TOEFL iBT Suspends English Language Tests for Australian Visas: Latest Update & Implications

On July 26, 2023, aspiring Australian visa applicants were met with surprising news that the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT would no longer be offering English language tests for Australian visa purposes until further notice. This decision has raised concerns among international students, skilled workers, and other visa applicants who were planning to use TOEFL iBT as proof of their English language proficiency. In this article, we delve into the implications of this announcement and explore the possible reasons behind this decision.

TOEFL iBT’s Suspension of English Language Tests

For many years, TOEFL iBT has been a popular choice among visa applicants for proving English language proficiency to the Australian Department of Home Affairs. The test has been recognized internationally and has played a crucial role in assessing applicants’ language skills, ensuring they can effectively communicate and integrate into Australian society.

However, with the recent suspension of TOEFL iBT’s English language tests, applicants are now facing uncertainties and challenges in meeting the language requirements for their visa applications.

Alternative English Language Tests

As TOEFL iBT exits the Australian visa application process, prospective immigrants will need to explore other language proficiency tests accepted by the Australian authorities. Thankfully, there are viable alternatives available:

• International English Language Testing System (IELTS): IELTS is one of the most widely recognized English language tests globally.

• Pearson Test of English (PTE): PTE is another reputable language proficiency test known for its use of artificial intelligence in assessment.

• Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): CAE is a comprehensive language exam that evaluates candidates’ higher-level language skills.

• Occupational English Test (OET): OET is a specialized English language proficiency exam designed to assess the language skills of healthcare professionals seeking to work or study in English-speaking countries.


Each of these tests follows rigorous evaluation criteria and is designed to assess language skills effectively, providing a reliable means of proving English proficiency for visa purposes.

Reasons behind TOEFL iBT’s Suspension

The reasons behind TOEFL iBT’s suspension in Australia have not been disclosed. However, there are several potential factors that could have influenced this move. These factors include policy changes, an evaluation of language tests, and operational challenges.

Impact on Visa Applicants

The suspension of TOEFL iBT’s English language tests in Australia has significant implications for visa applicants. Individuals who have prepared for the exam may now need to seek alternative language tests for their visa applications. However, those who took the TOEFL iBT before July 26, 2023, can still use their scores for Australian visa applications.

Rohit Sharma from ETS clarified that Australian universities and education providers will continue to accept TOEFL iBT scores for admission purposes, both before and after the suspension date.

On July 26, 2023, a revised TOEFL iBT will be launched, featuring improvements to the registration process, instructions, and the Reading section. It aims to reduce the test duration to 2 hours and introduces a new ‘Writing for an Academic Discussion’ section. The revised test has already been approved by Canada and is under review in Australia.

However, the decision to switch to a different language test may cause delays in visa processing, potentially affecting travel, study plans, or work opportunities in Australia.

Find out more about this update from the Australian Department of Home Affairs: English language visa requirements (


While the suspension of TOEFL iBT’s English language tests may present challenges for some visa applicants, there are viable solutions available. The acceptance of alternative language proficiency tests ensures that the Australian visa application process remains accessible to international students, skilled workers, and those seeking family reunification. By staying informed, prepared, and seeking assistance when needed, aspiring immigrants can continue pursuing their dreams of living, studying, or working in Australia.

If you are facing difficulties in understanding the updated visa requirements or need professional assistance in your visa application process, NB Migration Law can provide expert guidance and support. With their in-depth knowledge of Australian immigration laws and processes, they can help you navigate the complexities of the visa application, ensuring that you have the best chance of a successful outcome.

Book a free consultation today and let us help you find a way forward.