You are typically required to have a minimum level of English language proficiency when applying for a UK visa. You must prove this by providing results of an acceptable English language test taken by an approved testing provider. An example is the IELTS for UKVI test.
You can also choose from other testing options to prove that you meet the English language requirements for your visa. Here at the London-based Adam Bernard’s law office, we are home to the best immigration solicitors who can provide detailed help and guidance on how to meet English language and other requirements for your UK settlement application.
You must prove that you have passed a Secure English Language Test (SELT) when applying for most UK visa types. IELTS is one of the approved SELT options. You should take IELTS or another test when applying for the following visas:
You must provide evidence that you have passed SELT on the application when applying for a visa or submitting a UK visa application. If you’re not sure whether or not you are required to take a SELT, you can consult the best immigration solicitors at Adam Bernard’s law office.
As noted above, IELTS is one of several approved English tests which you can pass to meet the English language requirements for your specific visa type. The test is conducted by IELTS SELT Consortium.
Other approved SELT providers include LanguageCert, Pearson, and Trinity College London. The SELT offered by LanguageCert is known as International ESOL SELT. Pearson offers SELT testing through PTE Home and PTE Academic UKVI tests. Trinity College London also offers two tests including SELT for UKVI ISE and Graded Examinations in Spoken English.
IELTS is the most popular and common of the approved English tests. If you are applying from outside the UK, it is typically easier to find a designated IELTS centre compared to other approved tests. If you need help with finding an approved centre, the best immigration solicitors at our office can help.
For some visa types, you only need to test for speaking and listening skills on the IELTS test. Other visa types require you to provide proof of testing for reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
If you are applying for a Spouse Visa, Partner Visa, Parent Visa, Sportsperson Visa, British citizenship, or Indefinite Leave to Remain, you need to test only for speaking and listening.
If you are applying for a Skilled Worker Visa, Student Visa, Innovator Visa, Startup Visa, or Minister of Religion Visa, you must test for speaking, listening, reading and writing.
Depending on your visa requirements, your IELTS test may comprise of two or four sections. Here is a look at these sections.
The actual fees for an IELTS test depend on the specific type of test you take. If you are taking the IELTS Life Skills test, aiming to fulfil A1, A2, or B1 testing requirements, you must pay a fee of £150. The fee for the IELTS for UKVI test is £195. If you take the IELTS Academic and General Training, the fees are typically between £170 and £195.
You must meet the minimum scoring requirements for your specific visa type to be eligible. Here is a look at the scoring requirements for different types of visas.
|Immigration Type||Required IELTS Score||Equivalent CEFR Score||CEFR Level|
|Spouse Visa or Partner Visa||4.0||A1||Basic|
|Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)||4.0||B1||Independent|
|Minister of Religion Visa||5.5||B2||Independent|
|Overseas Business Representative Visa||4.0||A1||Basic|
|Skilled Worker Visa||4.0||B1||Independent|
You also need to pass the IELTS Academic exam when applying for the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in the UK. The minimum requirement for NMC applications is at least a 6.5 in the writing section, and a 7.0 in speaking, listening, and reading sections. If you fail to meet these minimum requirements, you can’t register with the NMC.
If you are not sure what requirements you must meet for your particular visa or route, the best immigration solicitors at our office can guide you.
It can take a few days for your UKVI IELTS test results to arrive. The actual duration depends on the type of IELTS test you have taken.
If you have taken the IELTS Life Skills test, for instance, you can expect the result on the Wednesday following the test date. If you took the UKVI IELTS test on a computer, the test results will typically arrive within 3 to 5 days. For paper-based tests, you are likely to get the results around 13 days after the test date.
There can be unusual delays in some cases but if much time has elapsed and you have not received your results, it is best to inquire with the authorities. Our UK settlement solicitors can help you with this.
The UKVI IELTS exam results have a fairly brief validity. The actual results of the exam are valid for only 2 years.
The good news is that you can still use your IELTS results even if they are expired if you are applying to have your immigration status or visa renewed. So when you are applying for UKVI, it doesn’t matter whether or not your IELTS exam results are still valid. You can submit an application even if you have an expired result.
Many people qualify as exemptions when it comes to English language testing requirements. If you qualify as an exempt, you don’t have to take the IELTS test. You are exempt from the SELT requirements if:
Other circumstances may also warrant an exemption from the SELT requirements, although you may still need to take the UK citizenship test. You may want to consult the best immigration solicitor to see whether or not you qualify for an exemption.