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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).

The IELTS for UKVI test 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.

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.

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


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.

  • IELTS Life Skills is for people who need to prove their English listening and speaking skills at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Levels A1 or B1.

  • There are two tests available: IELTS Life Skills A1 and IELTS Life Skills B1.

Read more about IELTS Life Skills

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.

What are the different IELTS for UKVI tests you can take?

IELTS for UKVI has a number of test options available. Depending on the visa you require you may take any of the following tests:  

  • IELTS Academic for UKVI   

  • IELTS General Training for UKVI   

  • IELTS Life Skills A1

  • IELTS Life Skills B1   

Remember to double-check as to which IELTS test applies to you and what band scores you will need to achieve using the UK Government visa checklist.

What is the difference between an IELTS test and an IELTS for UKVI test?

You need to specifically take an IELTS for UKVI General Training or IELTS for UKVI Academic test to apply for your UK visa. You cannot use your IELTS General Training or IELTS Academic scores to apply for a UK Visa. It must be specified as an IELTS for UKVI test.

The IELTS for UKVI tests are taken at a UKVI approved test centre and must meet the administrative requirements outlined by the UK Home Office. To show that the test was taken in a UKVI approved test centre, the Test Report Form (TRF) will look slightly different. Nevertheless, the test format of IELTS for UKVI is the same as the other IELTS tests: content, format, scoring and level of difficulty.

Where can I take the IELTS for UKVI test in Australia?

IELTS for UKVI (IELTS for UKVI Academic and General, and IELTS Life Skills A1 and B1 tests) are currently only available in Australia, in the following test centres:

If you need an IELTS test for UK visa applications, you can only do so at these test centres. These UKVI-approved test centres meet the administrative requirements outlined by the UK Home Office.

IELTS test for UK Visas and Immigration

IELTS for UKVI & IELTS Life Skills tests are available only in our IDP IELTS Melbourne or IDP IELTS Sydney test centres.

More information about UK Visas:

Prepare for your IELTS UKVI test

Download the free official sample tests to help you prepare for your IELTS UKVI Academic or General Training test.

Prepare for IELTS Life Skills

Download free official practice tests. Learn about the test format, and the types of tasks you will encounter.