IELTS Requirement for UK Visas and Immigration (2022)

Vishesh Chogtu
Modified on 2022-01-12 
Read time: 9 mins

People who want to migrate to the UK for any study purposes or for any professional purposes need to write IELTS for the UKVI exam.  IELTS for UKVI means IELTS for UK Visa and immigration, which is one of the Secure English Language Test (SELT) that is approved by UK home office. And the applicants from Non-English speaking countries must attend this exam before applying for UK Universities, colleges, or any working areas.

IELTS for UKVI exam is similar to the regular IELTS exam in terms of exam pattern, scores, difficulty levels, and the exam syllabus or content.And it also has 4 sections like Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking to assess the English proficiency level of Test seekers.

However, the applicants can use their IELTS for UKVI test scores to prove their English Language abilities which supports them with UK Visa and Immigration registration.

IELTS Life Skills

IELTS Life Skills is a new set of tests that are approved by UKVI and it is also a part of Secure English language Test (SELT). It comes under the CEFR level with scores of A1 and B1. The test consists of only 2 sections Listening and Speaking as it is only applied for a few UK visa categories. 

IELTS  Life skills exam was introduced by UK government in early 2016 for the people who want to extend their visa time in Family route. Under this test, the applicant’s everyday communication skills are evaluated by giving them topics like Family and Friends, personal experience, Travel, healthcare, housing, education, working, etc.

And the examiner will check their abilities in Speaking and Listening based on Gathering and conveying information, participation in discussions, and Communicating while speaking. 

The following table format shows the tasks and focus of the IELTS Lifeskills test.

Focuses onListening to the topics include simple narratives, Statements, questions, and speaking in the English language.Conversations with other persons on usual topics.Opinions and observations on given topicsproviding onions, commenting, and giving suggestions on various topics.Explaining and justifying your answers with reasons.Agreeing or disagreeing on the matter.SelectingLooking for information or descriptions.Mentioning the references.
TaskListening to simple narratives, questions, straightforward information, instructions, and Explanations, and speak on it.Conveying Opinions and feelings on usual topics in a formal way.Conversing with one or more persons on usual or given topics and responding to others’ thoughts and onions to get a better understanding of the topic.
Along with the A1 life skills test skills the test seekers need to answer the followingNarratingPlanningUrsueadingComparingShowing prioritiesQuestioning about future and past eventsGiving reasons, purposes, or contrast to it.

How much score is required in IELTS for UK

Individuals who want to study in UK need to appear for English proficiency level exams to prove their English ability. IELTS( International English Language Testing System) Academic test is popular exams among international students who want to study in UK. students need to secure the required score band as per the University requirements along with Tier 4 VIsa to study in UK.

The following are the minimum IELTS score requirements based on course levels for test- seekers to go to UK:

Level of CourseIELTS requirements
Foundation CoursesOverall 4.5 and 4.0 In each component
Bachelors CoursesOverall 6.5 and 6.0 In each section
Pre-Master CoursesOverall 5.0 And in each section
Masters CoursesOverall scores of 6.5 and 6.0 In each skill.

IELTS Test Score: Requirement for Visa

People who are applying for UK visas Under different categories need to attain the specified IELTS scores to support their UK Visa registration.

The following table format shows the list of minimum IELTS scores needed by the test seekers for UK Visas registration. 

Type of VisaSkills evaluatedCEFR level scoreRequired IELTS score ( minimum scores
Tier 1 Visa ( General)Reading, Writing, Listening and SpeakingC1Overall 7.0 and 7.0points in each component.
Tier1 Visa ( exceptional talent)Reading, writing, speaking, and listeningB1Overall 4.0 and also in each test 
Tier 1 Visa( Entrepreneur)Reading, writing, listening and speakingB14.0 in overall and in individual sections
Tier 1 Visa( graduate Entrerenuer )Reading, writing, speaking and listeningB14.0 In overall exam and in each sections
Tier 2 Visa( General)Reading, writing, listening and speakingB1Overall 4.0 Along with 4.0 In each section
Tier 2 Visa ( sportsperson)Reading, writing, speaking and listeningA1IELST overall score with 4.0 And in each skill
Tier 2 Visa( Minister of religion)Reading, writing, listening and speakingB2Overall 5.5 in score band and in 4.0 sections
Tier 4 Visa ( general student visa for below degree level)Reading, writing, speaking and listeningB1An Aggregate of 4.0 In each section and overall
Tier 4 Visa( general student Visa for degree and above level with some re sessional courses)Reading, writing, listening and speakingB25.5 in all sections individually and overall.
Family of settled Individaula VisaSpeaking and listeningA14.0 in both listening and speaking skills
Citizenship or Indefinite leave to remain VisaListening and speakingB14.0 In both speaking and listening sections.

Test Approved for UK Visa and Immigration

IELTS test forms and the scores is different based on the applicant’s Visa requirements and the purpose of their work or study in UK. There are different types of IELTS for UKVI tests that are available and approved for UK Visa and Immigration registration.  

The following is the list of IELTS for UKVI exam:

Name of the ExamVersion of examPurpose of the Exam
IELTS for UKVIAcademic testThe IELTS for UKVI Academic test is mainly for the students who want to pursue an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in any of the UK Universities or Colleges. And it is useful for people who are looking for professional registration for UK country. 
However, the IELTS for UKVI Academic test is available on the computer for applicants in various locations
IELTS for UKVI General training testThe IELTS for UKVI general training test is mainly for the students who want to study below degree level courses in the UK institutions or the test seekers who want to migrate to UK country.
IELTS Life skillsA1Under the IELTS Life Skills A1 test, people need to prove their English Speaking and Listening skills to get the UK visa for family, Spokesperson of any Foreign Businesses or Sportsperson.
However, this exam is under the CEFR and it is equal to ESOL level 3 under the National Qualification Framework.
IELTS Life skillsA2IELTS life skill A2 test is for people who need to prove their English Listening and Speaking skills which are part of their UK Visa application process for extension of their family, spouse or partner visa. 
However, this exam is only available in the United Kingdom within the CEFR level.
IELTS Life skills B1IELTS Life skills B1 exam is mainly for people who wish to get a UK visa for immigration and citizenship purposes. This test mainly assesses the English Speaking and listening skills of individuals. This Visa is well known as an Indefinite Leave to stay Visa.

IELTS UKVI registration process

IELTS for UKVI exam is managed by IDP partners with IELTS Australia, British Council, and Cambridge Assessment English. Test seekers who want to migrate to  UK through IELTS for UKVI test can register in any test center either through online or offline mode.

The application fee for IELTS for UKVI is Rs 15,100 INR and the fee for the IELTS Life Skills test is Rs 13, 940 INR.

Online Registration process:

  • First, visit the official webpage of the IELTS exam and create a new account by filling in the required information like Email ID, Contact information, etc.
  • Later log in to your profile  and choose the type of tests like IELTS for UKVI or IELTS Life skills test. 
  • Later choose the test date. As the test dates are not available frequently it is suggested to apply for the test at least before 3 months of the actual test date. And the Speaking test is conducted before 7 days of the actual test. 
  • Before submitting the application form recheck the information and edit it if needed. 
  • If it is needed, apply for more than allowed TRFs forms as you wish to send them to more institutions.
  • Once the registration form is completed pay the registration fee. The fee can be paid only through Netbanking or by Credit or debit cards.

Offline registration process:

  • First download the registration form from the official IELTS website.
  • Later fill in the required information as guided and submit the form to the nearby IELTS branch office. 
  • In the offline registration mode, the payment can be done through demand draft or by Bank deposition.

IELTS UKVI Test Dates and Locations

IELTS for UKVI test is conducted in test centers available throughout the country like Cochin, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, etc.The test dates are limited for the month. So, students need to register for the exam before the deadline. However, the IELTS scores from not officially designated test centers are not taken into consideration. So, before writing test seekers need to check the exam details and test center details clearly. 

IELTS UKVI test results

The test results of IELTS for UKVI will be available for students within 13 days after the exam and the results for the IELTS Lifeskills test of will be announced for applicants within 7 days of time after their attempt. But,test seekers of the IELTS for UKVI exam cant see the results through online. The IELTS for UKVI test authority sends the results in Test Result Form (TRF) through postal to the address mentioned by you in the application or registration form.

Also read

what is IELTS for UKVI


✅ How often can I take IELTS for UKVI and Lifeskills test?

Ans: Test seekers can take IELTS for UKVI and Life skills test a various number of times as there is no restriction for taking exams. But, if any student or applicants qualified for the life skills test for one time, they cant retake the exam within the duration of 2 years at the same level

✅ Do I able to get a refund if I cancel my IELTS for UKVI exam?

Ans: Yes, individuals who registered for IELTS for UKVI exam are eligible for a refund of  registration fee if they cancel their exam. But, the refund amount is based on the time of cancellation, which means if you cancel your IELTS for UKVI exams 14 or more days before the exam date you can get the refund amount of 75% But, if you cancel your exam in less than 2 days’ time of the actual exam, you can only receive 25% of the registration fee.

✅ Which exam is harder IELTS or IELTS forUKVI?

Ans: IELTS for UKVI is much harder than the normal IELTS exam. But, the syllabus and exam pattern for the IELTS for UKVI is almost the same as the IELTS exam. Like the IELTS exam, the IELTS for UKVI is also approved by many organisations, Universities

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Vishesh Chogtu

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