Some English speaking countries are beginning to think about life after Covid-19. That includes attracting more English speakers for work and study, particularly in those nations – like Australia and New Zealand – which kept their borders firmly shut. And there’s one thing they all have in common: they want to see migration return.
As the Australian immigration Minister put it, “We’ve learned one thing out of COVID, and that is we absolutely miss the visitors to our economy and temporary visa holders. We want them back as soon as possible.”
Some light, then, at the end of the tunnel!
OET and IELTS news
New OET test for doctors, nurses & other health professionals
If you’re a medical professional looking to move to an English speaking country, you can now ‘check the health of your English’ with OET Pulse, a new version of the usual listening and reading assessment for doctors, nurses and others working in healthcare. It’s designed to test your competency in realistic, healthcare-specific working scenarios.
IELTS launches AI-powered learning app for Chinese test takers
New technology is set to transform how IELTS test takers learn and practice in China with the launch of the body’s new Smart Learning mobile app. The app, one of the first of its kind, can recognise and assess speech using AI, and gives learners a way to practice speaking English with actionable, real-time feedback.
International Employment News
Australian government expects high immigration post-pandemic
As we covered in a previous edition, fewer migrants are looking to Australia for a new life; many would now prefer to work or study in Canada, the UK or the USA. But that will soon change, according to Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke. He told SBS News in March that “as soon as we can open those borders, we’re going to have huge demand to access Australia.”
If he’s proved right, that could mean more competition for jobs and university places – so a strong IELTS or OET score will be essential.
UK offers more support for new migrants from Hong Kong
There’s more good news for UK-bound migrants from Hong Kong: those with a British National Overseas passport will be able to access a £43 million fund to help them find housing, education and employment through twelve new ‘welcome hubs’. The initiative comes after the UK government created a new visa scheme for Hong Kongers earlier this year in a bid to facilitate more immigration from the region, similarly to Australia and Canada.
Australia plans to reopen borders for students & other temporary migrants
Exciting times are ahead if you’ve been studying at an Australian university from overseas: the government is planning to allow temporary visa holders like students, who have been unable to enter the country since mid-2020, to finally return. Restoring migration for face to face study is a top priority for the Australian government, so we can expect to see the borders reopened as soon as the government deems it feasible.
Canada widens eligibility for post-graduation work permit
The Canadian government has made changes to the country’s Post Graduation Work Permit Program to accommodate students who have been unable to complete their study within Canada. Usually, only time spent learning face to face counts towards eligibility for the permit, but for the length of 2021, distance learning will be included too. The change ensures that travel bans during the pandemic will not exclude international graduates from work opportunities.