Find out why Australia attracts a large number of immigrants each year and how sitting IELTS can help you begin a new life there.
Imagine you could live anywhere in the world: would Australia, one of the most desired immigration destinations, be your first choice?
If you are nodding in agreement, then you’ve come to the right place – we have all the information you’ll need to realise your dream.
Australia has, among other things, the highest quality of life and a welcoming culture, making new immigrants feel right at home almost as soon as they arrive. Here you’ll find guidance on immigrating to Australia with the help of IELTS, an international English language proficiency test that opens the door to studying and working in Australia.
Moving to the land of opportunity
Did you know that between 2019 and 2020, Australia welcomed more than 150,000 immigrants? The good news is that the authorities there have continued to be supportive of this level of immigration on reopening their borders in early 2022.
So, why does Australia continue to be a popular destination for immigrants? Here are some reasons for it:
- It is among the best five countries in the world to live in. Factors that make Australia a great place to live include its stable economy, high quality of life, and policies on inclusion and equality (US News, 2021).
- It is one among five countries with the most economic freedom. The ease of its access to improved options for producing or consuming goods and services means that it offers well-being opportunities (Heritage Foundation, 2021).
- In 2021, it was chosen as the second-best destination for university students (CEO WORLD Magazine, 2021). Such recognition bears testimony to the quality of Australia’s education system, which ranks among the ten most robust systems in the world (Universitas 21, 2021).
- It has a non-discriminatory immigration policy, which focuses on attracting foreigners with vocational training that are capable of supporting the country’s economic growth. Unsurprisingly, 29% of the Australian population is made up of immigrants (Datosmacro, 2019).
The IELTS test for immigration to Australia makes the entire migration process easier. In this video, we explain why.
IELTS – an essential tool for immigrating to Australia
The IELTS test is an international test designed to assess and award your ability to study, work and succeed in the English language. It has been developed by some of the world’s leading language assessment experts and will test the full range of English skills needed for success in your new job or study placement abroad.
The test assesses your abilities in all four basic language skills, i.e. Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.
Taking IELTS – the world's leading English test for study, work and migration – will make the process of immigrating to Australia much easier. Do remember that it is an essential requirement for:
- obtaining a visa that allows you to enter and legally remain in Australia;
- completing the process of applying for a job in Australia;
- completing the admission process at any Australian educational institution of your choice.
The IELTS test for immigration to Australia offers many advantages, which makes it one of the most trusted English exams out there.
- It is a test that accepts all major native varieties of English, including British and American.
- It allows your level of proficiency in the English language to be assessed in a fair and unbiased way. To make this possible, test writers from various English-speaking countries develop IELTS content so it reflects real-life situations.
- Unlike many standardised tests, IELTS can measure the C2 level (essentially native English speaker level) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), a universally accepted benchmark for measuring linguistic abilities. This means if your English is at the C2 level, taking IELTS will help you prove it.
How IELTS can help you work and live in Australia
If you want to work and live in Australia legally, you must obtain an appropriate visa for it.
If you are aged between 18 and 35, and work in a profession or trade that is in great demand in Australia, you may opt for a skilled migrant visa. The first step towards applying for a visa is to complete an expression of interest (EOI). You can do this using an online digital system known as SkillSelect.
SkillSelect works as a dynamic database that is regularly updated by Australian employers, the central government, and state or territorial governments. This system enables applicants for skilled migrant visas to be matched to prospective employers based on skills and needs.
Once you are selected for one of these visas, you’ll receive an invitation from the Australian government to lodge a visa application.
Categories of visas offered by the SkillSelect program include the following:
- Skilled Independent Worker
- Skilled Nominated (by state or territory) Worker
- Skilled Regional Worker
- Significant Investor
- Temporary Business Innovation and Investment
- Employer Nomination Scheme
- Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme
Another category that is very popular with young adults is the Work and Holiday visa. This visa lets people aged 18 to 30 (inclusive) from an eligible country have an extended holiday in Australia and work there to help fund their trip.
As you can see, there are many options to choose from, but all of them require the applicant to demonstrate their English abilities to the Department of Home Affairs. Anyone wanting to do so need look no further than IELTS, the English test of choice for educational organisations, professional associations and employers across Australia.
Remember, the IELTS score you need depends on the requirements of your visa. The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship has set a minimum IELTS band score of 4.5 for visa and permanent residency applications.
How IELTS can help you study in Australia
With one of the best higher education systems in the world, Australia can offer various study options to international students. The country has over 22,000 courses and more than 1,200 certified institutions to choose from (Government of Australia, n.d.). Six of the world’s top 100 universities are located in Australia, a fact that underlines the outstanding quality of the higher education system there.
A key requirement for registering at any of these certified institutions is being able to demonstrate an appropriate level of proficiency in English. This is because the language of instruction across courses is English.
The IELTS test for immigration to Australia is one of the most widely accepted ways of certifying proficiency in English. All universities and colleges in Australia accept IELTS, as well as all professional associations that have set minimum language requirements for professional registration.
Once you are admitted to a certified institution, you can proceed with your visa application. The Student Visa (Subclass 500) is the most suitable visa category for entering and studying in Australia. With this, you can:
- study any eligible course of between three months and five years in a certified institution in Australia;
- travel within and outside the Australian territory;
- bring members of your family (they must also apply for a visa) with you;
- work in certain sectors for up to 20 hours a week while you study, and for unlimited time during holiday breaks.
When you sit IELTS, one of the world’s most popular high-stakes English language tests, it increases your chances of getting into the educational institution of your choice. It also allows you to speed up the visa process, bringing your plans of studying in Australia to fruition.
Scholarships and ways to fund your studies in Australia
One of the key requirements for obtaining an Australian student visa is to provide evidence that you will be able to financially support yourself throughout your stay in Australia, covering travel, study and living expenses.
According to the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship, an international student can expect to spend around AUD 21,000 as living costs over a year.
To meet these costs, some students choose to work while they are studying, whereas others prefer to seek financial assistance.
There are many grants, scholarships and bursaries available to assist international students financially with their studies in Australia. Here are some of them:
- Financial assistance from the educational institution where you are studying: Ideally, this should be the first option that you consider. A visit to the website of the Australian educational institution you intend to apply to should fetch you sufficient information on scholarships.
- Financial assistance from the Australian government: This is usually reserved for high-performing international students so that the country is able to attract the best and brightest from around the world. The major scholarships programs available to international students are Australia Awards, Destination Australia Program (DAP) and Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP).
- Financial assistance from the government of your own country: In most countries, financial assistance of such kind is usually offered by public bodies.
- Financial assistance provided by companies, bodies and private foundations: The best way to know more about such options is to do an internet search.
Whichever path you plan to take, if you can provide proof of your English abilities, it can prove to be a big plus during the selection process. Of course, it goes without saying that the IELTS test is one of the preferred ways of verifying an applicant’s English proficiency.
Australia is undoubtedly one of the world’s most diverse and welcoming countries. So, if you’ve been toying with the idea of studying, working or living there, we have just one thing to say to you ‒ take the plunge!
When you take IELTS, you take the first step into your future. Sit the English test of choice for educational organisations, professional associations and employers across Australia, and move to a beautiful country that offers world-class quality of living. As always, we, at the British Council, are here to help you get there.