Exams for immigration

Exams For Settlement Visa

UK Visas and Immigration announced on 29 November 2010 that any migrant applying to enter or remain in the UK as the husband, wife, civil partner or fiancé of a British citizen or a person settled there will need to show that they can speak and understand English.

This rule is intended to help migrants integrate into British society, to open up more opportunities, help prevent exploitation and allow them to benefit from and contribute more to their communities.

Most applicants will meet the requirement by passing an English language test and supplying a test certificate with their visa application.

Check the minimal level required by UK Visas and Immigration. 

*The UK Home Office has made changes to its guidance on Secure English Language Test (SELT) providers. We encourage you to check the full text here

Please note that the UK Home Office have not as yet updated this to reflect ETS’s 17th April 2014 statement which is here.

Which exam should I take?

The British Council administers many exams which meet the UK Border Agency requirements and can support your visa application.

You can take IELTS or one of several Cambridge English exams to satisfy these requirements. Check the Home Office's list of recognised English tests and qualifications.

See the full table of Council of Europe levels to have a better idea of various exams.