IELTS for the UK

IELTS has been approved for all UK visas that require applicants to provide proof of their level of English

IELTS, the world’s most popular test of English for higher education and global migration, has been approved for all UK visas that require applicants to provide proof of their level of English.

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 the United Kingdom Visas & Immigration (UKVI).

In addition to the IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic tests, IELTS for UKVI is a UK government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT). This specific IELTS test can be used to prove your English language abilities in support of a UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) application.

IELTS Life Skills

An IELTS Life Skills score can be used to prove your English Listening and Speaking abilities in support of an application for a UK family visa or settlement.

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 for UKVI

If you intend to migrate to the UK, and need a Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa, it’s likely you need to provide evidence of your English language skills. IELTS for UKVI is probably for you.

Read more about IELTS for UKVI

IELTS Life Skills

If you intend to take the family route to the UK as a spouse/partner/parent, it’s likely you need to provide evidence of your English. IELTS Life Skills is probably for you.

Read more about IELTS Life Skills

Which IELTS test do I need if I am applying for a UK visa?

Use the UK Government visa check list to find out whether you need to take an approved test, what level you need to achieve, and which test you can use. You can also check the section below that applies to your visa tier. Just remember: UK Visas and Immigration rules can change, so you should always check with them before you book your test.

Tier 1 (General) visa

Minimum CEFR level required

  • C1

Skills

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

IELTS test and minimum score required overall and in each skill

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa

Minimum CEFR level required

  • B1

Skills

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

IELTS test and minimum score required overall and in each skill

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa

Minimum CEFR level required

  • B1

Skills

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

IELTS test and minimum score required overall and in each skill

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa

Minimum CEFR level required

  • B1

Skills

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

IELTS test and minimum score required overall and in each skill

Tier 2 (General) visa - in most cases

Minimum CEFR level required

  • B1

Skills

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

IELTS test and minimum score required overall and in each skill

Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa

Minimum CEFR level required

  • A1

Skills

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

IELTS test and minimum score required overall and in each skill

* IELTS for UKVI can be used where IELTS Life Skills is required. Test takers would need to a score of 4.0 or above in Speaking and Listening (scores for Reading and Writing will be ignored)

Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa

Minimum CEFR level required

  • B2

Skills

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

IELTS test and minimum score required overall and in each skill

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

Minimum CEFR level required

  • B1

Skills

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

IELTS test and minimum score required overall and in each skill

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

Minimum CEFR level required

  • B2

Skills

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

IELTS test and minimum score required overall and in each skill

Family route (Spouse/partner or Parent of a dependant)

Minimum CEFR level required

  • A1

Skills

  • Speaking & Listening

IELTS test and minimum score required overall and in each skill

* IELTS for UKVI can be used where IELTS Life Skills is required. Test takers would need to a score of 4.0 or above in Speaking and Listening (scores for Reading and Writing will be ignored)

Family route - extension (Spouse/partner or Parent of a dependant)

Minimum CEFR level required

  • A2

Skills

  • Speaking & Listening

IELTS test and minimum score required overall and in each skill

* IELTS for UKVI can be used where IELTS Life Skills is required. Test takers would need to a score of 4.0 or above in Speaking and Listening (scores for Reading and Writing will be ignored)

Indefinite leave to remain (to settle) or citizenship

Minimum CEFR level required

  • B1

Skills

  • Speaking & Listening

IELTS test and minimum score required overall and in each skill

* IELTS for UKVI can be used where IELTS Life Skills is required. Test takers would need to a score of 4.0 or above in Speaking and Listening (scores for Reading and Writing will be ignored)