PTE Exam for Australian PR (Permanent Residency)

If you plan to migrate to Australia and wish to stay here permanently, you would need an English proficiency test to apply for PR (Permanent Residency). One way to get a certification is through the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic). Although the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) has been the most popular option for a long time, many prefer to take the PTE Exam these days for Australian PR (Permanent Visa).

The Home Affairs of Australia currently does not accept TOEFL iBT – Special Home Edition, IELTS indicator, and OET@Home. With that, PTE is the best option. It is also preferable because it can be used for an unlimited number of purposes, including admission to universities and immigration requirements not just in Australia but also in New Zealand.

Available all year round, PTE exam is computer-based with 4 modules: PTE Listening, PTE Reading, PTE Writing, and Speaking (together). The results can be obtained in just 5 – 7 working days and sometimes within 24hours.

How Much PTE Score Is Required for Australia?

When a candidate takes the PTE test for Australian immigration, one needs to achieve a minimum PTE score. There are different visa options to gain permanent residency (PR) status in Australia that varies depending on the different visa categories below:

  • Functional English: Those who belong to this group need to prove that they took the PTE test in the last 12 months of applying for a visa. Required PTE Academic Score: 30
  • Vocational English: Those who belong to this group need to prove that they took the PTE test in the last 3 years of applying for a visa. Required PTE Academic Score: 36
  • Competent English: Those who belong to this group should be a citizen of or a valid passport holder of the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland. Required PTE Academic Score: 50
  • Proficient English: This is for points tested skills. Those who belong to this group must have taken PTE in the last 3 years before applying. Required PTE Academic Score: 65
  • Superior English: Similar to Proficient English. Required PTE Academic Score: 79

Who Are Required and Exempted to Take a PTE Exam


For family-stream visas, it does not require you to take a PTE exam for Australian immigration. However, for work visas, it is compulsory to prove your English proficiency level.

As per immi.homeaffairs gov site, those applying for visa 189 or visa 190, or visa 491 need a minimum score of 50 for each of the four components of the PTE Academic test. The PTE score for Australian immigration must be increased by 10 points or at least 65 in each of the PTE Academic test components. Getting a score of 79 or higher in each of the test components will give you 20 more points in your score.

Meanwhile, subsequent entrants on visa 491, will be allowed to enter Australia if they get a PTE Score of 30 in each of the test components. But to gain PR status, they will be required to get higher scores.

Some groups are exempted from PTE score for Australia PR, which includes:

  • General Skilled Migration Visa Holders: These are groups who are citizens with a valid passport of Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, or the United States of America.
  • Permanent Employer Sponsor under Temporary Residence Transition Stream Visa Holders: These are groups who have completed a minimum of five years of full-time study from a secondary or higher education institution providing all the tuition lectures in English.


How long is the PTE academic valid?

The PTE Academic 2020 Exam validity scores are applicable for up to two years from the exam date. Once expired, it will be removed from the website’s record. Although the PTE Academic Score Report card indicates that it can be used for 2 years, it is actually valid for immigration purposes in Australia for 3 years. Here are the different validity depending on its respective category:

  • General Skilled Migration: Within 36 months of receipt of the visa application invitation.
  • Permanent Employer Sponsor: Within 36 months before the date of lodgment application
  • For family members of 18 years and above age applying with the aspirant: Within 12 months before the visa application or completed during the period when the application is being processed.
  • For Education purposes: PTE scorecard must be valid within 24 months from the date of issue


PTE Registration, Process and Fees

To register for the PTE exam, you need to go to the PTE Academic official website, create a Pearson Account, book a slot then pay the registration fee of around A$375. Wait for the confirmation of your exam date.

Since the PTE Exam is required to get a permanent Visa in Australia, see to it that you will get a good score when you take the test. To do so, you must be ready before the exam. It is highly recommended to review all 4 modules on a daily basis, follow the study plan assigned by the trainers, and be consistent in following the tips provided by them. Practice mock exams so you can assess what you still need to learn. Of course, experience is the best teacher. Make sure that you practice English through writing and speaking with others or reading articles and newspapers, build your listening skill-set by listening to audible books with the help of headphones.

Doing these tips will help you get the minimum required score to finally acquire your dream permanent Australian Visa.

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