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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 need to study/move to the UK, you need to give an IELTS test approved for UKVI purposes known as IELTS for UKVI. This applies to everyone coming from a non-English speaking country.

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 exam taker. Also, your Test Report Form or TRF may also look slightly different from the regular IELTS one.

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.

  • IELTS Life Skills A1: If you are applying for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa
  • IELTS Life Skills B1: If you are applying for a ‘indefinite leave to remain or citizenship' visa
     

There is no restriction on how many times you take the IELTS Life Skills test, however, 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. 

IELTS test locations

IELTS Life Skills tests are available throughout the world, in locations specified by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). The UKVI will not accept results from other testing locations. You must confirm at the time of registration that you wish to use your test result for a UK visa application, and make sure that you sit the test in an 'IELTS for UKVI' test session.

What is the format of the IELTS Life Skills test?

The IELTS Life Skills test has been designed to meet specific immigration requirements for which applicants only need to demonstrate Speaking and Listening skills.

You take the test with another test taker and one examiner. Your own performance on both Speaking and Listening will be assessed during this one session.
 
IELTS Life Skills at CEFR Level A1 takes 16–18 minutes,
IELTS Life Skills at CEFR Level B1 is 22 minutes.

There is no break between speaking and listening components as you will be assessed on both skills at the same time.

How is IELTS Life Skills assessed?

A certified IELTS examiner will assess your performance throughout the Speaking and Listening test based on the following criteria:

(a) Obtaining information, (b) Conveying information, (c) Speaking to communicate, (d) Engaging in discussion.

The performance of the other test taker paired with you in the IELTS Life Skills test will not affect the assessment of your own performance.

Test results

Your IELTS Life Skills result is available within seven days of your attempt. 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. 

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