TOEFL no longer accepted for UK Visa applications


The UK Home Office and Education Testing Services (ETS), who administer the TOEFL and TOEIC tests, have ended their partnership.

This means that UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) will no longer accept TOEFL or TOEIC as proof of your English language skills. ETS will officially be removed from the list of approved English language test providers on 1 July 2014. However, UKVI state that they are accepting visa applications which rely on a TOEFL or TOEIC certificate as long as the visa application is made and the visa fee is paid before 22 July 2014. There are further exceptions to this for students who are going to study on a pre-sessional course and foundation course.

A full explanation is available on the UKVI website.

Information for university applicants

If you are applying to study at degree level in the UK, you will need to meet a specific English level requirement. The university is free to choose how to asses your level of English and therefore universities may still accept TOEFL as proof of your English language skills. However, following the end of the partnership between the UK Home Office and ETS, some universities have decided that they will no longer accept TOEFL as proof of English language.

Please contact your chosen university to find out if they would accept a TOEFL test to meet the English requirement of the course.

For information on how to apply for a Tier 4 student visa, please read our Tier 4 visa application guide.

For most up-to-date information on this issue, please refer to the UKVI website.

43 comments on “TOEFL no longer accepted for UK Visa applications

  1. samsul syukur says:

    how to get schoolarship to continue my study in LONDON???

  2. Roxy says:

    There are currently no institutions offering the IELTS examination in my country, only the TOEFL; I hold a conditional offer from a university in the UK, what should I do? Thanks

  3. Tiffiny says:

    Hello everybody, here every person is sharing such knowledge, so it’s good to read this
    web site, and I used to go to see this webpage everyday.

  4. Tarek says:

    When will the new Immigration Rules come into effect? I took the test before 17 April. So, what is the date after which I cannot apply for the visa with my TOEFL test?

    • Study London says:

      Hi Tarek, the information on this is still changing frequently. The UK Visa and Immigration department are in the process of removing TOEFL from the list of approved English language tests. Until this process is finished, you can use your TOEFL to apply for your visa. Unfortunately, there is no indication of how long this will take. Your chosen university may also have changed their policy regarding TOEFL so please check with them directly if they still accept TOEFL.

  5. Senora rai says:

    Hi ,as I have given TOEFL for applying my visa for work permit as I have been given chance of sponsorship from a company of uk but now I m in my home Country so is TOEFL accepted for work permit visa? Thank you

    • Study London says:

      Hello, our website provides advice for students looking to study in London so the information for work visas may be different. I suggest you contact the British Embassy or British Council in your home country for further advice. Best wishes

  6. kristi says:

    i have done my GCE Alevel in nepal. do i will be needing to proof my english profiency to study in uk? as i have done toefl as a proof.

    • Study London says:

      Hi Kristi, please check with your prospective university if they are still accepting TOEFL as proof of English as there is currently no general guideline on this. Similarly, some universities do not require an English language test if your have taken GCE A-levels, while yet others will only consider it if you have taken GCE A-level in English. Therefore, I would suggest you use the course search to find the universities that offer a course you are interested in and contact them directly for more specific advice. Good luck!

  7. Bebekben says:

    What about tier2 shortage occupation visa? I already paid for toefl test and was planing to finish my application asap. I have an agreement letter from an A-rated sponsor with cos number.

    • Study London says:

      Hello, please contact the British Embassy or the British Council in your country for further advice on this as we only provide information for students looking to study in the UK. The TOEFL test provider ETS is no longer on the UK Home Office list of approved English language providers and thus you may have to take another test which is on the list.

  8. mussarry says:

    Gud morning, my is mussarry from nigeria, please I need your advice. I have national diploma (ND) and I want to further more about my education in london. But I don’t foefl exam. Another problem is that my WAEC is conbined result through my ND programm. Please what can I do to get addmission to any university in london UK

    • Study London says:

      Hello, depending on the subject you studied and the grades you achieved, you may be asked to complete a foundation year before starting a Bachelor degree. You will also need to take an English language test (e.g. IELTS). I would recommend you use the course search to find out which universities in London offer the subject you are interested in. You can then contact these universities to ask about their exact entry requirements for students who hold a National Diploma from Nigeria.

  9. SAMPAN says:

    Hello,if I am applying for PHD in quantum information,will I receive full tuition fee waiver as well as TA/RA(teaching or research assistant).USA universities give total tuition waiver as well as a package in terms of TA/RA.Using it students can pay their living cost per annum.

    Do UK universities allow such tuition waiver as well as a TA/RA to spend my living cost during PHD course?

    Please reply with details.

    • Study London says:

      Hello, most UK universities offer scholarships for international students. You will need to contact the universities you are interested in to find out what scholarships are available. For example, Imperial College London may offer the subject you are interested in and they offer generous scholarship packages for high achieving PhD applicants.

      • SAMPAN says:

        Many thanks for your kind reply.You have given one example of Imperial college,but can you provide few more names which provide living cost(i.e a stipend per annum).I am thinking about few other universities such as York,Birmingham,Bristol,Oxford,UCL,Sussex,Manchester etc-whether these universities also offer such stipend for living cost,I will be thankful if you can provide information on these universities.I have visited their websites but could not find any information on stipends.Please provide a details about these universities.

        • Study London says:

          Hello, unfortunately we can only advice you about universities in London. Please use the course search which lets you search all available courses in London to find out which universities offer the course you are interested in. I can then provide you with more information for these universities. For universities based outside of London, you can contact the international offices at the universities who should be able to provide you with this information.

          • SAMPAN says:

            I am giving you few universities-please tell me whether these universities give funding for living cost.Queen mary university of london,ucl,imperial.

          • SAMPAN says:

            I have found 3-4 universities in London who offer my course of study.You have said most UK universities give scholarships for study,but I want to know whether they provide a graduate student stipend per annum like Imperial college London.How many of London universities give graduate student stipend while doing PHD?Please mention it in detail.

  10. Romeo says:

    Hello, I have a question please. If a UK university has made to me an unconditional offer, do I need to take IELTS exam anyway to present as evidence for UKVI application? Thanks.

    • Study London says:

      Hi Romeo, if you hold an unconditional offer then your university has already assessed your level of English and deemed it sufficient for your studies. They may have looked at your school grades in English or at any other qualifications you have taken (e.g. if you have previously studied in English). When your university issues your CAS number, they confirm to UK Visa & Immigration (UKVI) that you have met the English language requirements. This means you do not need to submit any proof of English language with your Tier 4 visa application.

      However, it is worth noting that should UKVI have any reasons for concern with regards to your English language skills (for example during an interview), they can ask you for proof of your English language level in which case you would need to submit an IELTS certificate. While this does not happen very often, it is something to be aware of.

    • Shinny says:


      I am going through something similar with my visa application. My university approved of my English qualifications without giving ielts but during my visa documents submission, I gave my TOEFL score card along with other documents.

      Please share your final result in your case.
      Were you able to get a visa without IELTS?

  11. taylor says:

    Hello. I have a question please. I really want to study in London UK for my bachelor degree.
    To study and admission in UK universities should I only pass IELTS exam? because I have a TOEFL score, not IELTS. I really hope that Uk universities accept TOEFL scores. So please answer me as soon as possible. thank you

    • Study London says:

      Hello, your university is responsible for checking your English language level. When you apply to study in the UK, your university ask you for an English language certificate. In the past, most universities accepted TOEFL. However, because TOEFL is no longer accepted by the UK Visa & Immigration department, many universities have decided to also no longer accept TOEFL. Please ask each of the universities you want to apply to which English language tests are acceptable. You can find more information on English Language requirements here.

      • Obay says:

        If the UK Visa & Immigration department does not accept TOEFL then how could they grant a Tier 4 Visa with a TOEFL score ?
        No matter what Universities decide the call is the Immigration’s, Right ??

        • Study London says:

          Hi, if you are applying for a Tier 4 (General) visa for a degree level course, it is the responsibility of the university to check your level of English. The university can choose which tests or qualifications to accept as proof of English, and some still accept TOEFL. Applicants who apply for a degree level course at a recongised UK university are not required to submit their English language certificates with their application.

          For other visas, and other types of courses, applicants may be required to submit an English language test. In this case, applicants cannot provide TOEFL.

  12. preeti says:

    hello, Im a student from dubai but I study in an indian school where english is my first language and we give exams for english as well. I want to go to london for my bachelor’s so do I need to give a toefl or IELTS or will they accept my exam marks as a proof? Please let me know.

    • Study London says:

      Hi Preeti, students with the Indian high school certificate (CBSE and ISC) will typically be asked to provide proof of English Language ability, even if you have been taught in the medium of English. However, this decision is down to the individual university so you may find that some will ask you for an IELTS certificate and others don’t. You can normally apply without the IELTS certificate and the university will tell you if it is required should they wish to make you an offer of a place to study. You can also contact your chosen university before applying to get clarification. Good luck with your application!

  13. sami says:

    Does the immigration office still accept visa applications with toefl certificate taken before 7 april 2014?

    • Study London says:

      Hi Sami, you need to check with your university if they accept TOEFL. It is the responsibility of the university to check your level of English and confirm this on your CAS.

  14. shinny jain says:

    I am a student from India and I have an unconditional offer from Kingston University for Postgraduate Level. I gave TOEFL and that is what university accepted — I used the same documents for my visa application (submitted yesterday).
    Though university has not mentioned TOEFL anywhere in the CAS and my interview went really good, I am really worried for the results.
    Will this affect my visa result?

    • Study London says:

      Hi Shinny, congratulation on your offer to study at Kingston University London! You don’t need to worry about your TOEFL certificate. For Tier 4 visa applications, the university is responsible for assessing your English language level, not the UK Home Office. As Kingston University accepted your TOEFL result, this will be fine for your visa application. Kingston University has already confirmed that you meet the requirements by issuing your CAS so the immigration officer does not need to take your TOEFL results into consideration. Hopefully everything else will be fine with your application & you can start looking forward to your time in London very soon!

  15. […] Porém, se você quiser ir para a Inglaterra, você vai precisar de um visto chamado Tier 4 e, pra ganhar ele, só com IELTS. Ou seja, não importa se a faculdade aceitar o TOEFL porque você não vai ter o visto pra entrar […]

  16. Mayra says:

    Hello! I have a big doubt! I was admitted to three universities in UK. However I took the TOEFL exam instead of IELTS. I´m worried because I need to start my visa application and I don´t want to have problems with UK embassy in Peru. What should i do? Is it necessary to re-confirm with the University the acceptation? Do I have to take the IELTS exam? Is it more difficult than TOEFL? Please i need help. I´m very nervous

    • Study London says:

      Hello Mayra, please note that if the university has given you an unconditional offer then you do not need to take the IELTS exam. It is the university’s responsibility to check your level of English and they can choose to accept TOEFL. You do not need to include your English language certificate in your Tier 4 visa application. Good luck!

  17. Alvin says:

    I took the IELTS exam (academic) last December 13 2014, and i got the results after 13 days (with 6.5 overall band score 7.0/6.5/6.5/6.0 (L/R/S/W), I am planning to apply at the Reading University (2016-2017 schoolyear), will they still accept my IELTS results?

    • Study London says:

      Hi Alvin, your IELTS results are usually valid for 2 years. Therefore, if you apply to a university to start studying in September 2016, your IELTS from December 2014 will be accepted for your application and enrolment.

  18. timabert says:

    Hi my name is timabert I heard that there has been some changes about the ielts. I am applying for the foundation degree in london and I was wondering if there are exceptions for those who want to study the foundation degree.
    I took my ielts before the 6 April 2015 and I wanted to know if my results will still be usable after the 5th of November 2015. Otherwise can I use the Toefl for my uk student visa application?

    • Study London says:

      Hello Timabert, IELTS is accepted by the UK Home Office for visa applications. Therefore, if you hold an IELTS certificate you can use this to apply. The Home Office no longer accepts TOEFL certificates.

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