I have decided to make a page for anyone who is seeking a 2nd copy of valid IELTS results, for re-applying for immigration etc.
Currently, if you contact the British Council they will tell you that they cannot/will not issue a duplicate copy of your IELTS results certificate to you, and that they can only issue this to an organisation directly.
The problem with this, of course, for a shiny fresh Federal Skilled Worker application to CIO (Centralised Intake Office) is that they seemingly have no reliable way to match up documents sent to them externally with an application received – this only seems possible once at the visa office with a file number etc.
So, an actual copy sent to yourself to include with your application would be best, but British Council tell you “no, you can’t have it”.
Well, don’t dispair, there may be a way out!
In the UK there is a law called the Data Protection Act which in a nutshell means you can demand that anyone who holds information about you on their computer systems discloses such information in writing to you upon request. They are allowed to charge an admin fee for such a service, but they cannot legally refuse to provide the information. I believe that IELTS test results fall under this law, and that the British Council is potentially breaking the Data Protection Act by refusing to provide in writing a copy of the results.
IMPORTANT: I am not a lawyer, this is just my understanding of the law and how it might be interpreted to relate to the IELTS results, providing the results reside
on a computer within the UK. But please if you are thinking of taking any official legal action, seek proper legal advice first. )
Anyway, to give a real world success example of my little theory:
On the canadavisa forum a member called Lubob had a similar problem and so I advised him as per above regarding the Data Protection Act in the UK. On the IELTS international website there is a form for filing grievances, and so he made a complaint threatening to sue them under the Data Protection Act if they did not provide duplicate results.
After a few days he received an email from them saying that they were contacting their unit in New Delhi. After a week or so he received email reply that he could get a 2nd additional copy if he could convince New Delhi authorities that he was in dire need of the 2nd copy, and he has since duly received it.
So it is possible, you just have to know where to push them!
With the possible legal ramifications of the Data Protection Act I really have no idea why they cannot provide a standard service where you just pay a fair admin fee and obtain a copy of the certificate.
Perhaps if enough people press them on the matter they may relent and actually provide this service as standard.
Update (02 Aug 2011): Just tripped over this. Here is how the British Council view their position on the data protection act, unsure if this will always consist of an actual test results certificate or not:
PAGE LAST UPDATED: 02 Aug 2011