What is IELTS for UKVI?

What is IELTS for UKVI?

'IELTS for UKVI' is a UK government approved Secure English Language Test (SELT). This means that IELTS can be used to prove your English language abilities in support of a UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) application.

For many categories of visa, you must submit an English language qualification which is included on the UK Home Office’s list of Secure English Language Tests (SELT tests). 

The following IELTS tests are on this list and have been approved for UK Visas and Immigration purposes:

Test

Version

Purpose

IELTS

Academic**

This test is for test takers wishing to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and for those seeking professional registration in the UK.

IELTS 

General Training

This test is for test takers wishing to migrate to the UK and for those wishing to train or study below degree level.

IELTS Life Skills 

A1

This test is for those who need to prove their English speaking and listening skills as part of their application to UK Visas and Immigration for ‘family of a settled person’ visas.

IELTS Life Skills

A2 *

This test is for those who need to prove their English speaking and listening skills as part of their application to UK Visas and Immigration for extension to Family, Spouse or Partner visa.

IELTS Life Skills 

B1

 

This test is for those who need to prove their English speaking and listening skills as part of their application to UK Visas and Immigration for indefinite leave to remain or citizenship.

 

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

**IELTS for UKVI (Academic) is also available delivered on computer in certain locations

IELTS (Academic or General Training)

If you’re applying for Tier 1 and Tier 2 visas to the UK, this is the test for you.

IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training for UKVI are designed to meet certain administrative requirements that are specified by the UK Home Office.

The actual test taken is the same as IELTS (for all other purposes), same content, examiners, format, level of difficulty, scoring and so on. 

The difference is in the customer journey on the test day. Test Report Forms will be slightly different, to show that you have taken the test at an IELTS UK visa session. 

IELTS Life Skills

If you’re applying for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa, extension of a ‘family of a settled person’ visa or for indefinite leave to remain or citizenship, IELTS Life Skills is the test for you.  

IELTS Life Skills is a new test, approved by UKVI as a Secure English Language Test (SELT).

It’s for people who need to show they have speaking and listening skills at Level A1, A2  or B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

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.

Please complete our short survey.

We take security seriously. Please write to us at ielts.investigations@britishcouncil.org to report any suspicious activity.

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