English Test for Spouse Visa, ILR and Naturalisation (Life In The UK test)

Are you looking to find the various English test for your Spouse visa, Work Permit, Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and Naturalisation here in the UK? 

For the past 8 years that I have lived in the UK, there were countless times that the UK Home Office changed their rules around the immigration policies.

Some of the things that they’ve implemented are the Secure English Language Test and Citizenship test or a.k.a Life in the UK test.

I must admit that the changes to the policies are tougher on immigrants, with the goal to cut down immigration here in the UK.

On my journey to become a Naturalised UK Citizen, I have had to take and pass all the exams required, Thank God I did!

The UK Home Office implemented the Secure English Language Test (SELT), there are two accredited Language test providers that can give the test here in the UK and internationally.

They are the Trinity College London and the Cambridge English Language Assessment.

Who needs to take the SELT?

The majority of the UK immigration routes will need to obtain SELT. These are:

  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur and Graduate Entrepreneur)
  • Tier 2 (General, Minister of Religion, and Sportsperson)
  • Tier 4 (General)
  • A representative of an Overseas Business
  • Partner
  • Parent
  • Settlement and Citizenship

The tests vary depending on the type of immigration route that you are taking.

Some routes will require a thorough English Language Assessment (Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking) these are common on academic and business routes.

However, for settlement and partners, the Life Skills test are advisable, where only Listening and Speaking sections are to be taken.

The two accredited SELT by the Home Office are: 

IELTS SELT Consortium (The UK and International)

 International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an international English Test that is recognised worldwide.

It is used primarily for migration, academic or work purposes.

The IELTS exams are mostly paper-based and time-pressured with the scoring system of Band 1 to 9.

The exam results are only valid for 2 years.

The IELTS tests required by the Home Office are the IELTS for UKVI and the IELTS Life Skills.

The IELTS UKVI will assess the four language skills (Reading, Speaking, Listening and Writing).

The UKVI test results equivalent levels of B1 to C2 (depending on your exam results) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

There are two types of UKVI tests, these are the Academic (which you can use for applying in universities and immigration) and the General (which can be used for immigration purposes only)

As for my experience, I took the IELTS UKVI (Academic) as I deemed it to be multi-purpose.

The IELTS Life Skills will assess the only two language skills (Listening and Speaking) that are vital for community integration. The CEFR equivalent levels are A1 to B1 (depending on your exam results).

IELTS EXAM PRICE: It varies from country to country, rough estimate between £117 to £200.  Please check the test centre where you will be taking the exam.

List of the Accredited SELT IELTS Test Centres

Book your IELTS Test here

Buy IELTS books here:

IELTS Superpack

IELTS Superpack

IELTS Life Skills Official Cambridge Test Practice B1

IELTS Life Skills Official Cambridge Test Practice B1 Audio CDs (2) (Official Cambridge Ielts Life)

IELTS Life Skills Official Cambridge Test Practice A1

IELTS Life Skills Official Cambridge Test Practice A1 Audio CDs (2) (Official Cambridge Ielts Life)

TRINITY COLLEGE London (UK Only)

Trinity College London is another accredited provider in the UK to get SELT, approved by the Home Office for immigration purposes.

This is a paper-based and face-to-face exams.

Buy Trinity College SELT reviewer here:

Trinity SELT GESE Grade 5 B1 Study Pack

Trinity SELT GESE Grade 5 (B1) Study Pack

Trinity ISE I Practice Tests Reading and Writing

Trinity ISE I Practice Tests Reading & Writing

Trinity ISE II Practice Tests Reading and Writing

Trinity ISE II Practice Tests Reading & Writing

There are two types of exams conducted by the Trinity College London, they are Graded Examination in Spoken English (GESE) only test the speaking and listening.

The Integrated Skills in English (ISE) test the four language skill same as the IELTS exams.

Trinity College London Exam Price:  £150 (GESE) | £180 (ISE)

Book your Trinity College Exam here!

Another exam and assessment that I took for my visas and settlement here in the UK. 

UK National Recognition Information Centre (UK Naric)

UK Naric is an assessment body that is approved by the Home Office to evaluate the foreign degree to compare it to a British recognised qualification.

UK Naric assessment results can support the Point-Based System routes (Tier 1, 2 and Representative of an Overseas Business visa), family route (Spouse and partner), settlement and naturalisation.

If the UK Naric assessment deems that your foreign degree is equivalent to a British Bachelor’s Degree or higher, this will enable you to fulfil the Home Office requirements for the Language test.

Tip: Don’t forget to also submit your High School Diploma together with your UK Naric Application.

UK Naric assessment price: £125 per application + VAT

Apply for UK NARIC Assessment here!

Life in the UK test (Citizenship Exam)

The Life in the UK test is needed when you are ready to apply for your Naturalisation to become a British citizen.

The exam is based on the handbook “Life in the United Kingdom: A Guide for New Residents”.

The test questions are mostly the about the history, culture and tradition of the UK.

Life in the UK test price: £50

You can book your Life in the UK Test (Citizenship Exam) here!

Buy Life in The UK test reviewer here:

Life in the United Kingdom: a guide for new residents

Life in the United Kingdom: a guide for new residents

Life in the United Kingdom: a guide for new residents audio CD

Life in the United Kingdom: a guide for new residents (audio CD)

Life in the United Kingdom Official Practice Questions and Answers 2018 Edition

Life in the UK Test (2018 Edition) – Official Test: Practice Questions & Answers

Those are the exams and assessment that will help you with your UK visa and settlement.

Good luck on your application.

If you would like to share some tips and experience on various exams to take, please leave a comment in the comment box below!

If you find this article helpful, please leave a 5-star rating!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ryazan Tristram EverythingZany Author Bio

Ryazan Tristram

Travel Writer & Photographer

Ryazan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hotel Management. She also has more than 10 years of work experience gained from working in the hotel and travel sectors in Asia and Europe. Her work has been featured and published on Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Discovery Channel, World Travel Guide, MSN, CNBC, GMA, Lonely Planet and many more. She is currently living in the UK as a dual citizen (British – Filipina). Join her on travelling around the globe with a mission to share the best of the world.

Life in the UK Test

7 thoughts on “English Test for Spouse Visa, ILR and Naturalisation (Life In The UK test)”

  1. Hi Ryazan! I’m glad I read your blog. I applied for a Marriage Settlement in UK as well and took the IELTS for UKVI (Academic) for the English requirement. I got worried after reading some stories of visa refusal because they did not submit IELTS Life Skills Test. Have you heard of similar stories? More power!

    Reply
  2. hello,

    im in the UK under a tier 2 visa, is it possible to invite a sibling to visit? and if so, do you know the requirements?

    thanks

    Reply

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