In April 2015, the Government updated the rules around which English language tests are acceptable for different applications. From 6 April 2015, all applicants who are required to demonstrate knowledge of the English language for a UK visa have to take the IELTS SELT. This is the International English Language Testing System and Secure English Language Test. The secure English Language Test (SELT) is a test administered by an approved provider.

English Test for UK Visa Guidance

Before booking your SELT test, it’s important to make sure you are taking the correct level of test for your visa category. There are tests available that will assess your reading, writing, speaking and listening abilities while others will only assess your speaking and listening ability.

If you are applying for any of the following routes, you will need to take a test that assesses all four abilities.

  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
  • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
  • Tier 2 (General)
  • Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)
  • Tier 4 (General)

If you are applying for any of the following routes, you will only need a test that assesses your speaking and listening abilities.

  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson)
  • Representative of an overseas business
  • Partner
  • Parent
  • Settlement
  • Citizenship

You can follow this link to find out where you can take your IELTS SELT test.

What if my English test for UK visa isn’t on the list?

Any test taken after 6th April 2015 will need to be on the list in order to be accepted. If you cannot find your test on the list, you will need to take the test again in order for your test to be accepted as part of your UK visa application. Your test also needs to be taken at an approved test centre or it will not be accepted.

What documents do I need to take the test?

In order to be able to sit your test, you will need to provide a valid identification document. The document has to be original, in-date and include a photograph that is a true likeness of the candidate. The details you use to book the test will also need to match those on the identification document. If you provide a photocopy or an out-of-date document, you will be turned away and will have to rebook your test.

What happens if I pass my English test for UK visa?

If you pass your test, you will be given a unique reference number which should be used to make your UK immigration application. The majority of tests are valid for up to two years, so if you do not make your UK immigration application within this time frame, you may need to take another test.