UK Immigration | Do I need an English language test? Which one A1, B1, A2, B2 or a Lockdown Waiver?

The details provide are current to 25th June 2020. Please seek professional advice in your particular case.

Approved English centers and tests

Currently, the following test providers are approved by the UK Home Office.

  1. Trinity College London.
  2. IELTS SELT Consortium.
  3. LanguageCert.
  4. Pearson Education.


SELT provider Trinity College London Website: http://www.trinitycollege.com/SELT Test Centres: http://www.trinitycollege.com/findaseltcentre

IELTS SELT Consortium Website: http://www.ielts.org Test Centres: https://www.ielts.org/book-a-test/fin…

LanguageCert Website: http://www.Languagecert.org/selt Test Centres: http://www.Languagecert.org/selt-locations

Pearson Education Ltd Website: http://www.pearsonpte.com Test Centres: https://pearsonpte.com/locations

KOLL Waiver Request https://assets.publishing.service.gov…

Latest lists and guide https://www.gov.uk/government/publica…

The following are a list of test levels and minimum grade/score required to achieve them.

Which test is required for your application?

The answer depends on which application you are making and what stage you are at.

  1. IELTS Level A1 – if it’s a first-time application as Spouse /Partner to enter the UK;
  2. IELTS Level A2 – if it’s the second time application as Spouse /Partner (usually in the UK)
  3. Level B1 – if applying for a Settlement visa (after 5 years or 10 years)


This is the WRONG English Certificate

Screenshot 2020-06-25 at 05.46.12

Screenshot 2020-06-25 at 06.06.42

This is the CORRECT English Certificate

Screenshot 2020-06-25 at 05.45.31

How to submit the Certificate?

The traditional method was to send the original in the post, then it was to be scanned and uploaded as they started to accept digital bundles, now this has moved even further, you can now provide the reference number and the Home Office can locate your certificate online.

Trinity College London tests, the unique reference number is displayed on the certificate as ‘UER’ IELTS SELT Consortium tests, the SELT unique reference number is displayed on the Test Result Form (TRF) as ‘UKVI number’

LanguageCert tests, the unique reference number is displayed on the Test Report as ‘Candidate URN’ Pearson Education tests, the unique reference number is displayed on the Score Report as ‘SELT URN’. If you have the certificate you can still scan and upload as part of your digital bundle but it is not necessary.

How long is the English test valid for?

Usually, the English test is valid for 2 years from the date of issue. For ILR and Nationality applications it is possible to use beyond the 2-year limit where the guidance will state that you can reuse your previous certificates.

Some people confuse this with Life in the UK test certificate, required for ILR and nationality applications. Life in the UK test certificate remains valid indefinitely and does not expire.

Bonus information

Other ways to meet the English language requirements.

Using a degree certificate

If you have a degree which was taught in the UK, you can use that or a degree taught abroad, in the English medium and confirmed by NARIC as to the level of English the degree certificate is equivalent to perhaps B1, B2 or C1. That could be used too. This type of evidence does not expire and is not subject to the 2-year validity limit.

UK NARIC https://www.naric.org.uk/naric/Individuals/FAQs.aspx

What is the Medium of Instruction letter?

A Medium of Instruction letter is a document that confirms the language of instruction used throughout your degree programme.

It should be issued by a central administration unit / the registry at your university rather than a lecturer who may have taught you. Typically, they look like this.

Screenshot 2020-06-25 at 05.37.08

Using a Waiver

Sometimes it is possible to waive the requirement altogether for visa and nationality. If your circumstances mean you simply cannot take the English test, such as you are

  • illiterate,
  • can’t read or write,
  • suffer from a disability which prevents you from learning or taking the test

you could apply for an exemption on that basis.

For an exemption you can use the form called “Waiver – KOLL”, the link is in the description if successful, you will not need to provide Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK certificates. The form asks about, your condition, impact, why you can’t learn or sit the test, and if the limitation is temporary. In your opinion is this condition likely to improve sufficiently for them to be able to study and take the required tests?

Coronavirus COVID 19 waiver or delay

Due to the current Coronavirus COVID 19 situation, test centers being closed, or people unable to travel to them, the Home Office has issued some concessions so that you can either provide the test certificate at a later date or they may waive the requirement without any detriment to your application. UK Universities are asked to assess the level of English and self-certify to move applications forward.

The tests usually cost bet.                                               bween £150 to £250 pounds.

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