guide uk study visa

Guide to English Proficiency Test

English proficiency test (The article discusses scenario in Russia but anyone can follow since the procedure is standard across the world)

I once received a letter asking whether it was possible to do without an English proficiency test when applying for my wife’s visa. So, the requirement to prove their knowledge of language is necessary.

So, three ways to prove your knowledge of English:

  1. Pass one of the accredited tests for the A1 level in a pan-European system of foreign language proficiency levels
  2. Be a citizen of one of the main English-speaking countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, New Zealand, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States of America.
  3. If you studied in English and received a bachelor’s, master’s or doctor’s degree.

The accredited list of tests and test centers from February 5, 2016 is on the official website , but now it is one of the varieties of IELTS.

IELTS (IELTS UKVI or IELSTS Life SKills Test) consists of 4 parts: listening, reading, writing and speaking. Results are ready in 13 days.

The main addresses of accredited IELTS centers in Russia and Ukraine (The rest of the cities are here )

Moscow – , ul. Pinch, d.20, of. 203, tel. (495) 956 19 23
Rostov-on-Don – Sotsialisticheskaya str., 74, Business Center, tel. (863) 2 105 355
Yekaterinburg – ul. Dobrolyubova 16, office 22, tel. (343) 344 27 87
Novosibirsk – Dimitrov Ave., 7, office 302, tel. (383) 209 17 83
St. Petersburg – , ul. Chapygina, 6, office 207, tel. (812) 332 14 79
Kiev – , ul. Mechnikov, 14/1, office 519, tel. (044) 238 20 38

Please check the actual cost of the test on the sites above. If your city is not on the site, contact the Moscow or Kiev center, and there you will be prompted the test center nearest to you.

The exam is held every week and you can retake it as many times as you like. The certificate is valid for 2 years and until now (March 2016), even an overdue IELTS could be submitted for the extension of the wife’s visa for a second term. From October 2016 for renewers, a new requirement is set – level B1 and it is not yet clear whether the old certificate can be used if it satisfies this level.

Compliance with IELTS scores and Common European Framework of Reference for Foreign Language Proficiency (CEFR).

Basic User – A1 and A2 – IELTS 2 and 3
Independant User – B1 and B2 – IELTS 4-5 and 5.5-6.5
Poficient User – C1 and C2 – IELTS 7-8 and 8.5-9

I recommend to aim at least at B1 immediately, so that you do not retake again. By the way to IELTS you just have to get your hand. Look for examples of tests and do for a while. Mark in the comments you would be interested in a selection of materials on how to pass this test and I will update this post.