I am a student from India, and have applied for some PhD positions in UK universities. The projects I have applied for all require IELTS Academic, but they have not specifically mentioned UKVI.

This official page on student visa in the UK states that I will need to prove my knowledge in English by passing a SELT. And this page states that IELTS for UKVI is recognized as a SELT.

However, on searching Google, I found some websites stating that the UK immigration accepts both IELTS for UKVI and the normal IELTS.

Should I rely on the official page only and apply for IELTS for UKVI rather than the normal IELTS?

(A related question is posted here on Academia SE.)

  • 2
    Note to close voters, while this would be valid on expatriates, IMO it is also valid here because this answer is also applicable to people coming to the UK for short periods as a student (such as on exchange).
    – MJeffryes
    Jan 20, 2023 at 17:18

1 Answer 1


The Home Office only accepts the UKVI version. However, universities are almost universally permitted to assess English language ability themselves. From the page you linked:

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.

For this purpose, they can accept any English language test they deem appropriate. You should confirm with your university what test they will accept and also to confirm they will certify your level of English.

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