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New language testing arrangements for UK visas: IELTS to continue to play leading role

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 http://ieltsessentials.com/home.aspx

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.

IELTS, which is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment, has played a key role in language testing for immigration purposes throughout its 25 year history and is recognised by more than 9,000 organisations around the world including universities and employers in many countries, as well as by professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies. More than 2.5 million IELTS tests were taken in 2014 in more than 140 countries.

For further information on the UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) announcement, please visit: http://www.gov.uk/

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IELTS

IDP Education co-founded and co-owns IELTS (International English Language Testing System) in association with Cambridge English Language Assessment and the British Council. IELTS is the world’s most popular, high stakes English language proficiency test.

 
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Find your nearest IELTS test centre

IELTS is available to test takers in more than 800 locations in more than 130 countries. To find out your local test centre and to ask about available test dates use the search facility on the IELTS website.

 
Taking the IELTS test  

Information on taking the IELTS test

Find preparation materials and further guidance on taking the IELTS test on the IELTS website. The UK office does not provide any assistance or guidance on the IELTS test

 
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IELTS question?

For any enquiries regarding IELTS find your local IELTS test centre. Alternatively view the FAQ or use IELTS online enquiry form on the IELTS website. The UK office does not provide assistance with IELTS questions.


WHY IELTS?

Since its launch in 1989, IELTS has been an innovator in English language testing and was the first to measure the ability to communicate in all four language skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking

IELTS is available to test takers in more than 800 locations in more than 130 countries.

Every aspect of the IELTS test, from test design and administration, to the marking and reporting of results, is subject to the highest quality controls, security procedures and integrity management practices.

This rigour has ensured that IELTS remains trusted and recognised by immigration authorities and government departments in almost all English-speaking countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. More than 8,000 organisations worldwide - including higher education institutions, government agencies, professional associations and employers - recognise and accept IELTS scores.

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