IELTS for UKVI and Standard IELTS

Until April 2015, there was only one form of International English Language Testing System (IELTS). From this date, the United Kingdom Visas and Immigration, previously known as the UK Border Agency, has introduced a version of IELTS to meet certain administrative requirements.

The introduction of IELTS for UKVI is to meet some internal administrative prerequisite of the UK Visa and Immigration or the Home Office. The changes are only in the registration process, the test centres, the cost of the test and the test report form (the certificate). The IELTS for UKVI has three modules namely academic, general training and life skills. The content of the test, the format, marking, the ownership and the administrator, however, remain the same as that of the original IELTS which is now known as the standard IELTS.

In short, IELTS for UKVI (Academic & General Training) is taken if one has the UK as one their preferred study or employment destinations and the Standard IELTS (Academic & General Training) is accepted by institutions everywhere except the UK visa and immigration (Home Office)

Generally, if you are looking to work or study in the UK, you may need to apply for a UK Visa and demonstrate that you have met the required level of English by taking a Home Office approved Secure English Language Test (SELT), such as IELTS for UKVI (Academic and General Training) or IELTS Life Skills.

What is the difference in test format between IELTS and IELTS for UKVI?
There is no difference in the test format between IELTS (Academic/General Training) and IELTS for UKVI (Academic/General Training). The test is the same in terms of content, format, level of difficulty and scoring. However, the Test Report Forms, which contain your results, will be slightly different to show that you have taken the test at an official IELTS UKVI location approved by the UK Home Office.  

Which test format should I take?

If you are a student, please check with your university/college/ school which test you need before booking.
If you are applying for a Student Visa (Tier 4) at a higher education institution to enter directly onto a bachelor or postgraduate degree at a university that is a Tier 4 Sponsor, you must meet the English language level set by the institution. All British universities and colleges accept IELTS Academic results. This means you may not need to take an IELTS for UKVI (Academic) test but can submit an IELTS Academic result.

If you are NOT a student, please check which test format you need with the organisations you are applying to before booking the test. 

Taking IELTS for UKVI with the British Council
IELTS for UKVI (Academic and General Training) tests and IELTS Life Skills are taken at a UKVI approved test centre. British Council has UKVI approved venues across the world.  

IELTS for UKVI (Academic)
Take this test if the university or organisation you are applying to has requested that you take the IELTS for the UKVI (Academic) test. This test is available in Accra only.

IELTS for UKVI (General Training)
This test is for those who want to train or study below degree level in the UK. It can also be used to work or undertake work-related training or emigrate to the UK. This test is available in Accra only.

IELTS Life Skills
IELTS Life Skills is an English test for people who need to prove only their speaking and listening skills at Levels A1, A2 or B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) for the purpose of applying for a UK Visa.

IELTS Life Skills is available at two levels: 
Take this test if you need to prove your English speaking and listening skills as part of your application to UK Visas and Immigration for ‘family of a settled person’ visas. The IELTS Life Skills test is available in Accra only.

Take this test if you need to prove your English speaking and listening skills as part of your application to UK Visas and Immigration for indefinite leave to remain or citizenship.  The IELTS Life Skills test is available in Accra only.

Related Articles


International English Language Testing System (IELTS) It is an international standardized test designed to assess the English language proficiency of non-native speakers with over 2million tests…


The British Council Ghana administers the test a minimum of two times every month (i.e two test dates in each month) in four locations – Accra, Kumasi, Tamale and Abidjan. Choose which test helps you achieve your goals and decide on a convenient date that suits your schedule and preparedness.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    1. You are required to take UKVI Exams to work as a Senior Carer in the UK. Kindly contact our Work abroad on 0240850600 for details.

  1. Hi,
    I am applying for UK Tier-2 visa and I currently have IELTS General Training which is still valid and obtained from My immigration adviser told me that I cannot use this as I need IELTS UKVI for the visa application. Is this true?

  2. I am a nurse and i intend to work in uk. I have a standard Academic IELTS. Can i apply a tier 2 visa with that or need UKVI IELTS

  3. Please am a registered community nurse and want to work in Canada or Australia
    Which exams should i write and is it possible to work there as a community nurse

    1. If the countries you prefer are only Canada or Australia, then you may take the Standard or UKVI.
      Kindly reach us on 0240850600

  4. I would like to find out, for instead you do not have any organisation or institution you can make the request from whether to write IELTS Academic Standard or General, or UKVI Academic or General. So in this case, how should the person go about it.

  5. Please I would like to know if clubbing is possible with my two ielts results. One is the ielts standard and the other is ielts for ukvi
    Thank you

  6. I applied for UKVI academic instead of general. Can I use my result for the ukvi academic to apply for HCA jobs in the UK and Ireland?

  7. hello I have a question and I could not answer yet, I hope you can help me…
    I am a health care professional (physiotherapist) and I’ve been offered a job in the UK (no NHS). The HCPC ( health care professional council/ regulatory body of health care professions in UK is asking for a ILTS TEST above 6.5 in each block, whereas to get the Visa I need a B1. Do you know if with my ILTS certificate scored above 6.5 in each block (C1) I can apply (with the same certificate) for my skilled worker visa which requires an scoring above 4.0? do I need to undergo two different IELTS or to apply for the Visa needed, I can submit the ILTS test scored above 6.5?
    your help is much appreciated.