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.

IELTS test visa requirements

Select your visa below to find out the minimum CEFR level, skills, IELTS test and minimum scores required.

Innovator

Minimum CEFR level required B2
IELTS test and minimum scores required IELTS for UKVI 5.5 overall, and in each of the four skills
Skills Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking

Start-up

Minimum CEFR level required B2
Skills Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking
IELTS test and minimum scores required IELTS for UKVI 5.5 overall, and in each of the four skills

Skilled Worker (formerly known as Tier 2 General work visa)

Minimum CEFR level required B1
Skills Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking
IELTS test and minimum scores required IELTS for UKVI 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Minister of Religion (T2)

Minimum CEFR level required B2
Skills Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking
IELTS test and minimum scores required IELTS for UKVI 5.5 overall, and in each of the four skills

Student (formerly known as the Tier 4 General student visa)

If you’re studying at degree level or above, your Higher Education Provider (HEP) can assess your level of English themselves. This means they may ask you to do a different test. This must still be equivalent to a CEFR level B2.
Degree level or above
Minimum CEFR level required Equivalent to B2
Skills Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking 
IELTS test and minimum scores required IELTS/IELTS for UKVI
5.5 overall, and in each of the four skills 

 

Below degree level
Minimum CEFR level required B1 
Skills Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking
IELTS test and minimum scores required IELTS for UKVI
4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Sportsperson (T2)

Minimum CEFR level required A1 
Skills Speaking and Listening
IELTS test and minimum scores required IELTS Life Skills A1 - Pass
IELTS for UKVI - 4.0 in Speaking and Listening

Representative of an Overseas Business

Minimum CEFR level required A1 
Skills Speaking and Listening
IELTS test and minimum scores required IELTS Life Skills A1 - Pass
IELTS for UKVI - 4.0 in Speaking and Listening 

Family Route

Spouse/partner; Fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner; Parent of a dependent
Minimum CEFR level required A1
Skills Speaking and Listening 
IELTS test and minimum scores required IELTS Life Skills A1 - Pass
IELTS for UKVI - 4.0 in Speaking and Listening

 

(extension); Spouse/partner; Parent of a dependent
Minimum CEFR level required A2 
Skills Speaking and Listening 
IELTS test and minimum scores required IELTS Life Skills A2 - Pass
IELTS for UKVI - 4.0 in Speaking and Listening

Settlement (also known as indefinite leave to remain)

Minimum CEFR level required B1
Skills Speaking and Listening
IELTS test and minimum scores required IELTS Life Skills B1 - Pass
IELTS for UKVI - 4.0 in Speaking and Listening

Citizenship

Minimum CEFR level required B1 
Skills Speaking and Listening
IELTS test and minimum scores required IELTS Life Skills B1 - Pass
IELTS for UKVI - 4.0 in Speaking and Listening

The guidance on our site is for information only. Please check the GOV.UK website for the most up-to-date information.

Please note that both General and Academic Training modules are accepted. The CEFR requirement for each skill must be met.

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).

If you’re studying at degree level or above and applying for a Student visa, your Higher Education Provider (HEP) can assess your level of English themselves. This means they may ask you to do a different test. This must still be equivalent to a CEFR level B2.