IELTS UK Visa & Immigration | New IELTS Life Skills Test

With effect as from 20 February 2015, the British Government announced changes to SELT (secure English language tests) in relation to UK immigration visas.

If you apply for a visa to stay in the UK or move to the UK, you need to consider these recent changes to UK visa and immigration (UKVI).

What are the changes related to IELTS and UK immigration?

  • If you want to move to or remain in the United Kingdom, there is an IELTS test which you can take.
  • In addition to the General Training IELTS and Academic IELTS tests, as you already may know, there is now a new IELTS test, it is called IELTS Life Skills.
  • The IELTS Life Skills test was introduced for candidates and applicants needing to validate their English language skills in oral expression and listening at either A1 level or B1 level as defined by the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference). The IELTS Life Skills test only evaluates speaking and listening.
  • The IELTS test for UK visa and immigration is administered by IELTS-SELT a joint body consisting of Cambridge English Language Assessment, IDP: IELTS Australia and the British Council.

When will this change take place?

The change in the policy of the British Government has been effective since 6 April 2015.

In addition to the regular and permanent IELTS test centers, there will be supplementary "Pop up" test sites, chosen by the British Government. IELTS for UK visa and immigration, as well as IELTS Life Skills will be available at these locations, usually on a quarterly basis. IELTS registration in many of these places will begin from Monday, April 20, 2015.

Will you be studying for a Bachelor's degree or higher degree in the United Kingdom?

UKVI has confirmed that these changes will not affect you, if you enter directly at degree level or higher, a listed Tier 4 level UK institution. British universities currently choose their own method to evaluate the English language competency levels of their students, and that is not affected by the changes.