require skill in English language;
- the nature of the applicant's qualifications (if any) and whether the obtaining of those qualifications was likely to require skill in English language.
- In any case under (a) (ii) or (iii), an immigration officer may require an applicant to provide an IELTS certificate in terms of paragraph (a)(i). In such cases, the IELTS certificate will be used to determine whether the applicant meets the minimum standard of English.
~ Full consideration must be given to all evidence of English language ability provided before a decision to request an IELTS certificate under RW5.1(b) is made. If an IELTS certificate is requested, the reason(s) behind the decision must be clearly documented and conveyed to the applicant.
~ IELTS is an international organisation that provides an assessment of ability in English. Its General and Academic Modules provide band totals (test results) showing overall ability as well as performance in listening, reading, writing and speaking.