The New Zealand Immigration office has announced that from November 21, 2016, applicants for the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) can submit a TOEFL iBT score to prove their English-language proficiency. Earlier, the only English-language test accepted as a part of the immigration eligibility criteria was the IELTS. However, in order to make New Zealand an attractive immigration destination, the country has changed its immigration criteria to accept 3 different standardised English-language tests – IELTS, TOEFL and PTE. 

Amongst Indian students, TOEFL seems to be a popular choice for language tests. Karandeep Chakravarty, a June 2016 IELTS test taker, said, “IELTS is only accepted in select few colleges and countries, like in Canada where I was applying for permanent residency. TOEFL is preferred in most other countries besides UK and Canada.” 

David Payne, Vice President and COO of Global Education at ETS, says, “Highly skilled migrants from India, China and other key countries who were earlier choosing to go to the United States, Australia and Canada, can now look at New Zealand as a destination for employment opportunities.” 

To qualify for a New Zealand skilled migration visa, applicants must obtain a total score of 79 or greater in a TOEFL test they have completed within the last two years from the date of submission of application. 

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