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

Uk Visas Immigration

March 4
11:24 2024

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:

  • Health and Care Worker
  • High Potential Individual
  • Innovator Founder
  • Minister of Religion
  • Scale-up Worker
  • Skilled Worker
  • Start-up
  • Student

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

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

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

If you are in the UK

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

  • Pearson
  • Trinity College London
  • IELTS SELT Consortium
  • LanguageCert

If you are outside of the UK

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

  • Pearson
  • PSI Services (UK) Ltd Skills for English (UKVI)
  • IELTS SELT Consortium
  • LanguageCert

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
  • have been awarded in the two years before the date of your application

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.

You should make sure the test that you book is the one approved for SELT:

  • IELTS SELT Consortium: IELTS for UKVI or IELTS Life Skills
  • LanguageCert: LanguageCert International ESOL SELT or LanguageCert Academic SELT or LanguageCert General SELT
  • Pearson: PTE Academic UKVI or PTE Home
  • PSI Services: Skills for English UKVI
  • Trinity College London: Secure English Language Tests for UKVI Integrated Skills in English (ISE) or Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE)

It is for you to decide which test to take.

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, you must show that you achieved the required scores in all the relevant components with the same test centre provider as part of the combined test assessment.

In certain circumstances, if you failed one component of the test, you may be allowed to sit that component again.You will need to check the test providers terms and conditions before booking a test.

List of approved secure English language tests taken in the UK

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