There’s lots of positive news this month, particularly for IELTS candidates who prefer to take the test in their pyjamas at home: soon you’ll be able to! Or, in fact, wherever you like. And if you’re a skilled migrant worker and you’ve been waiting for the Australian or New Zealand borders to open – it’s a good month for you too.
New IELTS online test to allow examination from home for next year
Test takers will no longer need to attend an IELTS test centre in person from 2022, when the body will launch a new option to take the test from home, anywhere in the world. IELTS Online will be assessed in the same way as the in-person test, using advanced security features and AI to ensure fairness. Test takers will receive validated results within three days.
OET moves towards carbon neutrality with new offsetting arrangement
Those taking the English language test for healthcare professionals will soon be able to see the body’s progress towards becoming a climate positive organisation. The body has partnered with Trace, a carbon offset platform, to monitor its environmental impact and reduce CO2 pollution.
International employment news
Australia soon to reopen borders – but citizens will be prioritised first
With more than 80% of Australians aged over 16 now vaccinated against covid-19, border restrictions will soon begin to ease as citizens are allowed to travel abroad for the first time since 2020. There isn’t yet any news for those looking to migrate to Australia; those who’ve been stranded abroad will be first in line when the borders reopen. But it’s one step closer to a return to normality down under.
160,000 migrants in New Zealand to receive one-off resident visa
The NZ government is offering fast-tracked residency to almost 165,000 migrants on most kinds of temporary work visas, clearing the way to permanent migration after almost two years of uncertainty caused by Covid-19. Eligible applicants include more than 5,000 health and care workers, 9,000 primary industry workers and more than 800 teachers. But some overseas migrants – including seasonal workers and those on working holidays – won’t, unfortunately, be eligible.
International study news
Australian government to give more flexibility for 485 Student Visa holders
There’ll soon be news for overseas students at Australian universities who have been stuck offshore as a result of the pandemic, the immigration minister has confirmed. While it’s still unclear what concessions the government will make, visa extensions similar to those given to HGV drivers and other skilled workers are likely.
International students excluded from New Zealand residence visa changes
Overseas students who are studying at NZ universities have sadly been excluded from a fast track to residency this year; the new visa pathway will only be available to those on temporary work visas. It means thousands of students who want to move to New Zealand – along with those on other kinds of working visas – will remain in limbo.