English language test results for residence from work

Check the test results we accept if you apply for a Religious Worker Resident Visa, or are the partner or dependent child of someone applying for residence from work.

Your English language test results

Your English language test result must be no more than 2 years old at the time you apply.

Check Table 1 to find out which test results we accept as proof of your English language ability if you are:

  • the principal applicant for a Religious Worker Resident Visa, or
  • the partner or dependent child of someone applying for:
    • Talent (Accredited Employer) Resident Visa
    • Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Resident Visa
    • Long Term Skill Shortage List Resident Visa
    • Religious Worker Resident Visa.

If we have concerns with a home-based test, we may require you to take another test at a test centre.

IELTS One Skill Retake (OSR)

In 2023 the International English Language Test System (IELTS) provider introduced a One Skill Retake option for both their Academic and General Training tests. The IELTS One Skill Retake must be completed within 60 days of the original test date.

Cambridge language assessments

The Cambridge English: First (FCE) is now called B2 First.

The Cambridge English: First for Schools (FCE) is now called B2 First for Schools.

Table 1: Test and score required
Test Minimum score you need

International English Language Testing System (IELTS):

5 overall

Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT)

35  overall

Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)

36  overall

Cambridge English B2 First

154  overall

Cambridge B2 First for Schools

154  overall

Occupational English Test (OET)
Paper or computer-based test

(OET) Grade C or higher in all 4 skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

You need this score in all 4 skills because there is no overall grade for this test.

Other ways to show English proficiency

Instead of taking an English language test, you can meet our English language requirements by:

  • proving you have an English-speaking background that is at the level needed for your visa
  • purchasing English language lessons as part of your visa application.

English-speaking background
Learning English after you come to New Zealand