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IELTS UKVI: All You Need To Know Plus Latest Updates

If you are planning to study or migrate to the UK, you will need to take an IELTS test that is specifically approved for UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) purposes known as IELTS for UKVI.

It is one of the Secure English Language Tests approved by the UK Home Office for visa applications to the UK. Everyone coming from a non-English speaking country will have to go through this. While this might seem like an added level of complexity - there really isn’t!

The format, content or scoring difficulty is still the same, however, there will be different protocols with regards to the Test Report Forms. It will have to show you have taken the test at an official IELTS UKVI location that is pre-approved by the UK Home Office.

The Three Types Of IELTS UKVI Tests Out There

Wondering which IELTS for UKVI test you should take? It all depends on your end goal.

The IELTS Academic Test

If you are looking to study at one of the many prestigious UK universities at the undergraduate or postgraduate levels, this is the IELTS UKVI test to take. This is also the correct test if you are seeking professional registration in the UK. The IELTS Academic Test for UKVI is available in both paper-based as well as the computer-delivered formats.

The IELTS General Training Test

Not everyone entering the UK is looking to obtain a higher tertiary education.

If you are looking to migrate to the UK or study and train in a skill below the degree level, the IELTS General Training test is for you. 

The IELTS Life Skills Test

If you have a family member in the UK, this test is necessary for you to prove your English-speaking and listening tests as part of your application to UK Visas and Immigration - for the visa category concerning ‘family of a settled person’.

The purpose of this test is to show that you have the relevant speaking and listening skills that are of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) standard.

The Life Skills Test is separated into three sub-categories that you should take note of:

- The IELTS Life Skills A1: Applicable if you are applying for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa.

- The IELTS Life Skills A2: Applicable if you are applying for an ‘extension to Family, Spouse or Partner’ visa. (However, this test is only available in the UK)

- The IELTS Life Skills B1: Applicable if you are applying for a ‘indefinite leave to remain or citizenship’ visa.

It is important to note that while you can take the IELTS Life Skills test as many times as you wish, if you pass the test once, you will not be able to re-take it at the same level for a duration of two years.

The Recent Policy Changes (2020/2021) On The Two-Year Post-study Work Visa

Previously, international students to the UK will only have 4 months after graduating to look for work in the UK. However, the UK government will be reintroducing a 2-year post-study work visa.

The announcement on September 10, 2019, by the Department of Education, said the new work visa would apply to those who “start courses in 2020-21 at undergraduate level or above”.

This would mean if you are studying in the UK as an international student for your undergraduate or post-graduate degree, you will have more time to look for career opportunities, making it an ideal time to come and study in the UK.

Get Prepared & Book Your IELTS Test With IDP

Unlock your career potential and study aspirations with the IELTS for UKVI test today.

If you are ready to take the next step forward, book your IELTS test with us here.

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