English language test for UK student visa

English language test for UK student visa

This information is valid for students who require a visa to study in the UK

Most international students coming to study in the UK need to provide a proof of their English language skills to their education provider and later when they apply for a student visa (Tier 4 General student visa).

From April 2015 the rules regarding English language tests acceptable for UK visa applications have changed. All students who are planning to study in the UK and haven’t taken an English language test yet are advised to book Academic IELTS for UKVI.

Please note that not all IELTS centres are approved to conduct IELTS for UKVI tests. When booking the test, please also make sure you are choosing an Academic IELTS for UKVI test session.

You can book Academic IELTS for UKVI test here.

If you already have an offer from an education institution or have already taken the test and are planning to apply for studies soon, please continue reading.

What is the difference between IELTS for UKVI and IELTS test?

Not all IELTS centres have been approved to provide secure English language tests for visa purposes. You can find the full list of IELTS for UKVI test centres here. 

If you are in doubt which of the tests you have recently taken, have a look at your certificate. IELTS for UKVI test must have a UKVI number and CERT level on it.

If you have taken IELTS before 22 April 2015
If you have taken IELTS on or before 22 April 2015 but less than 2 years ago, you can use this certificate to apply for your studies and UK visa, but your visa application must be submitted on or before 5 November 2015.
If you have taken other English language test on or before 5 April 2015
English language tests taken before 6 April 2015 from the following list of approved providers can be used in immigration applications until 5 November 2015.
If you are applying directly to a bachelor’s or master’s programme

If you are applying for a programme at a degree level or higher (bachelor’s, master’s, PhD) and don’t need any preparatory courses before the main programme, you can still use IELTS not approved by UKVI for your visa application.

In case you need a pre-sessional, foundation or university English programmes and you have taken IELTS after 22 April 2015, you have to retake Academic IELTS for UKVI and use the new certificate for your visa application.

If you need to take an English language test in the UK

In the UK two English language tests have been approved for visa purposes: IELTS and Trinity College London. You can book any of these tests online.

Please note that outside of the UK only IELTS has been accredited to provide English tests for UK visa applications.

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