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Guidance: Guidance on applying for a UK visa: approved English language tests

Updated: Updated guidance.

If the visa you are applying for asks you to prove your English language ability, you should use the approved English Language tests list document above.

ETS are no longer licenced by the Home Office to award test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT tests for UK immigration purposes. Customers should use another test provider.

The guide for your visa category will also show details of the level of test you must pass.

If you are applying from the following countries you should use this list to ... find out information on how to book a secure English language test.

  • Aruba
  • Benin
  • Bermuda
  • French Polynesia
  • Greenland
  • Guam
  • Guinea
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • Nicaragua
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Swaziland
  • Tajikistan
  • Togo
  • Virgin Islands
  • West Bank

Expiry of Educational Testing Services’ licence to carry out secure English language tests: impact on student visa applicants

The government wants to ensure that this change does not have an impact on international students who took an Educational Testing Service (ETS) test in good faith.

If you already have your visa

Visa documents which have already been issued to students who took the tests overseas in good faith remain valid.

If you already have an ETS test certificate but do not have your visa

UK Visas and Immigration is currently considering overseas visa applications which include an ETS certificate. These applications will be considered subject to our normal checks. However, these applications will only be accepted until new Immigration Rules come into effect and transitional provisions have come to an end. The rules changes will be laid in due course.

If you have made an appointment with ETS but not yet taken your test

Customers who have booked a test with ETS should seek an alternative test provider. For more information check the list of new approved English tests.

Who is affected?

This change only affects those coming to study non-degree courses at higher education institutions in the UK and those coming to study at non-higher education institutions. It does not affect higher education institutions’ ability to choose their own method of assessing degree students’ English language competence. This means it will still be up to the university to decide whether to accept an ETS certificate as evidence of a degree student’s ability to speak English at the appropriate level, even if the test is taken after the Immigration Rules change.