Knowledge of English

You must prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply.

You can prove your knowledge of English by:

  • passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider
  • having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English, gained through study at a UK school that you began when you were under 18

Level of English

You must prove you can read, write, speak and understand English to a certain level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.

What you’re studying Level
Degree level or above Equivalent to CEFR level B2
Below degree level CEFR level B1

If you’re studying with a Higher Education Provider

If you’re studying at degree level or above, your Higher Education Provider (HEP) can assess your level of English themselves. This means they may ask you to do a different test.

This must still be equivalent to a CEFR level B2.

Who does not need to prove their knowledge of English

You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’ve completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in one of the following countries, or are from one of the following countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Malta
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • UK
  • USA

You also do not need to prove your knowledge of English if one of the following applies:

  • you’re a national of Canada
  • you’re applying to come to the UK for a study abroad programme as part of a university degree course in the USA
  • you proved your level of English in a previous visa application
  1. Step 1 Check if this visa is right for you

    You can apply for a Student visa if you’re 16 or over and want to study on a further or higher education course in the UK.

    1. Check what you can and cannot do on this visa
    2. Check what courses you can study on this visa
    3. Check if you can bring your partner or children ('dependants') with you

    If you're under 18 and you want to study at an independent school in the UK, you may be eligible for a Child Student visa instead.

    1. Check which visas you're eligible for
  2. Step 2 Prepare the evidence you need

  3. Step 3 Apply from outside the UK

    1. Apply from outside the UK £348

    You'll need to prove your identity as part of your application.

    You'll usually get a decision within 3 weeks.

    1. Find out if you can pay more to get a faster decision
  4. or Apply from inside the UK

  5. Step 4 Check what you can bring into the UK with you

  6. Step 5 Check what you need to show at the UK border

  7. Step 6 After you arrive in the UK

    1. Find out how to get your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) if you were told you’d get one when you applied

    You might be able to extend your visa to stay longer in the UK.

    1. Check if you can extend your visa

    If you break the conditions of your visa you may not be able to come to the UK again.