IELTS and OET News: June 2021

Jun 13, 2021 | Australia, IELTS, IELTS News, IELTS Test

This month, there’s a whole host of news to share. And at last, it’s largely the good kind if you’re a skilled English speaker looking to move to Australia or New Zealand; public discourse in both countries is highlighting the need for more migrants like you. And if you’re looking to move to the UK, there are some changes here you need to be aware of too.


Another reason to strive for IELTS success 

Test takers can now be even prouder of their hard work. IELTS has been recognised for the quality and excellence of its testing – which, of course, reflects on test-takers – by leading standard setters ALTE (the Association of Language Testers in Europe). ALTE has awarded IELTS its prestigious ‘Q mark’, for which every stage in the IELTS process was measured against 17 key metrics. 

International IELTS Job News

International employment news 

Lots of news for Australia-bound migrants in 2021-22 Federal Budget

The Government’s most recent Budget, which sets out policy and spending for the coming fiscal year, had lots of important news for English speaking migrants. They include changes to:

  • Family visa numbers
  • Skilled visa numbers 
  • Employment for those on student visas
  • Sponsored Temporary Parent visas
  • Global Talent visas 
  • Employment for temporary visa holders
  • Employment for visa holders from the Pacific region
  • The Adult Migrant English Program

You can find full details of the new policies here.

Australia should focus on attracting highly skilled English speaking migrants, experts say

An Australian think tank (a group of policy experts who recommend what lawmakers should do) has published new research which, they say, shows the Government should be looking to attract younger, highly skilled English speakers to benefit Australian society over the long term. Doing so would be a pivot from current immigration policy, which almost exclusively favours migrants who can fill job roles in a select few employment sectors currently facing skills shortages. 

Australian hospitality businesses raising the alarm over skills shortages

The country’s restaurants are in particular need of more skilled migration from abroad; chefs, managers and sommeliers are all in short supply. Those with the right skills who can secure a visa – for which, of course, English language proficiency is vital – can be sure of finding a job on arrival in Australia. 

New Zealand extends existing working holiday visas – but those yet to enter the country face a longer wait 

Like Australia, New Zealand’s borders are currently closed. For those already in the country on a working holiday visa, that’s good news; visas have been extended by six months. Migrants waiting outside of New Zealand to migrate for work, however, won’t be able to do so for the foreseeable future after the Government delayed its ‘immigration reset’.

Highly skilled migrants to be prioritised in New Zealand immigration rethink 

Looking to the future, low skilled and low wage workers from overseas will be less likely to be awarded a work visa for New Zealand, making way for English speakers with high-demand skills and experience. The Government is looking to address specific skills shortages in forthcoming changes to migration policy. 

UK-bound migrants may need digital visa in future 

The British Government has outlined plans to introduce a digital system for migrants without an existing visa or immigration status, similarly to the ESTA and ETA programs in the US and in Canada. The UK ETA (electronic travel authorisation) will automatically determine a traveller’s eligibility to enter the UK in advance.

UK Government publishes new strategy on immigration & border control

In May the British Government published a ‘legal statement’ outlining a broad range of reforms to rules on who can enter the country, how long they can remain and what they can do. Changes include formalisation of the new ‘points-based system’, which rewards those who fit certain English language proficiency criteria and simplifies current visa and immigration processes. 

US tech companies fight for high-skilled migrants’ eligibility to work in the States 

Some of the States’ biggest tech companies, led by Google, have a launched a court challenge to rule changes which could prevent H1-B visa holders (highly skilled English speaking migrants, typically in the tech industry) from being able to work. The firms say more than 90,000 such workers will soon face unemployment if proposed rule changes are pushed through. 

IELTS International Study

International Study news

Canadian students abroad may be able to enter the country without quarantine from July 

As Canada’s vaccine rollout progresses and Covid-19 cases decline, the Government is exploring ways to relax its border control rules. Students with an International Study permit can currently enter the country but are required to quarantine for 14 days; from July, those who have been fully vaccinated may be exempted from quarantine

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