3. Knowledge of English

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

This usually means passing a secure English language test (SELT).

Where you’re studying What you’re studying Knowledge of English needed Level
Higher education institution (HEI) Degree level or above Reading, writing, listening and speaking Equivalent to CEFR (Common European Framework for languages) level B2
Institution that’s not HEI Degree level or above SELT in reading, writing, listening and speaking CEFR level B2
Any institution Below degree SELT in reading, writing, listening and speaking CEFR level B1

HEIs can choose how to assess a student’s knowledge of English. They must still be at:

  • CEFR level B2 if you’re studying at a degree level or higher
  • SELT in reading, writing, listening and speaking and CEFR level B1 if you’re not studying at a degree level

Your test needs to be from an approved provider.

Check the full visa guidance for detailed information.

Exceptions

You don’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’ve recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in:

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

You also don’t need to prove your knowledge of English if one of the following apply:

  • you’re a national Canada or any of the countries in the list above
  • you have studied in the UK before as a Tier 4 (Child) student
  • you applied to study the UK as a student before 31 March 2009 and you were under 18 when granted leave