As previously reported in November, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) announced an expansion of the range of English language exam organisations that can provide the SELT, required for certain types of visa and settlement applications including some Tier 4 student visas, with LanguageCert and Pearson added as approved providers.
With the expansion, IELTS , LanguageCert and Pearson can now provide SELT tests outside the UK, while those three providers plus Trinity College London are approved to offer tests in the UK. The latest UKVI test centre list, updated last week, shows that there are now 480 approved SELT test centres outside of the UK, as well as 38 in the UK.
LanguageCert has announced that 31 of its global SELT test centres will be operational as of June 1st, complying with local policy and guidelines regarding Covid-19, and that its live booking system will accept bookings at operational centres from that date onwards. Click here to access a list of currently operational centres.
The organisation said that it expects the remainder of global centres to be operational from July 1, but if restrictions remain in place at any locations beyond that date applicants will be supported to have their SELT exam rescheduled.
LanguageCert said, “Our SELT exams are offered through Prometric’s test centre network, who have taken into consideration all the locally relevant health & safety government guidelines in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, such as test centre cleanliness, strict social distancing practices and maintaining the safety of both applicants and employees. Applicants will be made aware of these new procedures in good time so that they are aware of what to expect and can prepare accordingly.”
LanguageCert has been approved since April 3rd to offer International ESOL SELT for UKVI in two-skill and four-skill formats, with the latter required for student visa applications. “The delivery format for spoken exams is unique across the global SELT service and enables candidates to interact in real time with an online live interlocutor at their chosen SELT Test Centre,” LanguageCert said.
The organisation said that 11 of the test locations are currently open with the remainder closed until further notice due to Covid-19, but that it expects these to become operational in phases through the summer. Pearson said that all centres will follow guidance and notifications from public health officials to support the safety of test takers and staff.
Freya Thomas Monk, Pearson Senior Vice President of English Assessment, said, “I am pleased that we can now offer PTE at some locations for UKVI purposes. This means people can start to book, and in some cases take PTE as they continue to get ready to come to study, work or live in the UK.”
She added, “We advise test takers to check all relevant travel restrictions and health & safety requirements before they do so.”
Dr Gary A Gates, Senior Vice President at Pearson VUE, added, “We are delighted to start providing Secure English Language Tests across our global test centre network. The fully digital test employs AI technology to offer an impartial and highly accurate test of the English language proficiency of test takers around the world.”
Peason offers the Pearson PTE Academic UKVI test (required for student visa applications) and the new Pearson PTE Home as a two-skills test up to level B1.