IELTS Validity 2022 - IELTS Score Validity for Different Countries

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Sristy Sharma
Updated on Sep 02, 2022 02:19 PM IST

Learn all about IELTS Validity 2022 in different countries, for different purposes like PR, study abroad, student visa, jobs, etc. This article will also walk you through the effects of IELTS validity expiration.

IELTS Validity 2022 - IELTS Score Validity for Different Countries

IELTS score validity along with the score itself are important factors when applying for immigration or higher education abroad, especially in native English-speaking countries. However, international students often get confused between the IELTS validity period and the number of times they can take the test.

Further, the Covid-19 pandemic has put a question mark on the IELTS validity period as applicants globally are confused about whether their old IELTS scores are still valid or not. Let us explore the IELTS score validity norms for different countries and purposes such as studying abroad, scholarships, immigration, jobs, etc.

Learn more about IELTS preparation here:

How to Crack IELTS in First Attempt?

How to Get 8-Bands in IELTS?

Common Mistakes to Avoid While Preparing for IELTS

What are the benefits of IELTS Coaching?

Common Spelling Mistakes in IELTS

How Much Time is Required to Prepare for IELTS?

Country-wise IELTS Score Validity to Study Abroad

The IELTS exam is one of the most popular and widely accepted exams in the global education system for proving language proficiency for international students applying from non-English-speaking countries. While each university may have a different score requirement for its different courses, countries usually do not set a benchmark of minimum score requirements for international admissions.

In the table below, students can find the period of IELTS validity for different countries including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UAE:

Country

IELTS Validity 2022

USA

2 years

The test is accepted in 3,400 institutions.

UK

2 years

The test is conducted in over 1,600 locations.

Canada

2 years

The period is applicable from the date of issuance of results.

Australia

2 - 3 years

Common validity is 2 years but for skilled migration, the validity is 3 years.

New Zealand

2 years 

The immigration authorities require that test must not be older than 2 years on acceptance of visa application.

UAE

2 years

Supporting evidence of maintenance of language fluency is accepted and considered.

Please note that a valid IELTS score can be required as a mandate for studying, working, or migrating to any country as an Indian applicant.

Our study abroad experts have helped a lot of students to achieve their dreams of studying abroad at top foreign universities. You may also consult them for queries, doubts, or admission support. 

Get Expert Guidance on Scoring High on the IELTS!

What is IELTS Validity?

IELTS validity refers to the period of time until which the IELTS scores will be considered valid, which is two years. An IELTS exam certificate is a document that acts as proof of language proficiency and is accepted globally in various institutions and organisations.

It is essential to note that there is an expiration date for the IELTS score validity. This is because it has been noted that non-usage or discontinued efforts on any language result in a decrease in fluency. So, while a person shall retain the knowledge, they would not feel much at ease in applying the same. Hence, the administrators of the test have a predefined IELTS validity period although the same might differ from one country to the other.

Certain countries and institutions might also allow the extension of the IELTS score validity period and accept old scores. This practice, however, is not very common.

IELTS Academic Validity

The IELTS Academic is one of the two and most commonly opted exam types. The test is attempted by the candidates who wish to use the final score certificate as proof of English proficiency for academic purposes.

Similar to the IELTS validity period of 2 years, the validity period for the Academic test is also two years with the exam’s score certificate being considered expired beyond this time period.

IELTS General Validity

The IELTS General is the second type of IELTS exam. The test is attempted by the candidates to use the score certificate for jobs, immigration, fellowships, etc. Similar to the Academic test, the IELTS validity period of the general training test is also two years.

Check out IELTS Academic vs IELTS General to know about the differences.

IELTS Validity for a Student Visa

IELTS score validity for a student visa is the same for other purposes, meaning it is valid for two years only. However, the IELTS validity period for a student visa is subject to change as per the decision of the immigration authorities of a particular country.

IELTS Validity for Immigration

Again, the IELTS validity period for immigration purposes or gaining PR (Permanent Residence) in a country is the same as confirmed by the testing authority, which is two years.

Can IELTS validity be extended to 3 years?

No, the IELTS score validity cannot be extended more than the accepted time period, i.e. two years. It is up to the institution accepting the score to decide whether they will accept scores past the commonly accepted IELTS validity period under certain circumstances or not.

Moreover, there are a number of countries and institutions which consider the IELTS score certificate for up to three years.

IELTS Validity in USA

The IELTS is an important English proficiency test accepted in the USA. It is widely recognised as proof of the English language proficiency of a person and used by universities, colleges, immigration authorities, companies, etc.

  • Validity: The IELTS score validity that is generally accepted in the USA is two years. This period is common for all the institutions accepting the scores.

  • Extension: There is no extension available on IELTS validity in USA. However, it has been noted that in case of unprecedented circumstances such as the inability of candidates to appear or sit for the exam, the institutions may consider accepting the old scores or invalid IELTS scores.

Average IELTS Score Requirements in USA

IELTS score requirements in USA differ based on the purpose they have been submitted for. However, an average IELTS score in the US can be identified as per the university’s record. It must be noted that these requirements may fluctuate on a case-by-case basis.

Here are the average IELTS Score Requirements in USA:

Purpose

Average IELTS Score Requirement

Bachelors Courses

5.5 - 6.0

Masters Courses

6.0 - 6.5

Scholarships

6.5

Work and Job Opportunities

6.5

US PR or Immigration Visa

6.0 - 7.0

IELTS Validity in UK

The IELTS, whose testing authorities are based in the UK ensure that the IELTS score validity period remains consistent across sectors. 

  • Validity: The accepted IELTS validity period in UK is two years. This period is commonly accepted throughout the nation for all purposes, including higher studies.

  • Extension: There is no extension available on the IELTS validity period in the UK. British Council, one-third of the testing authority, recommends that proof in support of maintenance of English proficiency provided by the candidate could be considered.

Average IELTS Score Requirements in UK

Various authorities in UK consider the IELTS validity 2022 on the same basis as maintained by the testing authority. However, IELTS average score requirements may vary from one purpose to another.

Average IELTS Score Requirements in UK for different purposes:

Purpose

Average IELTS Score Requirement

Bachelors Courses

6.0 - 6.5

Masters Courses

6.5 - 7.0

Scholarships

6.5

Work and Job Opportunities

5.5 - 7.0

US PR or Immigration Visa

6.0 - 7.0

IELTS Validity in Canada

There are many English proficiency tests that are considered valid in Canada. However, the IELTS is one of the most reputed and widely used tests in the country.

  • Validity: The generally accepted IELTS score validity period in Canada is also two years from the date of issuance of results. The exceptions to the IELTS validity period are rare.

  • Extension: IELTS validity period is not subject to extension in Canada. The immigration authorities allow submission of scores within a year of submission of the application.

Average IELTS Score Requirements in Canada

IELTS validity 2022 is not affected by IELTS score requirements and vice versa. The two work independently.

Some average IELTS score requirements in Canada are:

Purpose

Average IELTS Score Requirement

Bachelors Courses

6.0

Masters Courses

6.5

Scholarships

7.0

Work and Job Opportunities

7.0

US PR or Immigration Visa

7.0

IELTS Validity in Australia & New Zealand

IELTS validity period in Australia and New Zealand is similar. Both nations follow the guidelines of the IELTS testing authority.

  • Validity: The commonly accepted IELTS score validity in Australia and New Zealand is the same, i.e. two years. The Australian immigration department is, however, comparatively lenient, offering 3 years of IELTS validity.

  • Extension: Similar to other countries, in Australia and New Zealand as well, there is no extension available on the IELTS validity period. The validity for Australia PR skilled migration is 3 years, but there is no extension available.

Average IELTS Score Requirements in Australia & New Zealand

IELTS Score requirements in Australia and New Zealand are listed below:

Purpose

Average IELTS Score Requirement

Australia

New Zealand

Bachelors Courses

6.0

6.0

Masters Courses

6.5

6.5

Scholarships

6.5

6.0 - 6.5

Work and Job Opportunities

6.0

6.5

US PR or Immigration Visa

7.0

6.5

IELTS Validity in UAE

The UAE is a rising study and work abroad destination. The country is, therefore, no stranger to acceptance of IELTS score validity and other related points. 

  • Validity: The IELTS validity for UAE is 2 years, but the country accepts proof in favour of efforts to maintain fluency in the English language.

  • Extension: There is no extension available on IELTS validity period in UAE.

Average IELTS Score Requirements in UAE

Average IELTS score requirements in UAE are:

Purpose

Average IELTS Score Requirement

Bachelors Courses

5.5

Masters Courses

6.0

Scholarships

7.0

Work and Job Opportunities

6.5

US PR or Immigration Visa

6.0

IELTS Validity in Other Popular Countries

IELTS validity period is globally applicable. There are many countries apart from the ones mentioned above that accept the IELTS score certificate.

Here are some additional countries which accept the IELTS score certificate, their IELTS validity period and average score requirements:

Country

IELTS Score Requirements

IELTS Score Validity

Germany

5.5 - 7.0

2 years

China

5 - 6.5

2 years

Switzerland

6.5 - 7.0

2 years

South Korea

6.0 - 7.0

2 years

Validity of IELTS Certificate

Though the validity of the IELTS certificate is not much different from the IELTS validity, there is a point of distinction. IELTS validity refers to the validity of scores, which means that once the scores are generated, they are valid for up to 2 years from the date of issuance of the result. This particular phrase, ‘issuance of result’, is, however, a recommendation of the testing authority. 

The agencies, countries, and institutions are at full liberty to apply and use the scores as they desire. It is here that the validity of the score certificate becomes important.

According to the statement of the testing authority, the IELTS score certificate validity period is less than IELTS validity, if the certificate is generated after any day from the date of issuance of results.

However, many countries, agencies and institutions accept the globally-accepted IELTS score validity period of 2 years which is applied to the IELTS score from the date of generation of the score certificate. Hence, the IELTS validity period may get extended in this process.

The common application is that IELTS validity is of 2 years, but institutions can consider the IELTS certificate validity to be more important.

Effect of IELTS Validity Expiration

The IELTS score validity is all about the fact that once the IELTS validity period is over, the score certificate shall expire and can no longer be used as proof of English language proficiency. However, since there are varying subjective conditions applicable we have listed the effects of expiration on score certificates and their purpose in different situations.

Expiration Before Application

If the IELTS validity period is over before application, then the score certificate has already expired. The certificate cannot be used as proof of English language proficiency.

There are certain institutions which allow a period of two to 12 months to submit the IELTS scores after the application has been submitted. In this case, applicants can retake the test and submit the scores as per the time available to them.

Expiration After Application and Before Acceptance

If the candidate has already submitted the application and IELTS score certificate along with it, but the validity period expires before the application has been accepted, then expiration may lead to rejection.

Certain institutions ask for the rectification of documents rather than rejecting the application. Candidates can make use of this opportunity and provide valid proof.

Expiration After Offer Letter

If the IELTS score validity period gets over after the application has been accepted, then the score certificate shall still expire although without any adverse effect. Since the purpose of the IELTS score certificate is complete, the offer letter or acceptance shall not be affected by the expiration of the IELTS score validity period.

Expiration During the Course of Purpose

If the IELTS validity period gets over during the course of the purpose, it shall have no effect on the purpose it was originally filed for. However, if the candidate requires to use the IELTS score for another purpose or even for collateral purposes, then they might have to retake the test.

Certain institutions consider the proofs made available in relation to maintaining fluency in the English language. In this case, the candidate does not have to retake the test, if they have valid and concrete evidence.

Did you know that you can study abroad without IELTS? Check out these countries where Indian students can study without sitting for the IELTS exam:

Study in UAE Without IELTS

Study in Canada Without IELTS

Study in UK Without IELTS

Study in USA Without IELTS

Study in Germany Without IELTS

Study in Ireland Without IELTS

Study in France Without IELTS

Study in Australia Without IELTS

Study in NZ Without IELTS

Planning to take the IELTS exam? Avail of our test prep services to get personalised training on cracking the exam. For doubt clarification, write to us at abroad@collegedekho.com.

Prepare for Study Abroad Tests with Us!

FAQs

What does IELTS validity time mean?

IELTS validity time means the length of period for which an IELTS score is valid as proof of the test taker’s proficiency in the English language. IELTS score certificate is assumed to be true and correct in representing the English language skills of the test-taker during the validity period. Naturally, when the validity period gets over the certificate cannot be used anymore.

How long is the IELTS validity period?

IELTS validity period as per the British Council is of two years. The testing authority has left the final decision in case of validity upon the institutions accepting the IELTS score certificate. They can decide to choose their own time period of validity. However, most of the institutions accept the IELTS validity period mentioned by the authority.

Do I need to retake IELTS exam to get employment after graduating from my foreign university?

You may have to retake IELTS exam to get employment after graduating from your foreign university. While the majority of organisations will accept your resume without an IELTS score certificate, as your medium of study has been English. However, there might be certain organisations that demand an IELTS certificate. You shall have to check with the organisation.

I have worked on maintaining my English language proficiency but my IELTS validity has expired. Can I still use it for applying to any foreign organisation?

If you have worked on maintaining your English proficiency then you can use the relevant evidence of this effort to apply to certain foreign organisations even after your IELTS validity has expired. UAE institutions are known to accept pieces of evidence readily and consider them for selection purposes. Employment is also another sector that readily accepts the evidence.

Is IELTS score valid for five years?

No, IELTS score is not valid for five years. Although the IELTS testing authority has left the decision of deciding the IELTS score validity to the institutions and countries, none of them accepts the IELTS score certificate beyond 2 years. There are some selective cases where validity has been fixed as three years, but five years validity was never announced.

Is it possible to extend IELTS validity?

It is possible to extend IELTS validity if the country or institution, to which IELTS scores are being submitted, allows it. However, in general, no extension has been granted by any country or institution up till now. There are certain instances of uncommon and uncontrollable events, like Covid-19 pandemic, during (and after) when certain exceptions were made.

Is IELTS validity extendable to three years?

IELTS validity is extendable to three years if the authority, to which IELTS score has to be submitted, decides so. However, no extension as such has ever been allowed. Though there are certain countries, like Australia, which have fixed IELTS validity as 3 years for selected purposes. Extension and validity are in hands of applying authority.

My IELTS validity has expired but I am yet to apply for my visa. Can I still apply for it with my expired IELTS score certificate?

If the validity of your IELTS score certificate has expired then you cannot use it for any purpose whatsoever. In case the visa you wish to apply for allows a longer validity period for the IELTS certificate then you may use the certificate. However, if the IELTS certificate validity for the visa is limited to two years then you cannot apply for the same with your expired IELTS scores.

How can IELTS validity be checked?

IELTS validity can be checked by using the login credentials generated at the time of registering for the test. The candidate can log in as a user on the official IELTS website and check the date on which they took the test and the date on which the results were declared. In common cases, the IELTS score shall be valid for two years from the date of results.

Can I apply to any foreign university with an expired IELTS score?

You cannot apply to a foreign university with an expired IELTS score. Your IELTS score needs to be valid at the time of submission of the admission application. If the score expires before you are accepted by the university, you may be asked to submit fresh proof or evidence of maintenance. Rejection is possible in this case, but not common. Expiration, after you have received the offer letter, shall not affect your acceptance to the university.

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