New language testing arrangements for UK visas: IELTS to continue to play leading role
- The UK government has announced important changes to Secure English Language Tests (SELT) for visa purposes;
- IELTS and IELTS Life Skills have been approved for UK visas that require proof of English language level;
- The new test – IELTS Life Skills – will be introduced for people who need to prove their speaking and listening skills at level A1 or B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference
- The UK government has announced important changes to language testing for visa applications, reducing the number of tests accepted for visa purposes and bringing in new requirements for the way the tests will be administered.
IELTS – the world’s most popular test of English for higher education and global migration – has been approved for all UK visas that require applicants to provide proof of their level of English. This continues the important role which IELTS has long played in language testing for immigration in the UK and other countries, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Under the new arrangements, IELTS tests for UK visa applications will be offered throughout the year in more than 100 key locations throughout the world, and a new test – IELTS Life Skills – will be introduced for people who need to prove their speaking and listening skills at level A1 or B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
IELTS tests for visa purposes can only be taken at authorised centres and the centre must follow procedures specified by the UK government. When a test is booked, the customer must specify what the test is for and ensure that the centre is authorised to run tests for this purpose. A list of the authorised test centres can be found on www.ieltsessentials.com/uk.
IELTS tests for UK Visas and Immigration are managed by the IELTS SELT Consortia, which comprises British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.
For further information on the UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) announcement, please visit: www.gov.uk
Details on UKVI IELTS Test Centres in Canada will be released shortly. Please note that the change in the UK government policy will be effective from 6 April 2015. Until 5 April 2015, you can sit an IELTS test anywhere in the world and the result can be submitted to UKVI with your application until 5 November 2015.