Cambridge English exams accepted by the UKVI for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and Citizenship applications
If you need to take an approved English qualification as part of your Indefinite Leave to Remain or Citizenship application, you can choose a Cambridge English exam.
The guidance in this article is from the GOV.UK website. If you are in any doubt regarding whether the Home Office will accept an exam that you have taken, or you have any questions about completing your application, you should speak to them directly.
Taking a UKVI recognised English test (UK and non-UK)
If you are applying for ILR or Citizenship, and intend to satisfy the UKVI requirements by taking one of the UKVI's recognised English tests and qualifications, the following Cambridge English exams are acceptable:
Minimum grade required
IELTS for UKVI
Band score 4 (Listening and Speaking components at band score 4)
IELTS Life Skills (Level B1)
It is very important that you complete your ILR/Citizenship application carefully, correctly indicating how you satisfy the UKVI's English language requirement.
Which exam should I take?
It's up to you which exam you take, but the IELTS Life Skills (Level B1) test is designed specifically for those applying for visas with B1 level English language requirements. It measures only Speaking and Listening skills (so there are no written test papers) and is the lowest level exam we offer which is accepted by the Home Office for these purposes. Results are normally released around 7 days after the exam date.
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 the only version approved for UKVI purposes, and is only available at test centres selected by the UK government.
How do I register for an exam?
If you wish to enter for one of our exams, you will need to register with an authorised examination centre.
You can search for Home Office approved IELTS/IELTS Life Skills centres, and register to take a test, on the IELTS website. You can also find test dates and entry fee information on this site.
Please note that all Cambridge English exams have to be taken under supervised conditions; they cannot be taken over the internet or on the telephone. If there are no centres near you, you will need to travel in order to take your exam.
Can I use an old B1 level qualification if I am already in the UK on a visa?
The results of some recognised test qualifications, such as IELTS for UKVI and IELTS Life Skills, only last for 2 years. The Home Office have advised that you may still be able to use a B1 level qualification that you took more than 2 years ago in the two situations listed below:
Applying for citizenship
You can use a B1 level qualification taken more than 2 years ago if you are applying for citizenship and the qualification was accepted when you settled in the UK.
Applying to settle in the UK
You can use a B1 level qualification taken more than two years ago if both of the following are true:
- it’s on the current list of recognised tests
- it was accepted for another UK immigration application, for example when you got permission to enter
This information was taken from the Gov.uk website. You will need to contact the Home Office directly if you have any questions about your visa application, or whether you can use your test result to prove your English language ability.
If you need to take the Life in the UK test, this is arranged directly with the Home Office. Please speak to them to arrange your test, or to find out if you are exempt. Cambridge English cannot advise you on the Life in the UK test.