IELTS & OET News Tracker: August 2023

Aug 12, 2023 | IELTS Test

August proves to be a hectic month for IELTS, as countless students strive to attain the required scores in order to study abroad for the upcoming school year. Here are the latest updates involving the IELTS and immigration developments since we left you in July.

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The Latest IELTS News

The following story centres around the latest temporary suspension of TOEFL in Australia and how this affects visa applications. Continue reading to learn more…

Australia Will Temporarily Suspend The Acceptance Of TOEFL For Visa Applications

The Australian Department of Home Affairs has announced that the TOEFL iBT (test of English foreign language, internet-based test) will be temporarily suspended for visa applications from July 26 2023, until further notice. This is due to revisions to the test being made by the ETS (Educational Testing Service).

The Australian government is currently conducting a review of the recent changes to the TOEFL iBT. The Department of Home Affairs has issued a notice regarding this. It’s worth noting that the updated version of TOEFl iBT was officially launched on July 25.

“The enhanced version of the TOEFL iBT, which begins worldwide administrations on July 26, has been designed to improve the test taker experience, reducing the test time and streamlining the registration process while maintaining the rigour and reliability the test is known for. ETS has submitted the enhanced test to Australia’s Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to be reviewed as part of a standard process the Department takes to evaluate English language tests. We commend the DHA for this thorough review which ensures that its high standards for measures of English proficiency are upheld,” Rohit Sharma, SVP of Global Higher Education and Workskills, ETS. 

Whilst this review is underway, the following English proficiency test results will be accepted:

– International English Language Testing System (IELTS), including One Skill Retake (OSR)

– Pearson Test of English (PTE)

– Cambridge English (CAE) (also known as C1 Advanced)

– Occupational English Test (OET), note, however that this is a test developed for health professionals.

Test results for Australian visa applications will still remain valid for individuals who have taken the TOEFL test before July 25.

IELTS test results that include OSR (except applications for subclasses 476, 482, and 485 which need scores from one attempt only) will be accepted for Australian visas. 

International Migration News

International Migration News by Andrew Turner

Whether you’re looking to relocate or to study abroad, the following two stories may interest you. Here are the latest migration developments in countries from the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

New Pathway for Trade Workers: Unlocking Opportunities for Immigration to Canada

As previously mentioned, Canada is actively pursuing measures to boost immigration and address existing labour shortages within the country. This proactive approach is aimed at ensuring a steady influx of skilled individuals to bridge the gaps in the labour market and support the nation’s economic growth and development.

Canada’s new Express Entry system invites individuals who have experience working in specific trades to apply

In a recent government news release, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada made an official announcement about a new and streamlined immigration pathway tailored for skilled workers that specialise in carpentry, plumbing and welding. This initiative aims to provide these professionals with a more accessible and efficient route to immigrate to Canada, taking advantage of their valuable expertise and contributions to the country’s workforce.

The category selection introduced in May marks the third addition to the new Express Entry process, enabling Canada to address specific labour shortages that persist across various industries. This step comes as a significant response to meet the ongoing workforce demands and streamline the immigration system, ensuring a more efficient and targeted approach to fulfilling the country’s labour needs.

“It’s absolutely critical to address the shortage of skilled trades workers in our country, and part of the solution is helping the construction sector find and maintain the workers it needs,” Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, stated.

Before the implementation of the Express Entry system, candidates were assessed and ranked solely based on various criteria, including age, marital status, and educational qualifications, with limited consideration for work experience.

As part of the Express Entry program’s ongoing implementation, candidates with backgrounds in healthcare and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields have already been extended invitations to apply. This targeted approach aims to attract individuals with specialised skills and expertise to contribute significantly to Canada’s workforce and overall economic growth.

The government is set to announce other categories in the coming weeks. The program is expected to focus this year on pathways for candidates that work in:

– Health care

– Science, technology, engineering and mathematics

– Trades such as carpentry, plumbing and contracting

– Transportation

– Agriculture and agri-food

Now is the moment to start your IELTS preparation and make the most of this opportunity.

Foreign Enrolment In New Zealand Reaches 60% of Pre-Pandemic Levels

Compared to 2018, applications for student visas in New Zealand as of July 2023 are approaching 60% of pre-covid levels, according to year-to-date figures released July 5 2023. 

Due to the high volumes of applications this year, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) advises that all students make sure to apply well in advance of their planned programme.

INZ has reported seeing some delays in processing visas due to the higher volumes this year. The agency cautions that:

“Unfortunately, we have received many applications submitted only a few weeks before the student intends to commence study in New Zealand.

Students should apply for their visas around four months ahead of intended travel and at least two months ahead of intended travel. We cannot prioritise late applications ahead of students who have applied in good time. Unfortunately, some students who apply late may miss their start date.

Please remember that students should not confirm travel bookings until the visa is granted.”

With a growing number of visa applicants, excelling in the IELTS test becomes increasingly crucial due to heightened competition. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to improve your English skills with the guidance of an expert! Reach out now and kickstart your IELTS preparation journey today!

Further Reading

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See you in September!

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