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What is IELTS for UKVI?

UK Visa and Immigration

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a test meant for anyone who wants to pursue an academic or professional career internationally. It includes IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.

However, if you are planning to study, work or move to the UK, you need to give an IELTS test approved for UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) purposes known as IELTS for UKVI. This applies to everyone coming from a non-English speaking country. Remember, universities, colleges and professional bodies will only accept IELTS for UKVI score. Regular IELTS will not be considered.

IELTS reappointed as a language test trusted by the UK government for visas. Read More

While there is no change in the content, format or level of difficulty and scoring, IELTS for UKVI simply follows certain extra security protocols to ensure the authenticity of the test taker. Also, your Test Report Form (TRF) may look slightly different from the regular IELTS one.

Candidates applying to the Tier 4 Student visa must meet their language requirement set by their university of college; others can use this table as a guide to assess the score needed to qualify:

Visa description Minimum CEFR level required Skills IELTS test and minimum score required overall and in each skill
Tier 1 (General) visa C1 Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening IELTS for UKVI – 7.0 overall, and in each of the four skills
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa B1 Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening IELTS for UKVI – 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa B1 Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening IELTS for UKVI – 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa B1 Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening IELTS for UKVI – 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills
Tier 2 (General) visa - in most cases B1 Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening IELTS for UKVI – 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills
Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa A1 Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening IELTS Life Skills at A1 – Pass IELTS for UKVI2 – 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills
Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa B2 Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening IELTS for UKVI - 5.5 overall, and in each of the four skills
Tier 4 (General) student visa - below degree level and pre-sessional courses B1 Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening IELTS for UKVI - 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills
Tier 4 (General) student visa - degree level and above B2 Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening IELTS/IELTS for UKVI3 – 5.5 overall, and in each of the four skills
Family route
  • Spouse/partner
  • Parent of a dependant
A1 Speaking and Listening IELTS Life Skills at A1 – Pass IELTS for UKVI2 – 4.0 in Speaking and Listening
Family route (extension)
  • Spouse/partner
  • Parent of a dependant
A2 Speaking and Listening IELTS Life Skills at A2 – Pass IELTS for UKVI2 – 4.0 in Speaking and Listening
Indefinite leave to remain (to settle) or citizenship B1 Speaking and Listening IELTS Life Skills at B1 – Pass IELTS for UKVI2 – 4.0 in Speaking and Listening

IELTS Life Skills

IELTS Life Skills is a test for those who need to prove their English speaking and listening skills to acquire a UK VISA, and is available at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) levels A1 and B1. It is designed to meet the requirements of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for certain visa categories and other immigration purposes.

A1 Prove your English speaking and listening skills as part of your application to UK Visas and Immigration for further leave to remain.
B1 Prove your English speaking and listening skills as part of your application to UK Visas and Immigration for indefinite leave to remain or citizenship.
Know more about IELTS for Life Skills.

IELTS for UKVI test locations

Tests are available throughout the country, in locations specified by UKVI.

The UKVI does not accept results from any other testing locations. It is advisable to confirm at the time of registration that you wish to use your test result for a UK visa application, and make sure you sit the test in an 'IELTS for UKVI' test session.

IELTS for UKVI test fee

Test type Test fee*
IELTS for UKVI INR 15,100
Life Skills INR 13, 940

*IELTS fee is subject to change without prior notice

Test results

Your IELTS for UKVI and Life Skills results are available within 13 days and 7 days of your attempt respectively. You cannot see the result of IELTS for UKVI and Life Skills online. Only the Test Result Form (TRF) is sent to the postal address mentioned by you in the application/registration form.

Be better prepared for IELTS for UKVI with our sample tests

Practice tests are a great way to assess your progress. Our range of free practice tests can help you familiarise yourself with the test format and questioning pattern. See how you score under timed conditions, take feedback from your mentors and work on your areas of improvement.

Frequently asked questions

Which IELTS test should I take if I am applying for UK visa?
If you are from a non-English speaking country and want to study/move to the UK, you need to take an IELTS test approved for UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) purposes known as IELTS for UKVI.
Can I use my IELTS test score for UK Visa application?
No. You need to take the ‘IELTS for UKVI’ test to meet the UK immigration’s requirement.
Is there any difference in the test format of regular IELTS and IELTS for UKVI?
There is no change in the content, format or level of difficulty and scoring for IELTS for UKVI. It simply follows certain extra security protocols to ensure the authenticity of the test taker. Also, your Test Report Form or TRF may also look slightly different from the regular IELTS one.
Where can I take IELTS for UKVI?
The network of IELTS test centres managed by IDP is vast. You can take IELTS in India at UKVI approved locations.
How do I book/register for the test?
You can easily Book IELTS for UKVI and Life Skills online. Alternatively, simply walk in to your nearest IDP IELTS office and our staff will guide you through the registration procedure.
How many times can I take IELTS for UKVI and Life Skills?
There is no restriction on how many times you take the IELTS for UKVI and Life Skills test, however, if you pass the Life Skills test once, you will not be able to re-take it at the same level for a duration of two years.
Can I use my score of IELTS for UKVI for other purposes in other countries?
Yes, you can. IELTS score is accepted by over 10,000 educational and professional organisations across the globe.