Guidance

Prove your English language abilities with a secure English language test (SELT)

For visa or citizenship applications, you may need to prove your knowledge of English by passing a secure English language test (SELT).

Applications that require an English language test

There are 2 types of test as different immigration routes require different levels of English language ability. The test you will need to take depends on what you are applying for.

For the following application routes, you will need to take a test that assesses your reading, writing, speaking and listening abilities:

  • Innovator
  • Start-up
  • Skilled Worker
  • Minister of Religion
  • Student

For the following application routes, you will need to take a test that assesses your speaking and listening abilities:

  • Sportsperson
  • Representative of an Overseas Business
  • partner
  • parent
  • settlement (also known as indefinite leave to remain)
  • citizenship

The level of test you will need, known as the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level, will depend on the route you are applying for. To find out which level you need, see the specific guidance for your immigration route.

Approved test providers

If you are in the UK

You can only take a SELT with one of the following providers:

  • IELTS SELT Consortium
  • LanguageCert
  • Pearson
  • Trinity College London

If you are outside of the UK

You can only take a SELT with one of the following providers:

  • IELTS SELT Consortium
  • LanguageCert
  • Pearson
  • PSI Services (UK) Ltd

Find an approved test

For your results to be accepted, your test must:

  • be on the list of approved English language tests
  • have been sat at an approved test location
  • have been awarded in the two years before the date of your application

The list of approved English language tests has been assessed as meeting Home Office requirements under the secure English language testing arrangements. Only those tests and test levels specified are approved. If you intend to use an English language test in your immigration or nationality application, you must take one of the tests on the list.

You should make sure the test that you book is the one approved for SELT:

  • IELTS SELT Consortium: ‘IELTS for UKVI’ or ‘IELTS Life Skills’
  • LanguageCert: ‘LanguageCert International ESOL SELT
  • Pearson: ‘PTE Academic UKVI’ or ‘PTE Home’
  • PSI Services: ‘Skills for English UKVI
  • Trinity College London: ‘Secure English Language Tests for UKVI’ – Integrated Skills in English (ISE) or Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE)

It is for you to decide which test to take.

The list of approved tests gives the CEFR level and minimum grade requirements for each level.

Where 2 or more components (reading, writing, speaking and listening) of a test are examined and awarded together, for example a combined exam and certificate for reading and writing skills, you must show that you achieved the required scores in all the relevant components during a single sitting of that examination, unless you were exempt from sitting a component on the basis of a disability.

List of approved secure English language tests taken in the UK

This file is in an OpenDocument format

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email alternativeformats@homeoffice.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

List of approved secure English language tests taken outside the UK

This file is in an OpenDocument format

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email alternativeformats@homeoffice.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Approved test centres

The list of approved test centres has been assessed as meeting Home Office requirements under the secure English language testing arrangements.

More test centres will be added to the list as the new approved provider services become available.

Check the SELT provider’s website to find out when tests are available and to make sure the test centre is open. Some test centres may be closed because of coronavirus. If you have any questions, use the website. Do not contact the test centre directly.

List of approved test centres in the UK

This file is in an OpenDocument format

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email alternativeformats@homeoffice.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

List of approved test centres outside the UK

This file is in an OpenDocument format

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email alternativeformats@homeoffice.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Book an English language test

If you are in the UK

To find test dates and book your test, go to the website of the provider offering the test you plan to take:

If you are outside of the UK

To find test dates and book your test, go to the website of the provider offering the test you plan to take:

You should be able to take a test within 28 days of booking, but it may not always be at the location nearest to you. If there is not an approved test location in your country, you will have to travel to another country to take the test.

The details used to book your test must be the same as on your passport or other identity document. If your surname has changed, you will still need to book the test in the name on your passport or identity document. If you wish to book your test using your changed surname, you must change the name in your passport or identity document before booking your test.

Prove your identity on the day of the test

You will need to provide evidence of your identity at the test location before you can take the test.

Your identity document must:

  • be current and valid
  • be an original, not a photocopy
  • include a photo of you
  • match the information you gave when you booked the test

If your identity document has a signature, this will also be checked.

The details used to book your test must match the document you provide at the test location.

If you are not able to prove your identity, you will not be allowed to take a test.

Acceptable documents

You can use the following documents as identification for tests taken in the UK and outside the UK:

  • passport
  • UK Biometric Residence Permit
  • UK Biometric Residence Card
  • convention travel document
  • stateless persons travel document

You can use the following documents as identification for tests taken either in the UK or outside the UK in the country where the document is issued:

You can use the following documents as identification for tests taken outside the UK in the country where the document is issued:

  • valid photographic government issued identity cards

Emergency travel documents will not be accepted as proof of identity.

Your name must be on the document.

Contact the Home Office if you do not have a valid identity document.

If your passport is held by the Home Office and you do not have another valid identity document, you should contact the Home Office to request the return of your passport.

If you have a previous gender (including a different name) that you do not want the test centre staff to see or for it to show on your test result, email sensitivebookings@homeoffice.gov.uk before booking your test. They’ll tell you what you need to do.

After the test

After you pass the test, you will be given a SELT unique reference number which you must use when making your application. If you do not include your reference number, your application may be refused.

You will find your SELT unique reference number on your test result as:

  • UER’ for Trinity College London tests
  • UKVI number’ for IELTS SELT Consortium tests
  • ‘Candidate URN’ for LanguageCert tests
  • SELT URN’ for Pearson tests
  • URN’ for PSI Skills for English tests

You do not need to submit any documents as part of the immigration or nationality application. Test results and scores are checked using the SELT online verification system provided by each approved SELT test provider using a SELT unique reference number.

If you took a test in the UK, you can use your result for UK and overseas applications. You can also use tests taken overseas for applications made in the UK.

Test results are valid for 2 years from the date the test is awarded.

Reasonable adjustments

You can make special requests when you book your test if, for example, you have a disability and need extra equipment or help accessing the test location.

Published 11 September 2020
Last updated 18 October 2021 + show all updates
  1. List of approved test centres in the UK and outside the UK updated.

  2. List of approved test centres in the UK and outside the UK updated.

  3. List of approved test centres in the UK and outside the UK updated.

  4. Updated list of approved test centres for inside and outside the UK.

  5. List of approved test centres inside and outside the UK updated.

  6. ODS files 'List of approved test centres in the UK' and 'List of approved test centres outside the UK' updated.

  7. List of approved test centres inside and outside the UK updated.

  8. List of approved test centres inside and outside the UK updated.

  9. List of approved test centres inside and outside the UK updated.

  10. Lists of test centres in and outside the UK updated.

  11. Lists of test centres in and outside the UK updated.

  12. Lists of test centres in and outside the UK updated.

  13. Lists of test centres in and outside the UK updated.

  14. Lists of test centres in and outside the UK updated.

  15. Lists of test centres in and outside the UK updated for July 2021.

  16. Updated lists of test centres published.

  17. Updated the lists of approved test centres in the UK and outside the UK.

  18. Updated changes to the process on booking an English language test.

  19. Updated list of approved test centres in and outside the UK.

  20. Updated list of approved test centres outside the UK.

  21. Lists of test centres in and outside the UK updated.

  22. List of approved test centres in the UK and outside the UK from 14 May 2021.

  23. Lists of test centres in and outside the UK updated.

  24. Lists of approved test centres inside and outside the UK updated.

  25. Lists of approved test centres inside and outside the UK updated.

  26. Updated list of approved test centres in and outside the UK.

  27. Updated the list of approved test centres inside the UK from April 2021. Updated the list of approved test centres outside the UK from April 2021.

  28. Lists of test centres both inside and outside the UK updated.

  29. Updated the list of approved test centres in the UK from March 2021. Updated the list of approved test centres outside the UK from March 2021.

  30. Updated list of approved test centres in and outside the UK.

  31. Updated information about testing providers.

  32. Updated list of approved test centres in and outside the UK.

  33. Updated list of approved test centres in and outside the UK.

  34. Updated list of secure English language tests taken outside the UK.

  35. Updated list of approved test centres in and outside the UK.

  36. Updated list of approved test centres in and outside the UK.

  37. Lists of approved test centres updated.

  38. Updated information under 'Accepted forms of ID' section.

  39. Updated list of approved test centres in and outside the UK.

  40. Updated lists of approved secure English Language tests taken in the UK and outside the UK.

  41. Updated list of approved secure English language tests taken inside and outside the UK and list of approved test centres inside and outside the UK.

  42. Updated list of approved test centres in and outside the UK to January 2021.

  43. Updated lists of approved secure English language tests taken inside and outside the UK.

  44. List of approved test centres in the UK from December 2020 updated.

  45. Updated list of approved test centres in and outside the UK.

  46. List of approved test centres outside the UK December 2020 updated.

  47. Updated list of approved test centres in the UK.

  48. Added list of approved test centres inside and outside the UK from December 2020.

  49. Updated list of approved test centres outside the UK.

  50. Updated list of approved test centres inside the UK.

  51. Updated list of approved test centres inside and outside the UK.

  52. Updated list of approved test centres inside and outside the UK for November 2020.

  53. Updated list of approved test centres in the UK and list of approved test centres outside the UK to reflect current availability due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

  54. Updated list of approved secure English language tests taken outside the UK and list of approved test centres outside the UK.

  55. Updated guidance.

  56. Replaced list of approved tests and test centres outside of the UK. Added link to PSI Services Ltd.

  57. Added information for new test provider PSI Services (UK) Ltd. Replaced list of approved secure English language tests taken outside the UK and list of approved test centres outside the UK from September 2020.

  58. Updated lists of approved test centres for September 2020.

  59. First published.