From 6 April 2015 anyone who is required to sit a Secure English Language Test (SELT) as part of their UK immigration application will need to make sure that they only use one of the providers on the new SELT list. This list has dramatically decreased with only two SELT providers left, IELTS and Trinity College London. IELTS tests can be taken around the world, but Trinity College London tests must be taken in the UK.
The Panorama programme revealed that ETS, an official test provider had been allegedly engaged in "systematic cheating" in its centres. Following the airing of the programme, in February 2014, an investigation into English language tests for student visa applicants was launched.
In October 2014 UKVI opened a tender process for institutions which wished to remain on the UKVI SELT list. The tender process closed soon afterwards in November 2014. We understand that the aim was to increase the security of SELT tests.
Given the drastic reduction in test centres, transitional arrangements have been introduced. International students who take an approved SELT before 6 April 2015 can continue to rely on that SELT provided the application is submitted on or before 5 November 2015.
Tier 4 sponsors who are looking to sponsor a student who requires a SELT should double check the migrant’s SELT against the relevant list to make sure that the application is not refused based on the type of test that has been taken.
Additional information is still expected in relation to test centres. We will provide further updates as they become available.