IELTS Life Skills for UK Visas and Immigration

IELTS Life Skills is for people who need to show their English speaking and listening skills at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) levels A1 or B1. IELTS Life Skills is designed to meet the requirements of UK Visas and Immigration for certain visa categories and other immigration purposes.

IELTS Life Skills is available at two levels:

  • IELTS Life Skills – A1 Speaking and Listening. This test is for UK visas and immigration for a “family of a settled person”.

  • IELTS Life Skills – B1 Speaking and Listening. This test is for UK visas and immigration for “indefinite leave to remain or citizenship” visa.

The focus of IELTS Life Skills

At each level, the test is designed to assess whether you can listen and respond, make your meaning clear, and talk with other people.

Face-to-face Speaking and Listening tests

You will take the test with an examiner, and with one other test taker. You will be expected to take part in short discussions on everyday subjects.

Test dates for IELTS Life Skills

If you need an IELTS test for UK visa applications, you can only take them at a UKVI approved IELTS test centre. In New Zealand, only IDP IELTS Auckland is UKVI approved. We offer all the approved IELTS tests for UK visa applications. To register for a test, please visit here.

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Prepare for your IELTS Life Skills test.

Download the free sample tests to help you prepare for your IELTS Life Skills test - Level A1 and Level B1

  • Life Skills Sample Paper A
  • Life Skills Listening Sample A
  • Life Skills Sample Paper B
  • Life Skills Listening Sample B

Frequently asked questions

Format of the Speaking and Listening test

What happens during the test?

IELTS Life Skills test format


There are two main parts to IELTS Life Skills.


  • In the first part, you are expected to ask and answer questions on familiar topics.
  • The second part is a combined listening and speaking task.
  • At level A and level B, you will listen to a task played on a CD. Completing the task allows you to show your ability to listen for both the general meaning and detail.
  • You will say your answers, although you can make notes on paper while you listen to the CD.
  • There will then be a discussion on a theme related to what you have listened to on the CD.
  • Additionally at B1 level, there is also a task where you plan an activity with the other test taker.