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UK family of a settled person (and further leave to remain) visas - accepted exams


Helpdesk Training Article


Cambridge English exams accepted by the UKVI for 'family of a settled person' (and 'further leave to remain') visa applications

The Home Office asks that those applying for a 'family of a settled person' visa (often previously referred to as a 'spouse' or 'partner' visa) can demonstrate that they have at least an A1 level of English, as measured by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

From 1 May 2017, applicants who have completed 2.5 years (30 months) in the UK under these arrangements, and who are applying for further leave to remain in that category, will be required to obtain an approved English language speaking and listening qualification at level A2.

The following Cambridge English tests will be accepted by the Home Office as meeting these requirements:

Visa description

Accepted Exams

Results required

'Family of a settled person' visa

IELTS Life Skills (Level A1, A2 or B1) 



Bandscore 4.0 or above in the Speaking and Listening papers. 

Further leave to remain, for partners and parents on the family route after 2.5 years in the UK*

IELTS Life Skills (Level A2 or B1) 



Bandscore 4.0 or above in the Speaking and Listening papers. 

*This is for those on the 5-year route to settlement. Exemptions apply to partners of members of HM Forces, 10-year partner and parent routes, and partners granted leave under Part 8 of the Immigration Rules

Which exam should I take? 

It's up to you which exam you take, but the IELTS Life Skills Level A1 and A2 tests are designed specifically for those applying for visas with A1 and A2 level English language requirements. They measure only Speaking and Listening skills (so there are no written test papers) and are the lowest level exams we offer which are accepted by the Home Office for these purposes. 

Alternatively, you can take IELTS for UKVI, which assesses all four language skills. It's important to make sure you take IELTS for UKVI rather than our regular IELTS test. IELTS for UKVI is exactly the same as our regular IELTS test, but is the only version approved for UKVI purposes, and is only available at test centres selected by the UK government.

How do I enter for an exam? 

You will need to take one of these tests at an approved Secure English Language Testing (SELT) centre. You can find a list of these centres on the IELTS website -select the option for IELTS for UKVI and IELTS Life Skills and then choose the country where you would like to take the test from the drop down menu. You will need to follow the steps online to register using the secure booking system. 

Test dates and registration fees for IELTS Life Skills and IELTS for UKVI are fixed and are listed when you register. You will need to contact your chosen test centre directly if you have any further questions.

Please note that all Cambridge English tests have to be taken under supervised conditions. They cannot be taken over the internet or on the telephone, so if there are no centres near you, you will need to travel in order to take your test.

When will I get my results? 

Results for IELTS Life Skills are normally released within 6 days of the test date.

Results for IELTS for UKVI are normally released around 13 days after the exam date. 

Further information

You can find further information regarding 'family of a settled person' visa applications on the UKVI website

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