IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration

If you are applying for a visa to move to or remain in the UK,  there’s an IELTS test for you. You can find more information in our IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration section.

Important Notices

In relation to the recent expansion of Wearable Devices (i.e. Smart Watch, Google Glass and etc), new regulations have been added to the Global IELTS Security by the IELTS partners (British Council, IDP:IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment).
Please find the new regulations below:

  • All watches are prohibited from the test room for ALL components (Speaking and Writing) of the test.
  • Eye-glasses will be checked before you enter the test room.

An appropriate sized clock, visible to all candidates, will be provided at each test room. The above new regulations will be put to effect from the IELTS session scheduled for Saturday 21st of March 2015 in Japan.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation. 

IELTS is the world’s most popular English test for higher education and global migration. 

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the world’s most popular English language test. 2.2 million tests were taken last year. Taking IELTS can help you live, study and work around the world.

More than 9,000 organisations worldwide accept IELTS for education, employment and emigration. IELTS is the only test accepted for immigration purposes by all countries that require one.

The IELTS test is designed to reflect how you will use English in your new life abroad, and, in less than three hours, it will assess all of your English skills: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

IELTS is the most widely accepted English language test with a one-on-one speaking test to assess your English language communication skills.

Designed by experts in English language assessment and trusted around the world, you can be sure that IELTS will give a fair and consistent assessment of your English skills. The UK Home Office has made changes to its guidance on Secure English Language Test (SELT) providers. We encourage you to check the full text at GOV.UK.

Why take IELTS in Japan?

The British Council has more than 75 years’ experience teaching and testing English in over 130 countries. You will enjoy a high quality testing experience.

Here are just a few reasons millions of people have taken IELTS with the British Council in the last 20 years:

  • Expert support: From videos, books and online interactive courses you can access the best preparation materials to achieve the score you need.
  • Convenient dates and locations: IELTS test sessions are held in 13 cities in Japan and more than 36 test dates are scheduled throughout the year.
  • Easy booking: Book online with flexible payment options.
  • Fast results: Guaranteed results online in just 13 days.

Quick survey on IELTS preparation 

Dear IELTS test-taker

Thank you for your support for British Council IELTS. 

Please help the British Council improve the support provided for IELTS test takers by answering a few questions in this survey. 

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Quick survey on IELTS preparation 



Be prepared for your IELTS exam. Take advantage of our free practice tests. Learn about our recommended IELTS exam preparation materials and resources.

British Council has a wide range of learning materials to help you get the best possible IELTS score.

1. Free IELTS Practice Zone – Road to IELTS (10 hours of free online study)

Road to IELTS, written by the British Council, is a popular online self-study resource for Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking practice. It includes:

  • practice materials
  • time tests
  • tutorials
  • online scoring

IELTS Practice Zone

2. Other British Council Online preparation materials

Prepare for the IELTS Listening Test

Prepare for the IELTS Speaking Test

3. LearnEnglish website

The British Council also has a dedicated website called LearnEnglish which provides a number of English learning resources including:

  • videos
  • podcasts
  • grammar and vocabulary tutorials
  • business and work resources and magazine
  • games
  • IELTS tips
  • community networking opportunities.

It is an ideal resource to complement your IELTS training and give you more confidence when taking your IELTS test.

4. British Council IELTS preparation courses

We provide a number of preparation courses taught by highly qualified English language teachers with in-depth knowledge of IELTS tests. For further details of the preparation courses, please visit our IELTS preparation course page.

For extra preparation advice, you can check out TakeIELTS; and for more information about the test please go to IELTS.org.


Information on the application procedure for IELTS for UKVI

If you wish to take the IELTS examination for a UK visa application, please apply for the examination by following the procedure below.  Please note that this procedure is a provisional measure until the online application system has been finalised

1. Check whether or not you require IELTS as a Secure English Language Test (SELT) for your UK visa application.

See the UK government’s website for details.

2. Check which type of IELTS examination you are required to take.

Check with the institution you will be attending which type of IELTS result you need.

  • IELTS for UKVI Academic
  • IELTS for UKVI General
  • IELTS Life for Skills A1
  • IELTS Life for Skills B1

* The choice of which IELTS examination to take is the responsibility of the candidate. Please be aware that test centres are unable to make changes or refund examinationfees in the case of applications for the wrong type of examination.

3. Check test locations and dates on the online application site, and input the candidate information required.

All this information must be inputted within a period of 30 minutes or less. A passport valid on the examination date is required in order to make an application, so please have your passport ready  before inputting your details. 

* Please ensure that you keep a record of the password you select at this stage, as it is needed when registering your payment details.

* The UK government has designated Osaka and Tokyo as the only approved test locations. Moreover, test dates may be changed at the discretion of the UK government. 

4. Pay the examination fee by bank transfer.

A mail confirming your application and including details of where to transfer the examination fee will be sent to the email address registered during the application process. At present, the examination fee may only be paid by bank transfer. Please transfer the examination fee within three days of completing your online application, and register your transfer details online. Your application is complete once these details have been registered. If you fail to transfer the money by the deadline, your application will be cancelled.

  • IELTS for UKVI examination fee: ¥39,095 (including tax)
  • IELTS Life Skills examination fee: ¥29,320 (including tax)

5. Register your transfer details online.

Please input these details by 10 p.m. on the third day, counting the day on which you transfer your examination fee as the first day. 

6. Your examination invitation, which you will need to take the examination, will be sent to the email address registered during the application process one week before the examination date.

* Examination invitations are not sent by post.

Register for IELTS in Japan quickly and easily through the EIKEN Foundation of Japan’s Online Registration Service or register by post. To register, please visit the EIKEN Foundation of Japan’s website Opens in a new tab or window.

1.  Decide which version of the test is right for you

There are two versions of the IELTS test:

  • IELTS Academic
  • IELTS General Training

To check which version of the test you need read: IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training

2.  Check the IELTS test dates

For test venues and tests, please check the EIKEN Foundation of Japan’s page

As there are a limited number of places for all sessions, we recommend that you register two months before your chosen test date, but places may be available after this date. Check the Online Registration System for live information and test dates.

Please note: Your Listening, Reading and Writing test will be completed on the same day. Your speaking test may be offered on the same day, or up to a week before or after your main test. If this is the case you will receive notification in advance.

3.  Prepare your documents

To check which documents you need to send, please visit to the EIKEN Foundation of Japan’s website.

Please note that all the documents should be send to the EIKEN Foundation of Japan, for further details, please visit EIKEN Foundation of Japan.

4.  Choose your payment options

Payment should be made to the EIKEN Foundation of Japan.

For the detail of the payment options, please see the EIKEN Foundation of Japan’s website.

5.  Complete your registration

To complete the registration, please refer to the EIKEN Foundation of Japan’s website.

Copies of your results

Please note: if you would like your results (up to a maximum of five copies) to be sent to universities or other educational institutions, please enter the relevant addresses in the appropriate fields on the online registration form.

6. After you register

•  The confirmation notice will be sent two weeks prior to the test date with start time and venue address.

For more information please contact the EIKEN Foundation of Japan.

Special Arrangements

IELTS has been designed to be a fair test and your English language ability will be assessed objectively, regardless of any special needs that you may have.

If you require any Special Arrangements for your test we can provide assistance. For example, we support visual impairments, hearing difficulties and dyslexia. Please contact EIKEN foundation of Japan 3 months in advance of your test date for details on how to apply for special arrangements.

Cancelations, Refunds and Transfers

If you wish to request a refund or transfer to a different date/test venue, please refer to the EIKEN Foundation of Japan’s website.


We understand that getting your results is important. We know you want them quickly, but it is important that we give you the score that reflects your performance. IELTS results are available 13 calendar days after your test.

IELTS results online and by post

EIKEN Foundation of Japan’s Online IELTS Results Service enables those candidates who register for IELTS with EIKEN Foundation of Japan to view their test results online, after 7pm on the 13th day after the test date.

Your IELTS results (Test Report Form) will be posted to you 13 days after the date of the written test. You will not be able to obtain your results over the phone, by email or by fax. Find out how to understand your IELTS score.

Test Report Forms (TRFs)

•  You will receive one copy of the Test Report Form and replacements cannot be issued.

•  Additional original copies can be posted to receiving institutions (e.g. universities, immigration officers, etc.). Please visit the EIKEN Foundation of Japan for further details. The EIKEN Foundation of Japan will complete your request.

•  Institutions can view candidates’ scores through the IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) Verification Service, they will need your Test Report Form number.

•  For a period of two years you can apply (to the centre where you took the test) for verified copies  of the Test Report Form.

•  Institutions will not usually accept a Test Report Form that is more than two years old, unless you provide evidence that you have maintained or improved your English since taking the test.

Understand your IELTS scores

IELTS provides results for all levels of English: there is no such thing as a pass or fail. You will be given a score from 1 to 9 for each part of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Find out more about how to understand your IELTS scores and the 9-band system.

Your scores will be given to you on a Test Report Form.

Find out how IELTS scores relate to the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

How to query your score

In the unusual case you believe there has been a mistake in the marking, you can apply to our Enquiry on Results Service (EOR) to have your test re-marked. This must be done within six weeks of the test date. You can choose which sections of the test are re-marked. There is a fee for this service, which will be refunded should your overall score change. Enquiry on Results can take up to ten weeks  to complete. Please contact EIKEN Foundation of Japan for further information.

Can I re-take the test?

You can take the test as many times as you wish. However, please note that to significantly improve your score it is necessary to undertake further study. IELTS research indicates that scores are unlikely to improve without further English language tuition.