IELTS for UK Visa is a UK government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT). Besides study programs, it is also used for UKVI applications these days. Further, IELTS life skills scores are used for family visa and settlement purposes.
To be able to use the IELTS results for UK visas; you are supposed to take the test at a test center authorized by UK visas and immigration.
Under the new arrangements, IELTS tests for UK visa applications are offered throughout the year at more than 100 key locations throughout the world.
IELTS (Academic and General)
You are expected to take this test when you’re applying for Tier 1 and Tier 2 visas to the UK.
IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training for UKVI is designed to meet certain administrative requirements specified by the UK Home Office.
The actual test taken is the same as IELTS (for all other purposes) that is, similar content, examiners, format, level of difficulty, and scoring criteria.
The only difference is that the speaking test module gets recorded on video.
Furthermore, the test report forms are slightly different indicating the tests were taken at an IELTS UK visa session.
Upon taking the IELTS UKVI, you receive a normal IELTS score acceptable in all countries.
It is designed for test takers who wish to study undergraduate or postgraduate courses in the UK and for those looking at professional registrations. Also, the test is now available as a computer-based test at certain locations.
It is used by test takers who are looking at migrating to the UK or wish to study below degree level courses.
IELTS Life Skills
It’s for showcasing the speaking and listening skills at Level A1, A2 or B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The assessment of skills is based on the following factors:
- Obtaining information
- Conveying information
- Speaking to communicate
- Engaging in discussion
IELTS Life Skills (A1)
Used to apply for a visa of “family of a settled person”. The duration of the test is 16-18 minutes.
IELTS Life Skills (A2)
It is required for the demonstration of your English language speaking and listening skills. It is done as a part of an application for extension of a family, spouse or partner visa. This test is, however, available in the UK only.
IELTS Life Skills (B1)
This test supports the test taker in proving his English language speaking and listening skills. The test is taken as a part of an application for citizenship or indefinite leave to remain. The duration of the test is 22 minutes.
Read Also: Everything You Need to Know About PTE
IELTS Band Requirements for UK Visa and Immigration
Tier 1 (High-Value Migrants)
General visa: IELTS – 7.0 overall and for each of the four skills.
Exceptional talent visa: IELTS – 7.0 overall and for each of the four skills.
Entrepreneur visa: IELTS – 4.0 overall and for each of the four skills.
Graduate entrepreneur visa: IELTS – 4.0 overall and for each of the four skills.
Tier 2 (Skilled Workers)
General visa: IELTS – 4.0 overall and for each of the four skills.
Sportsperson visa: IELTS – 4.0 overall and for each of the four skills.
Minister of religion visa: IELTS – 5.5 overall and for each of the four skills.
Tier 4 (Adult Students)
General student visa (below degree level): IELTS – 4.0 overall and for each of the four skills.
General student visa (degree level and above): IELTS – 5.5 overall and for each of the four skills.
It states minimum requirements for UKVI. The universities or colleges may, however, require higher band scores.
Tier 4 student visas: The applicants can apply to the UK universities with an IELTS score from any of the 1,000 test locations worldwide. This remains applicable only if the universities don’t have any additional requirements.
Family of a Settled Person: IELTS Life skill at A1- Pass
Citizenship or For Settlement Purposes: IELTS Life Skill at B1- Pass
Image source: britishcouncil.jp