UK Immigration making changes to English language testing in 2015

The UK Home Office has introduced changes to its Secure English Language Testing (SELT), reducing the number of language test providers and increasing security measures. Immigrants applying for visas or visa extensions will now have to take the new SELT test as part of their application.

Providers of the English language testing

The two providers selected to deliver SELT with the new changes are: Trinity College London for UK applicants, and IELTS SELT Consortia for both the UK and the rest of the world.

New security measures

The new SELT model will include tougher security measures such as CCTV, voice sampling and independent audits. As a result of the changes, from 6 April 2015 you will only be able to take the new SELT test to meet the requirements for an immigration application.

Transitional arrangements for English language tests before 6 April 2015

There will be transitional arrangements for those who have taken a language test on or before 5th April 2015 will only be able to use their certificates until 5th November 2015 for UK immigration applications. Also from November 2015, English language requirements for settlement and naturalisation will match those for other types of immigration applications. Other English language qualifications will not be accepted, meaning applicants will need to take the tougher UK immigration approved English language test.

No changes for English Tests at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)

The Higher Education Institution (HEI) English test requirements will not be changing. HEIs will still be able to use their own English language tests for degree courses.

UK Immigration have said that the test has not been made more difficult as a result of the changes. However, many visa applicants will have to travel further to take the tests. Also, tests may be less frequent in some areas.