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If you make a visa application to stay or move to the UK, you need to be aware of changes made by the United Kingdom Visas & Immigration (UKVI). If you’re applying for Tier 1 and Tier 2 visas to the UK, the IELTS for UKVI test is for you.

There are two types of IELTS for UKVI tests:

IELTS for UKVI Academic and IELTS for UKVI General Training are designed to meet certain administrative requirements that are specified by the UK Home Office. The actual test taken is the same as IELTS (for all other purposes), same content, examiners, level of difficulty, formatscoring and so on.

The difference is in the test taker journey on the test day. Test Report Forms will be slightly different, to show that you have taken the test at an IELTS UK visa session.

Which IELTS for UKVI test do I need?

IELTS for UKVI Academic

  • Applicable for test takers who want to study at Undergraduate or Post-graduate levels in the UK.

  • Applicable for test takers who seek professional registration in the UK.

IELTS for UKVI General Training

  • Applicable for test takers willing to migrate to the UK under certain visa categories.

  • Applicable for test takers who want to train or study below degree level.

It is important to note that although the test formats are the same, the IELTS and IELTS for UKVI tests are different types of tests -- the IELTS for UKVI test is meant for UK visa applications and must be taken at a UKVI-approved test centre.

IELTS for UKVI Academic and IELTS for UKVI General Training tests

Book your IELTS for UKVI test, available only in our IDP IELTS Melbourne or IDP IELTS Sydney test centres.

What is IELTS Life Skills?

When it comes to taking an IELTS test for your UK visa application, there is another test available called the IELTS Life Skills test.

IELTS Life Skills is specifically designed for people who are required to prove their speaking and listening ability as part of their UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) application.

IELTS Life Skills

  • If you intend to take the family route to the UK as a spouse/partner/parent, it’s likely you need to provide evidence of your English. IELTS Life Skills is probably for you.

  • IELTS Life Skills is for people who need to prove their English listening and speaking skills at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Levels A1 or B1.

  • There are two tests available: IELTS Life Skills A1 and IELTS Life Skills B2.

Read more about IELTS Life Skills

Where can I take the IELTS for UKVI test in Australia?

IELTS for UKVI (IELTS for UKVI Academic and General, and IELTS Life Skills A1 and B1 tests) are currently only available in Australia, in the following test centres:

If you need an IELTS test for UK visa applications, you can only do so at these test centres. These UKVI-approved test centres meet the administrative requirements outlined by the UK Home Office.

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

You need to specifically take an IELTS for UKVI General Training or IELTS for UKVI Academic test to apply for your UK visa. You cannot use your IELTS General Training or IELTS Academic scores to apply for a UK Visa. It must be specified as an IELTS for UKVI test.

The IELTS for UKVI tests are taken at a UKVI approved test centre and must meet the administrative requirements outlined by the UK Home Office. To show that the test was taken in a UKVI approved test centre, the Test Report Form (TRF) will look slightly different. Nevertheless, the test format of IELTS for UKVI is the same as the other IELTS tests: content, format, scoring and level of difficulty.

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What is IELTS UKVI? If you're planning to move to the UK, you will need to take a specific IELTS for UKVI test. Learn more about this test.

Frequently asked questions

Prepare for your IELTS UKVI test

Download the free official sample tests to help you prepare for your IELTS UKVI Academic or General Training test.