Summary of changesThe following changes will apply to applications made for the above visas on or after 1 July 2014.
Occupations added to the SOL
The following occupations will be added to the SOL:
• Wall and Floor Tiler (ANZSCO 333411)
Occupations added to the CSOL
The following occupations will be added to the CSOL:
• Exercise Physiologist (ANZSCO 234915)
Changes to occupation titles
The following titles will be changed:
• General Medical Practitioner will be titled General Practitioner (ANZSCO 253111)
Changes to assessing authorities
For new applications for the above visas made on or after 1 July 2014, new assessing
authorities will be specified for the following occupations:
From November 2014, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will accept English language test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test [TOEFL iBT] and the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) across visa programs.
These tests will be acceptable for Australia’s General Skilled Migration Program which includes the most popular visa categories: Skilled Independent [Subclass 189], Skilled – Nominated (subclass 190) and Skilled – Regional (provisional) (subclass 489).
These tests will add to the options of qualifying for the language requirements of visa applications and will be accepted in addition to the currently accepted and most dominant International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Occupational English Test (OET).
Currently, only the International English Language Testing System IELTS and Occupational English Test (OET) are accepted for the purposes of applying for General Skilled Migration.
From November 2014, the following tests will also be accepted:
• Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT)
TOEFL scores are available approximately 10 days after the test date. They can be viewed online, and a hard copy is sent approximately 13 days after the test date. The current cost to undertake the TOEFL iBT in Australia is $240, well under the current cost of IELTS ($330).
Overall, PTE test takes 3 hours. It can be regarded as a user-friendlier test. Results are available within 5 working days, and can be accessed by logging into an online account. It is possible to forward results to institutions via the online account also. This compares favorably with IELTS - results currently take 2 weeks to become available, and there is no online account facility for test takers. The cost to do the PTE Academic test in Australia is $330 - exactly the same as IELTS. Locations and test dates are less extensive than the TOEFL.
The availability of more choices for English language testing from November 2014 will be good for visa applicants. There will be various advantages for the different English tests, for instance:
• TOEFL: readily available, inexpensive
From November 2014, intending migrants submitting an Expression of Interest through Skill Select will be able to provide test scores from the TOEFL iBT or PTE Academic tests. The introduction of these tests will allow applicants to save time as they now would have more options for test centers of giving the English test. There would be a variation in the test format giving a breather to those stuck with the inability to score well with the IELTS format. This announcement also breaks the age-old monopoly of IELTS.