What is the change? The Home Office has removed discredited language-testing firm Educational Testing Service (ETS) from its list of approved testing centers.

What does the change mean? As of July 1, ETS will no longer be an approved provider. Treatments of various applications with ETS test results are detailed below.

  • Implementation timeframe: July 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Tier 2, Tier 4, Indefinite Leave to Remain and citizenship applicants.
  • Who is affected: Migrants who have submitted a TOEIC or TOEFL result as part of their immigration application.
  • Impact on processing times: 

Background: Since February, ETS has been suspended as a language-testing provider following a BBC investigation that uncovered fraud in English tests administered by ETS. The Home Office then put on hold all pending immigration applications relying on ETS test results.

On June 10, the Home Office published a new statement of changes in immigration rules HC 198, officially removing ETS from Appendix O (the list of approved providers) as of July 1. Existing ETS test results, however, will be accepted for the following:

  • Applications for leave to remain submitted before July 1, 2014.
  • Applications for entry clearance submitted before July 22, 2014.
  • Certain applications for entry clearance submitted before Oct. 1, 2014, whose criteria are detailed in the new statement of changes.

BAL Analysis: Applicants who tested with ETS should determine which immigration rules apply to them according to the transitional provisions published by the Home Office and submit applications as soon as possible before the relevant date – July 1, July 22, or Oct. 1. BAL has never recommended use of ETS where there is an English testing requirement; therefore, we do not perceive a significant risk to our clients. Nevertheless, BAL attorneys are available to answer any questions. .

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact

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