Important changes to language testing for UK visas have been announced by the British government.
IELTS, an English test for higher education and global migration, has now been approved as a suitable test for all individuals who are required to show proof of their English language abilities when applying for a UK visa.
The news will mean that applicants can take the tests at over 100 different locations around the world and at different times to suit throughout the year.
In addition to the confirmation of IELTS, a new level will be implemented to people who are required to prove that their speaking and listening skills meet requirements.
The IELTS test will become one of only two approved Secure English Language Testing providers to support immigration applications as of April 6th. The other provider is Trinity College London.
This will mean a change to the existing set-up, which will see language qualifications from City & Guilds IESOL, ESOL and ISESOL qualifications and Pearson Test of English Academic removed from the list of acceptable tests.
The changes will only apply immediately to exams take after April 5th. All currently approved exams taken on or before this date will be accepted by the UK immigration services up until November 2015 in order to simplify the transition process.
The IELTS test has been in existence for 25 years and has been recognised by some 9,000 organisations around the world, including businesses and universities.