SELT tests – important news for agents and students
25 April 2014

Agencies need to be aware of the new UK rulings on TOIEC and TOEFL exams being used as Secure English Language Tests for UK visa applications.

The two exams are no longer accepted as a valid SELT for UK visa applications. This means that any student who took either of these exams to use as a SELT on a UK visa application on or after 17 April will need to take a different exam.

If the students sat either of these exams before 6 April, they can still be used as a SELT.

The situation is less clear for students who took the exams between 6 and 17 April. This is because the exam provider, ETS, withdrew from SELT and had its licence ended on 6 April, but UK Visas and Immigration did not announce this officially until 17 April.

Naadiya Rawat, English UK's public affairs, policy and research manager, said the Home Office is still considering whether there will be transitional measures for students who took their exams between those two dates.

She said: "If the student needs to make their visa application quickly, they should probably take a different SELT exam. If they are not in such a hurry, there is probably no harm in waiting a week or two to see if the Home Office allows some of the exams taken during this period to be valid SELTs.

"We have pushed this issue with the UKVI."

The decision by ETS to withdraw from SELT follows a TV news programme shown in the UK in February which showed undercover journalists paying GBP 500 for an English exam pass at a London centre. The Home Office suspended English language tests run by ETS after the programme was shown.


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