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Detailed guide: Prove your English language abilities with a secure English language test (SELT)

Uk Visas Immigration

October 1
16:52 2020

Applications that require an English language test

There are 2 types of test as different immigration routes require different levels of English language ability. The test you will need to take depends on what you are applying for.

For the following application routes, you will need to take a test that assesses your reading, writing, speaking and listening abilities:

  • Innovator
  • Start-up
  • Tier 2 (General)
  • Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)
  • Tier 4 (General)

For the following application routes, you will need to take a test that assesses your speaking and listening abilities:

  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson)
  • Representative of an Overseas Business
  • partner
  • parent
  • settlement (also known as indefinite leave to remain)
  • citizenship

The level of test you will need, known as the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level, will depend on the route you are applying for. To find out which level you need, see the specific guidance for your immigration route.

Approved test providers and approved tests

You can only take an SELT with one of the following providers:

  • IELTS SELT Consortium (UK or overseas)
  • LanguageCert (UK or overseas)
  • Trinity College London (UK only)
  • Pearson (UK and overseas)
  • PSI Services (UK) Ltd (overseas only)

The approved IELTS SELT Consortium tests are:

  • IELTS for UKVI
  • Life Skills

The approved LanguageCert tests are:

  • LanguageCert International ESOL SELT
  • LanguageCert International ESOL SELT (Speaking and Listening)

The approved Trinity College London tests are:

  • Integrated Skills in English (ISE)
  • Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE)

The approved Pearson tests are:

  • Pearson PTE Academic UKVI
  • Pearson PTE Home

The approved PSI Services (UK) Ltd tests are:

  • Skills for English (4 component)
  • Skills for English (2 component)

It is for you to decide which test to take.

Find an approved test

For your results to be accepted, your test must:

  • be on the list of approved English language tests
  • have been sat at an approved test location

The list of approved English language tests has been assessed as meeting Home Office requirements under the secure English language testing arrangements. Only those tests and test levels specified are approved. If you intend to use an English language test in your immigration or nationality application, you must take one of the tests on the list.

The list of approved tests gives the CEFR level and minimum grade requirements for each level.

Where 2 or more components (reading, writing, speaking and listening) of a test are examined and awarded together, for example a combined exam and certificate for reading and writing skills, you must show that you achieved the required scores in all the relevant components during a single sitting of that examination, unless you were exempt from sitting a component on the basis of a disability.

List of approved secure English language tests taken in the UK

This file is in an OpenDocument format

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need aversion of this document in a more accessible format, please email alternativeformats@homeoffice.gov.uk.Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

List of approved secure English language tests taken outside the UK

This file is in an OpenDocument format

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need aversion of this document in a more accessible format, please email alternativeformats@homeoffice.gov.uk.Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Approved secure English language test centres

The list of approved test centres has been assessed as meeting Home Office requirements under the secure English language testing arrangements.

More test centres will be added to the list as the new approved provider services become available.

Check the SELT prov

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