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TOEFL iBT Tests Suspended for Australian Visa Applicants

01/08/2023BY Migrate 2 Oz

TOEFL iBT Tests Suspended for Australian Visa Applicants

On July 26th, 2023, the well-regarded English language test, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT, surprisingly stopped conducting tests for Australian visa purposes. This sudden halt threw a curveball to international students, skilled professionals, and various visa applicants who intended to use their TOEFL iBT scores as evidence of their English language proficiency. Let’s delve into the potential impact of this unexpected move on your visa plans.

TOEFL iBT Tests on Hold

TOEFL iBT has long been a favourite among visa seekers looking to show they’re proficient in English. The Australian Department of Home Affairs had given it the green light, and it’s been a globally respected test. But now, with TOEFL iBT stepping back, there’s a bit of a question mark over what’s next for those needing to prove their English skills.

Plan B: Other English Language Tests

So, with TOEFL iBT taking a break, what’s the plan? Well, there are other English proficiency tests that the Australian Department of Home Affairs will accept. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): IELTS is a biggie. It’s recognised pretty much everywhere as a solid English language test.
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): PTE is another great option, using artificial intelligence in their assessments.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): CAE offers a really thorough language exam for advanced-level language skills.
  • Occupational English Test (OET): OET is an English language test that zeroes in on healthcare professionals planning to work or study in English-speaking countries.

Each of these options adheres to strict standards and gives a reliable way to prove English proficiency for visa applications.

Why the TOEFL iBT Suspension?

On the very same day that TOEFL iBT was halted in Australia, a new and enhanced version was introduced in Canada and is presently under consideration in Australia. This refreshed version of TOEFL iBT promises a streamlined registration process, more comprehensible instructions, and an updated reading section. The most exciting part? It’s now condensed to just 2 hours, and comes with an additional ‘Writing for an Academic Discussion’ section. It’s our educated guess that this revamped TOEFL iBT could potentially take over as the new benchmark if approved in Australia. 

What This Means for Visa Applicants

If you’ve been prepping for the TOEFL iBT, you’ll need to look into taking one of the alternative language tests. But don’t stress if you took the TOEFL iBT before July 26, 2023 – you can still use your scores for your Australian visa application.

For the full details, check out the Australian Department of Home Affairs’ update on English language visa requirements here.

Looking Forward

While the TOEFL iBT suspension might throw a spanner in the works for some, remember that there are other tests out there. And with a bit of flexibility and staying informed, you can keep your plans on track.

If you’re feeling a bit lost with the new visa requirements or need some guidance with your visa application, the team here at Migrate 2 Oz can help. We’re clued up on all things related to Australian immigration laws and processes and can help you navigate through your visa application process with ease.

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