IELTS Test for UK Visas and Immigration
On 20 February 2015, the UK government announced important changes to Secure English Language Tests (SELT) for visa purposes.
If you make a visa application to stay in or move to the UK, you need to be aware of changes made by United Kingdom Visas & Immigration (UKVI).
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 is available.
IELTS Life Skills test is for candidates who need to prove their speaking and listening skills at levels A1 or B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). This is a single test covering speaking and listening skills.
For more information on the UK Visas and Immigration, please visit Guidance on applying for a UK visa: approved English language tests.
IELTS Tests Approved for UK Visas and Immigration
IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training
The IELTS tests come in two versions: IELTS Academic or General Training. Test takers can choose either version according to their educational and professional goals as well as any visa requirements. Both versions comprise four separate sections that assess each of the four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking.
- IELTS Academic
IELTS Academic measures English language proficiency needed for an academic, higher learning environment. The tasks and texts are accessible to anyone, irrespective of your subject focus.
The Academic format is, broadly speaking, for those who want to study or train in a university that teaches in English at an undergraduate or postgraduate level, or institutions of higher and further education. Many professions (e.g. medical, nursing, accounting, engineering) also require an Academic test result for registration purposes in many countries.
- IELTS General Training
IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and texts reflect both workplace and social situations. The General Training version of the test is typically for those who are going to English-speaking countries to do secondary education, work experience or training programs. This version of the test is also often a visa requirement if you are planning to migrate to English speaking countries including Australia, the UK, Canada and New Zealand.
If you are taking the IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training test for UK visa applications, you will need to make sure that the test is taken at a UKVI approved test centre. IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training tests for UK visa applications and non-UK visa applications are the same – same content, examiners, format, level of difficulty, scoring and so on.
IELTS Life Skills
IELTS Life Skills is a test of Speaking and Listening, available at CEFR Level A1 and CEFR Level B1. It is designed to meet the requirements of UK Visas and Immigration for certain visa categories and other immigration purposes.
For more information about IELTS Life Skills, please visit Life Skills Test page.
It is strongly recommended that you check with the English language requirements with UK Visas and Immigration.