IELTS for UKVI

Find out what score you need for your visa

The IELTS test you take – and the score you need – will depend on both your visa requirements and/or the requirements of the institution where you plan to study or work.

Which IELTS test do I need?

Visa description

Minimum CEFR level required

Skills

IELTS test and minimum score required overall and in each skill1

Tier 1 (General) visa

C1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS for UKVI - 7.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Register now.

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS for UKVI - 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Register now.

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS for UKVI - 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Register now.

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS for UKVI - 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Register now.

Tier 2 (General) visa - in most cases

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS for UKVI - 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Register now.

Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa

A1

Speaking and Listening

IELTS Life Skills at A1 – Pass

IELTS for UKVI2 - 4.0 in Speaking and Listening

Register now.

Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa

B2

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS for UKVI - 5.5 overall, and in each of the four skills

Register now.

Tier 4 (General) student visa - below degree level and pre-sessional courses

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS for UKVI - 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Register now.

Tier 4 (General) student visa - degree level and above

B2

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS/IELTS for UKVI3 - 5.5 overall, and in each of the four skills

Register now.

Family route 

  • Spouse/partner
  • Parent of a dependant

A1

Speaking and Listening

IELTS Life Skills at A1 – Pass

IELTS for UKVI2 – 4.0 in Speaking and Listening

Register now.

Family route (extension)

  • Spouse/partner
  • Parent of a dependant

A2 *

Speaking and Listening

IELTS Life Skills at A2 – Pass
IELTS for UKVI– 4.0 in Speaking and Listening

Register now.

Indefinite leave to remain (to settle) or citizenship

B1

Speaking and Listening

IELTS Life Skills at B1 – Pass

IELTS for UKVI – 4.0 in Speaking and Listening

Register now.

*Please note, IELTS Life Skills A2 is only available in the UK.

1 Both General and Academic Training modules are accepted. The CEFR requirement for each skill must be met.

2 IELTS for UKVI can be used where IELTS Life Skills is used; test takers would need to get 4.0 or above in Speaking and Listening (scores for Reading and Writing will be ignored).

3 Universities on UKVI’s list of Tier 4 Sponsors decide which exams to accept when a SELT is not required, and these may include IELTS taken at any of the 1,100+ IELTS test locations. Students should check that the institution they are applying to is on this list, and does not have any additional requirements.

Please note that these changes do not affect the use of IELTS by people from the European Union, European Economic Area, Switzerland and ‘majority English speaking countries’ as defined by the UK Home Office. More information on www.gov.uk/english-language.

Important information regarding IELTS Life Skills A2

On 18 January 2016 the government announced a new English language requirement for family route migrants seeking to extend their stay in the UK (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-a2-english-requirement-in-the-family-route).  After two-and-a half-years in the UK, non-EEA national partners and parents on the family route will need to pass a Speaking and Listening test at A2 level in order to qualify for further leave to remain on the five-year partner or parent route to settlement. 

The government recognises the need to give those affected sufficient time to prepare for the new test.  The timing of implementation and further details will be confirmed by the Home Office in due course and published on the GOV.UK website.  The new A2 English language requirement will not affect those required to apply for further leave to remain in the meantime.

Student Visas (Tier 4 visa)

All British universities and colleges accept IELTS results.

Those who are applying for a Tier 4 student visa to a Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) / the Tier 4 Register of Sponsors to study a bachelor or postgraduate degree are required to meet the English language level set by the institution. 

This means you can apply with an IELTS result from any of the 600+ British Council test locations worldwide unless your institution has additional requirements.

Please note: The Official list of British Universities and Colleges with Highly Trusted Sponsor or TIER 4 register of sponsor status is updated periodically and published by the UK Home Office. Please check with the official Register of Sponsors for details of the currently approved organisations.

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