Migrating to Australia, NAATI and the IELTS
Thread poster: Alex Boladeras

Alex Boladeras  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:07
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sep 5, 2008

Dear Prozians,

I intend to apply for a visa to migrate permanently to Australia quoting "Translator" as my designated occupation. As you know the body responsible for dealing with applications for accreditation is the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).
I could well fill up a lot of space telling you about my experience in dealing with NAATI, which has been absolutely frustrating so far (from other posters here I can see that I am not alone in thinking this). But my question is different. As you know in order to claim 25 points for knowledge of the English language, you must normally produce evidence of having attained at least 7.0 across the 4 components of the IELTS. Has anybody from non-English speaking countries applied for migration as a translator? Have you been required to sit the IELTS? Do you think I will be exempted from taking the IELTS considering that my accreditation as a NAATI translator will necessarily assume a more than reasonable command of the English language? I have posed the same question direct to the Department of Immigration and they have responded with one of their classic "one-size-fits-all" messages that fails to address my question specifically.

Any thoughts on this will be much appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.




Nicole Y. Adams, M.A.  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:07
Member (2006)
German to English
+ ...
My experience Sep 5, 2008

Hi Alex,

I have applied for an Australian visa in the Translator category last December. We're still waiting for our application to be even processed, they're only up to November, but that's a different story.

I had absolutely no problem receiving NAATI accreditation on the basis of my German "state certificate" qualifying me as a translator. I did not have to take a test or anything, I just applied for NAATI accreditation on the basis of my overseas qualifications and got approved right away.

With regards to the IELTS test: If you want the 25 points it is obligatory, even if English is your native language and even if you are a NAATI-accredited translator. My husband is British and still had to take the IELTS test as a native speaker. If I remember correctly English native speakers will get 10 points if they choose not to take the IELTS test, but if they want 25 points the test has to be taken. For all non-native speakers including translators it is obligatory.

Good luck with your application!



Alex Boladeras  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:07
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thank you! And my experience with NAATI so far Sep 5, 2008

Hi Nicole,

That´s really helpful thanks very much. Why can´t the Department of Immigration be so clear in their responses? LoL

How lucky that you received your accreditation straight away. Let me just share my story so far and hopefully somebody might be able to benefit from my experience. Having passed the DipTrans (Eng>Spa) in May this yea, I enquired to NAATI about accreditation at the professional level on the basis of my overseas qualification. As you probably know the Institute of Linguists (IoL) as well as NAATI's web site admit membership to the IOL on the basis of the DipTrans as being sufficient to gain accreditation at this level. I wrote NAATI asking if they would be prepared to admit my application for accreditation on the basis of my qualification alone, as I would like to spare the time and the money involved in having to apply for membership to the IoL. Their response: "You would definitely be able to apply at this level and you will not have to be a member of the IOL". On the basis of this, I submitted my application and supporting documents and here is where my problems began. To cut a long story short: the accreditation officer now requires evidence of my having attended an official course involving not less than 400 hours of tuition with a translation and/or interpreting component. And this is after informing that very officer that, despite my extensive experience in translation, I had no formal training in the discipline other than a short prep course at the University of Westminster! Needless to say, I am most annoyed at NAATI's sudden change of opinion; so much so that I have decided to refer the matter to the IoL's chief of examinations. And To add insult to injury my credit card has been debited with 800AUD, part of which corresponds to the processing fee (which is non-refundable, and I accept it), although the bulk of it corresponds to the fee for an accreditation that I still don't have!

I suppose my problems would be solved at a stroke if I became a member of the IoL. Otherwise, both NAATI's and the IoL's web site would be misleading people, and this is very serious. Anyway, please share your experience with NAATI so I may draw some comfort (or perhaps more outrage) out of it.




savaria (X)
Local time: 15:07
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Please have a look at the URL below -Australian visa for translators Sep 5, 2008


And maybe this page might help you too:

Help! Jul 31

I have a big question here. Suppose that I want to skip IELTS exam for immigration, cause I can get a NAATI certificate by "overseas qualification and skill employment" section in NAATI website with my Master's in translation. I know that here I loose the points of IELTS exam in my application form, but the thing is my wife has a degree in English Translation major as well, which to my knowledge gives us 15 more points, referring to NAATI. Moreover, referring to Australian Home of Affairs I am indeed saving about 8000$ taking my certified NAATI translator wife with me who is not going to take IELTS test. Am I going through it right or am I missing something? Anyway, my reasons to skip IELTS exam is saving money, time and energy cause there is no center near to us to sit for IELTS exam, and we need money!
I will be so glad if I have any answer on this.
Thank You in Advance,


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Migrating to Australia, NAATI and the IELTS

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