Approved IELTS Tests for UKVI

1. IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training

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.

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 (often referred to as SELT tests). 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.

You will receive an IELTS Test Report Form which shows that you have taken your test to meet the UKVI requirements.

View our FAQs on IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration.

2. 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 IELTS Life Skills.

It is strongly recommended that you check with the English language requirements with UK Visas and Immigration.

Which test will you need?

As a guide, you can use the following table:

Visa description

Minimum CEFR level required

Skills

IELTS test and minimum score required overall and in each skill 1

Tier 1 (General) visa

C1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS - 7.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS - 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS - 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS - 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Tier 2 (General) visa

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS - 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa2

A1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS - 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills1

Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa

B2

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS - 5.5 overall, and in each of the four skills

Tier 4 (General) student visa - below degree level

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS - 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Tier 4 (General) student visa - degree level and above and including some pre-sessional courses3

B2

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS - 5.5 overall, and in each of the four skills

‘Family of a settled person’ visa

A1

Speaking and Listening

IELTS Life Skills at A1 – Pass4

IELTS – 4.0 in Speaking and Listening

Indefinite leave to remain (to settle) or citizenship5

B1

Speaking and Listening

IELTS Life Skills at B1 – Pass

IELTS – 4.0 in Speaking and Listening

Both General and Academic Training modules are accepted. The CEFR requirement for each skill must be met.
IELTS is accepted by UKVI at band scores 4.0 and above, equivalent to CEFR level B1. 
Universities on UKVI’s list of Tier 4 Sponsors decide which exams to accept when a SELT is not required, and these may include IELTS taken at any of the 1000+ IELTS test locations. 
IELTS can be used where IELTS Life Skills is used; candidates would need to get 4.0 or above in Speaking and Listening (scores for Reading and Writing will be ignored). 
Currently, UKVI will also accept an Ofqual regulated test for this category. The test must cover Speaking and Listening at B1 level. Please note that these changes do not affect the use of IELTS by people from the European Union, European Economic Area, Switzerland and ‘majority English speaking countries’ as defined by the UK Home Office. More information on www.gov.uk/english-language. To find out whether you need to take an approved test, what level you need to achieve, and which test you can use, you should contact UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). For more information, please visit Guidance on Applying for UK Visa – approved English language tests.

Entering a bachelor degree or higher in the UK

UKVI has confirmed that these changes do not affect you if you are entering directly at degree level or higher at a Higher Education Institution (HEI) in the UK. Higher Education Institutions currently choose their own method of testing students’ English language ability for entry onto their courses and this will not change. See "Tier 4 Student Visa" below.

Tier 4 Student Visa (without a presessional)

People who are applying for a Tier 4 student visa to a university that is a Tier 4 Sponsor (previously known as Highly Trusted Sponsors) to study for a bachelor or postgraduate degree are required to meet the English language level set by the institution. All British universities and colleges accept IELTS results. Tier 4 Student Visa applicants can apply to the UK universities listed here with an IELTS result from any of the 1,000 IELTS test locations worldwide unless the institution has additional requirements.