Are you an International student or temporary resident who is nervous and stressed about your chances of getting a permanent resident visa due to recent changes in English language requirements? This story can give you hope…
From: Karthik Reddy, Sandringham, Auckland
Date: 8th January 2017
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and the teachers at Swift Education for helping me achieve my dream of becoming a permanent resident of New Zealand. I can’t thank SWIFT Education enough for everything you have done for me – you guys are absolute life saviors.
I wanted to help other people like me who are nervous and stressed and confused about their chances of getting a permanent resident visa due to recent changes in English language requirements so, I am writing this open letter to share my story, experience and journey from a confused applicant to a proud permanent resident of New Zealand.
Please feel free to share this with your students and anyone who can benefit from my experiences.
Hoping against the hope…
Few weeks back, I was overshadowed by disappointment and despair as I saw my chance of getting the residency away approved, slipping away right in front of my eyes. I waited quite long for this opportunity and desperately wanted to get the visa approved, but it seemed that I will have to wait for another year before I can re-apply.
I had actually put in a lot of efforts to get the visa approved and, seeing all the efforts go in vain, was definitely not a very encouraging sight. What disturbed me even more was that it was nothing wrong on my part that drove things towards the dark end. I lodged my EOI in September 2016 and to say the least, I was extremely confident about getting the visa approved. I was already thinking about what I had to do next but probably, I was thinking too far ahead.
One morning, I got an email from my visa officer, requesting me to submit my IELTS or PTE score. I had neither of them as none of them was required to get the residency visa. Upon enquiring, I was told that Immigration English Language rules were changed in October 2016 and the amended rules required submitting one of the scores.
Getting on my nerves
I was worried, and on top of that, I was shocked on discovering that. I was told that I had only three months to submit the request, else my EOI will be lapsed, and I will have to wait another year. I did not want that and in a mixed state of anger and confusion, I booked an IELTS test. I scored 6.0 bands which fell just short of the minimum required score of 6.5. Only six weeks were left in the deadline to submit the score, and all I had at this point of time was a hope against the hope.
With only six weeks left, I gathered all my courage and decided to give another well prepared attempt. I decided to give everything to it but my problems did not cease there. I tried booking for another IELTS exam but there were no dates available before 10th March, 2017.
Confusion, confusion and even more confusion
As soon as I discovered that there were no dates available for IELTS, I started researching about other options. One option was to appear for Pearson Test of English (PTE). I started reading about it and in my preliminary research; I got the impression that PTE was much complicated as compared to IELTS. It’s not hard to imagine that after scoring quite low in IELTS than my expectations, my confidence was too low for an even more complicated and unknown test.
Anyhow, PTE was my only option, and I had to give it a try. I knew one thing that I can’t just get through PTE without putting in much effort and therefore decided to give it a full attempt. I started my research and enquired at some institutes in Auckland, who claimed to coach the students for PTE. Instead of being of any help, these institutes got me even more confused. Some said that PTE was easier while others provided an altogether different insight. They themselves seemed to be unsure about what they were claiming.
None of the institutes that I visited convinced me. They were unprofessional in their dealing, had no curriculum or infrastructure, below par teacher and all they had were hollow claims. Most of these centers were basically, running on test basis, and were only evaluating their business potential. It was impossible for me to take risk of going with them in such a critical situation of my life. They were not bothered about how I scored, and where I end up. I have worked hard since the time I arrived in country, back in 2012, and I could not let my efforts ruin in such a manner. I was looking for someone more professional and experienced.
Last minute saviors:
With deadline approaching closer, my bleak chances got me very stressed and I was unsure what should I do now. I was not going for a half attempt, as it seemed like a waste of energy, time and money. In this state of confusion, one evening, I was casually scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and a video popped out stating the differences between IELTS and PTE.The video was really impressive and immediately caught my eye.
The video was from SWIFT Education and since, I was already very confused, I decided to meet them in person. At first, I thought that they will be like their counterparts but since their video had already impressed me, I decided to give their institute a try. I contacted them and booked a meeting.
Unlike my expectations, they seemed very professional, had proper class rooms and seemed more than willing to help me ace through the test. They had trained teachers, smartly designed curriculum and state of the art PTE practice resources to help students get through the tests.
I started my classes with them and from the very first day, they all looked committed to help me succeed. They determined my issues with vocabulary and grammar and figured out a way to work around those. As I was short on time, they arranged special classes to compensate for the lost time. After only four weeks of training, I appeared for my PTE exam and scored 67 which is equivalent to IELTS 7.0, which was adequate to meet the minimum.
I can’t thank SWIFT Education enough for everything they have done for me and would like to recommend them to anybody, who finds themselves stuck in my situation. They are absolute life saviors and would leave no stone unturned to help you realize your dreams.
Thank you, thank you and THANK YOU for helping me achieve my desired score in PTE in my first attempt.
Karthik Reddy, Sandringham, Auckland