Can The IELTS Academic Test Be Used For Immigration Purposes?

If you are seriously considering immigrating to a country like the UK or Canada, where English is the official language, then you definitely have to take the IELTS General Training test to prove your English language proficiency.

However, there are certain instances where your academic IELTS results can be used for migration purposes, and we will take a greater look at such instance in the following article.

The IELTS Exam is a language proficiency test which is designed to assess the language skills of a candidate for immigration or higher learning purposes. The test is designed by the University of Cambridge ESOL and hosted by the British Council and IDP Education Australia.

The IELTS General Training Test

The IELTS General Training test is for those who are going to English speaking countries for secondary education, work experience or training programs. This test is specifically designed to check whether or not a candidate has the English language skills necessary to survive everyday life in an English-speaking environment.

If you are immigrating to the United Kingdom then you would have to take the UK Visas and Immigration IELTS Exam.

The IELTS Academic Test

The Academic test is geared towards assessing the language skills of students who wish to study further at higher level learning institutes, where English is the medium of instruction. Therefore the type of tasks for the academic test is designed to reflect content and situations that you might have to deal with as a student, such as note-taking for lectures, or skimming through textbooks and writing formal reports. The universities that IELTS as a prerequisite for study might not always be in an English-speaking country though.

Academic IELTS for Medical Professionals

Medical professionals such as to doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, pharmacists, pathologists, lab technicians, etc often use the IELTS Academic exam to obtain visa entry under the skilled migrant visa category. This rule only applies to medical workers and all other applicants have to take the IELTS General Training.

Taking the General Training Test After You Finish Your Degree

If you have completed your degree in an English-speaking country and wishes to remain there using a work visa you might have to take the General Training IELTS test. There are exceptions to this rule, as some countries allow a student to work in the same country once they have completed their studies. Obviously, this only applies to students who have already taken the IELTS academic test in order to gain admission.

However, this is not a common practice and candidates must check with their university about their options for work opportunities after completion of their studies.

Even if you have to take the exam twice, the two tests are very similar. In fact, the academic test is often considered to be the more difficult of the two tests. If you have prepared well enough for the academic IELTS exam, then you would most likely just need to brush up on the skills you acquired during your first round of preparation.

Jonathan has been teaching students to prepare for the IELTS and PTE Exams for more than 10+ years. He's taught English to students in various countries in the world including Singapore, China, Australia, Canada and Colombia.