Learn all about the English requirements for a skilled migrant visa.

English requirements for a skilled migrant visa

Meeting the English requirements for a skilled migrant visa

In order to apply successfully for a skilled migrant visa you will need to meet the minimum English requirements.

This is required of you, the main applicant as well as each family member aged 16 years and older who is included in your application.

 

How do you prove you meet the English requirements for a skilled migrant visa?

  • An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) certificate score of 6.5 or more for yourself as principal applicant, or 5 for non-principal applicants, in the General or Academic module. IELTS certificates must be less than two years old
  • Evidence of citizenship in Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom (UK) or the United States of America (USA), and evidence of having spent at least five years working or studying in those countries, or in Australia or New Zealand
  • By showing you have a recognised qualification, gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK or the USA, that’s comparable to a New Zealand bachelor’s degree. The person who holds this qualification must have studied for at least two years in any of those countries to get that qualification
  • Evidence of having a recognised qualification, gained in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK or the USA, that’s comparable to a postgraduate New Zealand qualification. The person who holds this qualification must have studied for at least one year in any of those countries to get that qualification.

Non-principal applicants can also meet English language requirements by pre purchasing English for Speakers of Other Languages tuition.

Meeting the English requirements for a skilled migrant visa via an English background

Certificates showing you were taught in English for all the years you were at primary school and for at least 3 years of secondary school.

Certificates showing you were taught in English for 5 years at secondary school.

A tertiary qualification that was taught in English, which took 3 or more years to complete.

Certificates showing you have a qualification listed in the Immigration New Zealand ‘English Language Information’ leaflet.

Principle Applicant

Overall score of 6.5 or more

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

Overall score of 79 or more

With the exam - Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Test (TOEFL IBT).

Overall score of 58 or more

Exam taken with the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic).

Overall score of 176 or more

Cambridge English: First (FCE) or Cambridge English: First (FCE) for Schools.

Grade B or higher in each of the 4 skills

Occupational English Test (OET).

Partners and dependent children aged 16 and older

Overall score of 5 or more

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

Overall score of 35 or more

With the exam - Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Test (TOEFL IBT).

Overall score of 36 or more

Exam taken with the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic).

Overall score of 154 or more

Cambridge English: First (FCE) or Cambridge English: First (FCE) for Schools.

Grade C or higher in each of the 4 skills

Occupational English Test (OET).

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