It was recently confirmed by the organizers of the Occupational English Test (OET) that two American states have officially agreed to accept this international English language test (OET) as proof of English proficiency for doctors and nurses looking to immigrate to the United States for work or residency based on their registration. This is the first time that OET has been accepted in the US.
Previously, the OET had been popular among medical professionals because it was widely accepted in places such as Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Ireland, but until now it had not been possible for doctors and nurses to use OET for the purpose of finding a job and immigrating to the US. However, recent decisions by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates|Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (ECFMG|FAIMER), the Florida Board of Nursing, and the Oregon State Board of Nursing have completely changed this.
With these new decisions, the United States has become a viable option for doctors and nurses around the globe. It means that they will be able to apply for nurse residency programs in two states: Oregon and Florida. This is great news for people who had previously not considered the United States, which required medical professionals to sit for TOEFL or IELTS exams, as a viable option for their future. These other English exams are less appealing to those with medical backgrounds. Many prefer OET, which is specifically geared towards people with medical training.
According to a press release from OET, the new changes are a result of the current COVID-19 crisis, which has caused problems in the United States for the recruitment of overseas medical practitioners. Specifically, the virus outbreak has mandated the cessation of parts of the US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). The adoption of OET as a method for testing the English proficiency of these candidates is intended to counteract the problems with existing recruitment methods during and after the pandemic.
Although these decisions have been formally made, they still need to be written into state law before they will really be of use to prospective immigrants. This is expected to happen before the end of 2020, after which OET candidates will be able to use their results as part of an application for residency or fellowship programs in the US. As such, now is a good time to prepare for immigration to the US in 2021.
It is possible to pre-register now to take the OET, with exams already arranged for August, 2020. Any OET results from 1st July, 2018 onwards will be considered as long as they meet the minimum requirements set down by the ECFMG. This means that they should score a minimum of 350 (B) in each section of the test in order to receive ECFMG certification. These are the same scores required for licensure in Oregon, but in Florida it is a minimum of 300 (C+) that must be achieved in each of the four sections: speaking, writing, listening, and reading.
Now that OET is accepted in the US, it is a great time to begin planning your next move. If you are interested in working in the United States, start using our OET preparation courses to help you to achieve the OET results necessary to take advantage of this new development.