Language assessment centres for UK visa applicants reduced

11 May 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The number of English language assessment centres for UK visa applicants has been drastically reduced by the UK immigration authorities.

A list of test centres was revised last month by the UK Border Agency (UKBA), lowering the available acceptable tests for people wishing to come to the country.

The new list will be effective from July for immigrants looking for Tier 1 or Tier 2 work permits, UK spouse visas and civil partner visas, the Guardian reported.

Students who are applying for UK visas under the Tier 4 route are already subject to the new regulations governing English language testing.

By the end of the year, UK visa applicants will have just six language test providers to choose from after the Academy of Oriental Cuisine, in Leeds and the College of Excellence, in north-west London, among others, are dropped.

In reducing the number of test centres, the UKBA required that the tests were available in a minimum of 40 countries and that they were taken by no fewer than 2,400 candidates each year.

Evidence of test validity, anti-fraud and anti-cheating measures was also required, as was a system of frequently updating test items.