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IELTS test for UK Visas and Immigration

If you are making a visa application to study or stay in the UK, you need to prepare for the IELTS test required by United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

Register for your test for UKVI

IDP has test locations approved by the UK government. You can book your test at one of our IDP offices with the assistance of our friendly staff or click here to find dates and book your IELTS test online.

• Confirmation must be given at the time of registration if your test result will be used for a UK visa application.

• Not all IELTS tests results is accepted by UKVI apart from  an “IELTS for UKVI” test session. 

What are the changes made by United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI)?

If you are going to or staying in the UK, there is an IELTS test for your visa application.

In addition to the IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic tests, which you may already know of, a test called IELTS Life Skills has been introduced.

IELTS Life Skills test is a single test covering speaking and listening skills for people who need to prove their speaking and listening skills at levels A1 or B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

Find out more about approved IELTS tests for UKVI.

IELTS for entering 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.

Tier 4 Student Visa (without a professional)

If you are applying for a Tier 4 student visa to enter a university that is a Tier 4 Sponsor to study a bachelor or postgraduate degree, you must 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.

 Find out more information on the UK Visas and Immigration website.

What is IELTS Life Skills

IELTS Life Skills is for people who need to prove their English speaking and listening skills at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) levels A1 or B1.

Before you register for your test you should check the English language requirements for your visa category. Please visit www.gov.uk

Find out more information about the changes to the IELTS test for UK Visas and Immigration. Refer to the frequently asked questions to find out more information about IELTS Life Skills. 

For more information, please download the IELTS Life Skills Guide for Test Takers and Agents

How to register for IELTS Life Skills

You can also book your test at one of our IDP offices with the assistance of our friendly staff or click here to find dates and book your IELTS test online.

What’s in the test?

IELTS Life Skills is available at two levels:

• IELTS Life Skills – A1 Speaking and Listening

• IELTS Life Skills – B1 Speaking and Listening

More information about the two levels of IELTS Life Skills.

Test dates for IELTS Life Skills

We offers 2 IELTS Life Skills test sessions per month, find your best suitable test date and register here. 

Results for IELTS Life Skills tests

Test results will be available within 7 days of your test.

You will get one of two results:

• Pass

• Fail

A fail result means that you have not been successful and your test cannot be used for your visa application. 

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 (Exceptional Talent) visa B1 Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening IELTS - 7.0 overall, and in each of the four skills
Tier 1 (General) visa C1 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 skills
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.

2 IELTS is accepted by UKVI at band scores 4.0 and above, equivalent to CEFR level B1. 

3 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. 

4 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). 

5 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.

Register IELTS
UKVI Test cost: 6,225,000 VND and Lifeskills: 4,950,000 VND

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