IELTS test for UK Visas and Immigration

If you make a visa application to stay or move to the UK, you need to be aware of changes made by United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI).


Register for UK Visas and Immigration and IELTS Life Skills

Register here for “IELTS for UKVI” and IELTS Life Skills at the test locations selected by the UK government.

You must confirm at the time of registration that you wish to use your test result for a UK visa application.

You must sit the test in an “IELTS for UKVI” test session, as UKVI will not accept results from all IELTS tests offered at these locations.

What are the changes?

If you are going to or staying in the UK, there is an IELTS test for you.

In addition to the IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic tests, which you may already know of, a new test called IELTS Life Skills has been introduced.

IELTS Life Skills test is the test for people who need to prove their speaking and listening skills at levels A1 or B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). This will be a single test covering speaking and listening skills.

IELTS tests for UK Visas and Immigration are managed by the IELTS SELT Consortium, which comprises British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.

When will this change take place?

These changes came into effect on 6 April 2015.

To assist with the transition, the UK government has announced that they will accept results from all IELTS test taken on or before 22 April. This means that you can submit your IELTS results to UKVI if:

  • ·         your visa application requires you to supply results from a Secure English Language Test, and·         your IELTS test was taken at any of the 1,100 IELTS test locations around the world, and·         you submit your application to UKVI before 5 November 2015.
  • ·         your IELTS test date was on or before 22 April 2015, and

Are you entering a bachelor degree or higher in the UK?

UKVI has confirmed that these changes do not affect you if you are entering directly at degree level or higher at a Higher Education Institution (HEI) in the UK. Higher Education Institutions currently choose their own method of testing students’ English language ability for entry onto their courses and this will not change. See “Tier 4 Student Visa” below.

Tier 4 Student Visa (without a presessional)

If you are applying for a Tier 4 student visa to enter a university that is a Tier 4 Sponsor to study a bachelor or postgraduate degree, you must meet the English language level set by the institution. All British universities and colleges accept IELTS results. Tier 4 Student Visa applicants can apply to the UK universities listed here with an IELTS result from any of the 1,100 IELTS test locations worldwide unless the institution has additional requirements.




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