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Are you planning to study, work or live in the UK? If so, you must be fluent in English as it is the country’s official language.

The IELTS test you take and the score you need will depend on both your visa requirements and/or the requirements of the institution where you plan to study or work.

IELTS test formats and types for work in the UK

IELTS for UKVI is a UK government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT). This specific IELTS test can be used to prove your English language abilities in support of a UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) application.

An IELTS Life Skills score can be used to prove your English Listening and Speaking abilities in support of an application for a UK family visa or settlement.

What's the minimum IELTS score for a UK work visa?

The score you need will be determined by your visa requirements.

1. Minimum IELTS scores for Skilled Worker visa (general work visa)

The Skilled Worker visa allows you to stay and work in the UK with an approved employer. This visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa.

In order to qualify for the Skilled Worker visa, you will need to prove your English language proficiency.

You will have to obtain a level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale, an international standard for describing language ability.

This is equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 4.0. This includes a score of 4.0 overall as well as in each of the four skills.

2. Minimum IELTS scores for Health and Care Worker visa

The Health and Care Worker visa allows medical professionals to work and stay in the UK. They will have to work with the National Health Service (NHS) which is the public healthcare system in the United Kingdom, an NHS supplier or in adult social care.

The visa will allow the holder to stay for up to 5 years before any extension is necessary. In fact, after 5 years, you will be able to apply for PR in the UK.

In order to qualify for the Health and Care Worker visa, you will have to obtain a level B1 on the CEFR scale.

This is equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 4.0. This includes a score of 4.0 overall as well as in each of the four skills.

3. IELTS scores for Graduate visa

The Graduate visa gives you permission to work and stay in the UK for up to 3 years after you successfully complete your degree.

To qualify for the Graduate visa, you’ll need to obtain your Student visa which will require you to attain a minimum IELTS score for the English requirement of your course.

The score needed to apply to a course may vary based on the institution or course you want to apply for. If you are not sure what band score you need to apply for your desired course, you can check with the institution you wish to apply to. 

4. IELTS scores for Innovator visa

The Innovator visa is perfect if you are looking to set up and run an innovative business in the UK, which must be endorsed by an approved body.

With the visa, you’ll be able to stay for 3 years.

In order to qualify, you’ll need to prove your English language knowledge. 

You will have to obtain a level B2 on the CEFR scale. This is equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 5.5. This includes a score of 5.5 overall as well as in each of the four skills.

5. Getting Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

In order to successfully migrate to the UK, there are two routes you can take.

The first is applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), in which you will have to obtain an IELTS score of 4.0 in the Speaking and Listening components. You will also need to obtain a result of 'pass' on the IELTS Life Skills B1 test.

The second is applying for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa. In this case, you will have to obtain an IELTS score of 4.0 in the Speaking and Listening components. You will also need to obtain a result of 'pass' on the IELTS Life Skills A1 test.

Pursue your career in the UK with IDP IELTS

Ready to embark on your journey to work and live in the UK?

At IDP, we support students and professionals in taking the first step towards their goals by helping them sit for the IELTS test.

Check out how we can help you prepare and learn more about IELTS for UKVI , and why IDP is the best choice for passing your IELTS test!

Book your IELTS test with IDP today .

FAQs

1. What type of work permit visa is used in the UK?

A Skilled Worker visa allows you to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer.

This visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa.

It also allows you to work in UK waters.

2. How do I get a UK work permit visa?

You are able to enter or remain in the UK with a Skilled Worker visa to do an eligible job with an approved employer. To be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa, you need to:

  • Work for a UK employer that’s been approved by the Home Office

  • Obtain a certificate of sponsorship from your employer that includes details about the role you've been offered in the UK

  • Have a job on the list of eligible occupations

  • Be paid a minimum salary - the amount depends on the type of work you do

3. What documents do I need to work in the UK?

There are several documents you need to provide when you apply for a Skilled Worker visa, which are:

  • Your certificate of sponsorship reference number - your employer will give this to you

  • Proof of your English language knowledge

  • A valid passport or other document that shows your identity and nationality

  • Your job title and annual salary

  • The occupation code of your job

  • The name of your employer and their sponsor license number - this will be on your certificate of sponsorship