A BBC article: Irish vet's English fails Australian computer visa test, talks about a speech test for residency visas in Australia.

It made me wonder, what if the applicant has a speech impediment that happens under stress, or rhotacism (difficulty in pronouncing the sound r), or any other speech impediment? From how the article is written, there doesn't seem to be any leeway (or the availability of a non-computerized test).

  • 1
    Rhotacism is a far more complicated thing than difficulty pronouncing r.
    – phoog
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 19:11
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    If I had a nickel for every time the voice recognition system thought I said "no" when I actually said "yes," or for every other minute of my time I've wasted trying in vain to navigate through one, I'd be a wealthy man (I am a native speaker of US English using US systems). Those systems are generally terrible, and Australia should be ashamed of itself for relying on one.
    – phoog
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 19:17

1 Answer 1


I think you'll find the answer currently is in the article - it counts (for now) as a fail.

This is disappointing and will (if true - the article implies that's just her theory) surely affect a lot of others.

However, as it stands it'd be just like a fail for any other reason. You can re-apply, appeal (in writing), or as she seems to be doing, apply for another visa which she is eligible for (obviously not an option for everyone).

Hopefully if it was due to the voice recognition failure, hopefully the process will be improved / changed in the near future.

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    Sorry if it wasn't clear, I'm asking about applicants with speech impediments? I doubt computerized tests can distinguish.
    – anon
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 12:29
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    For the US, I would just ask for an accommodation for the disability, but Australia Migration Act does not have to adhere to the Disability Act, so possibly out of luck.
    – mkennedy
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 17:45

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