What are language test requirements for UK immigration?

English language test

You may be required to submit proof that you have a minimum standard of the English language when you apply for a UK work visa. This requirement will depend on which type of visa you have applied for, whether you will be working or studying, and how long you plan to stay in the UK. If you are applying for skilled migration on the two most popular visas, the Skilled Worker visa and Health and Care Worker visa, this is a mandatory requirement for some.

What is the language requirment for a UK work visa?

In order to meet the language requirement, you must pass a language test approved by the UK government. This can be approved by a achieving a CEFR score of at least B1 and passing a SELT test from approved provider such as IELTS. You will need to pass reading, writing, speaking and listening.

If you studied for a degree in English whether in the UK or abroad, you will be exempt from passing an English language test.

If you are a doctor, dentist, nurse, midwife or vet. You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’ve already passed an English Language assessment that is accepted by the relevant regulated professional body.

If you are from any of the below nations you are exempt from a SELT test.

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • Malta
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

What do the tests consist of?

The Listening, Reading and Writing sections of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them. The Speaking test will usually take place before your other tests, within a week. The total test time for all four is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Listening (30 minutes)

You will listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write your answers to a series of questions.

  • Task type 1 – Multiple choice
  • Task type 2 – Matching
  • Task type 3 – Plan, map, diagram labelling
  • Task type 4 – Form, note, table, flow-chart, summary completion
  • Task type 5 – Sentence completion
  • Task type 6 – Short-answer questions

Reading (60 minutes)

The Reading section consists of 40 questions.

  • Task type 1 – Multiple choice
  • Task type 2 – Identifying information
  • Task type 3 – Identifying writer’s views/claims
  • Task type 4 – Matching information
  • Task type 5 – Matching headings
  • Task type 6 – Matching features
  • Task type 7 – Matching sentence endings
  • Task type 8 – Sentence completion
  • Task type 9 – Summary, note, table, flow-chart completion
  • Task type 10 – Diagram label completion
  • Task type 11 – Short-answer questions

Writing (60 minutes)

The Writing test consists of two parts. Part one you will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information, or explaining the situation. Part two you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.

  • In Writing Task 1, test takers are presented with a situation and required to write a personal response in the form of an informal, semi-formal or formal letter of at least 150 words in the answer booklet provided.
  • In Writing Task 2, test takers write a semi-formal/neutral discursive essay of at least 250 words in the answer book provided.

Speaking (11-14 minutes)

The Speaking test is divided into three parts. Part one the examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. Part two you will be given a card which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. Part three you will be asked further questions about the topic in Part 2. These will give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issues.

  • Part 1 – Introduction and Interview
  • Part 2 – Long turn
  • Part 3 – Discussion

What results do i deed for a UK work visa?

You need to achieve a a CEFR score of at least B1, which is a equivalent to an IELTS score of 4 or above.

English Language Test Fees

The registration fee for the IELTS test will vary depending on which country you are taking the test, and the test centre itself. Generally, the price will be between £150 to £200 per exam.

How to book and test locations

If you are booking with IELTS, you need to book the “IELTS for UKVI” test and only from a certified location. There are permanent locations around the world and also pop-up locations which are introduced every 3 months.

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