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Secure English Language Testing (SELT)

What is a SELT provider? For certain visa applications applicants must demonstrate a certain level of English language ability. This can be through passing a test with a Home Office approved Secure English Language Testing (SELT) provider.

Which test should I take? It is for you to decide which SELT test to take. These tests on the published list offered by Trinity College London and the IELTS SELT Consortium are acceptable for a number of immigration routes. You should take the level of test required for the immigration route you are applying for.

What is the difference between the tests? There are two types of test as different immigration routes require different English language ability. The GESE and Life Skills tests will assess your speaking and listening abilities. The ISE and IELTS tests will test your reading, writing, speaking and listening abilities.

What is the process for taking a SELT? You can only take a SELT test offered by either:

  • Trinity College London (UK only); or,
  • IELTS SELT Consortium (UK or overseas).

You will need to book your test using the relevant online booking system. The details used to book your test must be as stated on your passport or other the identity document. On the day of the test you will need to take document you used when booking the test. The test centre will check this and record your identity. If you cannot pass the identity checks you will not be able to take a test that day. If you pass the test you will be provided with a unique reference number which you must use in your UK immigration application.

Will you accept all tests from an approved provider? No. Any tests taken from 6 April 2015 must be on the approved SELT list. You can take IELTS or Trinity tests for many reasons at different centres but only those IELTS and Trinity tests specified for immigration use and taken at an approved centre can be used as part of an application for immigration purposes.

You should take care when booking your test to ensure that the test that you book is the one approved for SELT:

  • for IELTS, ensure that you choose ‘IELTS for UKVI’ rather than ‘IELTS’;
  • for Trinity, ensure that you choose ‘Secure English Language Tests for UKVI’.

What checks will the centre do? On the day of your test, you will need to provide evidence of your identity at the test centre before you will be allowed to take the test.

The only acceptable forms of identification for UK centres are:

  1. a valid passport or travel document;
  2. a valid EU Identity Card;
  3. a valid Biometric Residence Permit. The documents must be originals and include a photograph. Where the document contains a signature, this will also be verified on the date of the test. Where you are unable to prove your identity you will not be allowed to take the test.

What if my passport is held by the Home Office and I don’t have a valid Biometric Residence Permit or EU Identity Card? You should contact the Home Office to request the return of your passport. If you have, or you are given, a photocopy of your passport the test centre will not allow you to sit the test.

What should I do if I do not have a valid passport, travel document, Biometric Residence Permit or EU Identity Card? If you do not have one of these documents you should contact the Home Office for advice. Can driving licences be used as proof of identify? No. Only the documents listed above can be accepted.