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Changes to the Immigration Rules: English language tests

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Following the well-publicised exposé of cheating at English Language Testing (ETS), the Home Office has now issued a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules to amend the list of acceptable English language courses.

The Statement of Changes removes the TOEFL iBT and TOEIC tests from Appendix O.

The changes will take effect on different dates depending on whether an applicant is inside or outside the UK:


1 July 2014  -  Applications made inside the UK

22 July 2014  -  Applications made outside the UK except some students as set out below

1 October 2014  -  Applications made outside the UK for pre-sessional/foundation degree/foundation courses sponsored by a UK Recognised Body or HEI


The Home Office initially had a policy of holding applications that relied on TOEIC or TOEFL tests provided by ETS since February. It then advised education providers that they could use the tests to satisfy themselves that an applicant had sufficient language skills and insert that information on a CAS.

Applications submitted before the implementation of the changes to Appendix O, and which were refused solely on the basis that an ETS certificate was submitted as proof of English-language ability, could be open to challenge.