The department says the change will provide greater choice for Temporary Graduate, Skilled, Work and Holiday, and Former Resident visa applicants and prevent shortages in places available to sit the test. It is also good news for test providers that are not IELTS or Occupational English Test, which were previously the only scores used when awarding such visas.
‘Applicants who need to provide the Department with an English language test score as evidence of their English ability will be able to choose from two additional tests,” Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator the Hon Senator Michaelia Cash confirmed.
“The department expects to also receive test scores from the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test across visa programmes from early 2015, further expanding the English language test market,” she added.
The government department website explains that only subclass 457 – Temporary Work (Skilled) visa is not benefiting from an expanded recognition of test providers at this time because it is currently undergoing an independent review.
Emma Stubbs, Senior Vice-President of Pearson Language Testing, said the company is delighted to extend its work with Australia.
“English language ability is important for success for any new Australian migrant, helping them to improve their employment opportunities, social integration and everyday interaction,” she said.
“It is critical to be able to prove this skill in a secure and objective environment using the most up-to-date testing methods and technologies. This is what PTE Academic offers.”