English exemptions – Subclass 186 TRT – Policy updateSeptember 15, 2019
The policy on English language exemptions based on tuition conducted in English has been revised and updated in the Legend 18 August 2019 stack. Members will be aware that the Department has consistently only accepted post secondary school courses undertaken at university level or equivalent as tertiary or higher education studies, even though the MIA has assisted members in having refusals on this basis overturned in the AAT.
The new policy in Legend Subclass 186 & 187 Policy 220.127.116.11 TRT English language proficiency exemptions, now very specifically defines the meaning of higher education:
Higher education is understood to mean tertiary studies as defined in the TEQSA Act 2011.
Relevant higher education awards/qualifications include:
(a) a diploma, advanced diploma, associate degree, bachelor degree, graduate certificate, graduate diploma, masters degree or doctoral degree; or
(b) a qualification covered by level 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 of the Australian Qualifications Framework; or
(c) an award of a similar kind, or represented as being of a similar kind, to any of the above awards;
other than an award offered or conferred for the completion of a vocational education and training course.
Not acceptable for the purpose of the English language exemption are Certificate IV Diploma qualifications obtained as part of vocational education and training (VET) courses.
Also not acceptable are English language courses undertaken for the specific purpose of obtaining an IELTS or equivalent score.