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SM4.5 Minimum standard of English language for principal applicants

  1. Applications under the Skilled Migrant Category must be declined if the principal applicant has not met the minimum standard of English.
  2. Principal applicants under the Skilled Migrant Category meet the minimum standard of English if they provide acceptable English language test results no more than two years old at the time the application is lodged, as set out at SM4.5.5.
  3. Other evidence that a principal applicant meets the minimum standard of English is:
    1. citizenship of Canada, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America, provided the applicant has spent at least five years in work or education in one or more of those countries or Australia or New Zealand; or
    2. a recognised qualification (SM8) comparable to a New Zealand level 7 bachelor’s degree and gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America as a result of study undertaken for at least two academic years in one or more of those countries; or
    3. a recognised qualification (SM8) comparable to a New Zealand qualification at level 8 or above and gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America as a result of study undertaken for at least one academic year in one or more of those countries.
  4. In any case, an immigration officer may require a principal applicant to provide an English language test result in terms of paragraph SM4.5 (b). In such cases, the English language test result will be used to determine whether the principal applicant meets the minimum standard of English.

SM4.5.1 Decision to request English language test

Full consideration must be given to all evidence of English language ability provided before a decision to request an English language test under SM4.5 (d) is made. If an English language test result is requested the reason(s) behind the decision must be clearly documented and conveyed to the applicant.

SM4.5.5 Acceptable English language test results for principal applicants

The following English language test results are acceptable:

Test

Minimum score required

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) - General or Academic Module

Overall score of 6.5 or more

Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT)

Overall score of 79 or more

Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)

Overall score of 58 or more

B2 First (First Certificate in English) (formerly Cambridge English: First (FCE))

or

B2 First for Schools (First Certificate in English) (formerly Cambridge English: First (FCE) for Schools)

Overall score of 176 or more

Occupational English Test (OET)

Grade B or higher in all four skills (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking)*

* A score of Grade B or higher in all four skills is required for the OET as there is no overall grade for this test.

Effective 21/05/2018

PREVIOUS IMMIGRATION INSTRUCTIONS

SM4.5 Minimum standard of English language for principal applicants (28/08/2017)

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