Note: This policy applies only to IELTS for UKVI testing, including IELTS Life Skills. Please consult the relevant policy for non-UKVI IELTS tests.

A. British Council IELTS Cancellations

You can cancel your IELTS for UKVI test registration at any time before taking your test by notifying your test centre. Refund terms depend upon when you cancel and whether exceptional circumstances apply.  

1. Time to test date

1.1.  More than five weeks before the test:

If you cancel your IELTS for UKVI test registration more than five weeks before the test you will receive a 90% refund of the total test fee.

1.2. Less than five weeks up to the test date:

You will receive 80% of your test fee. We will deduct 20% as administration fee. 

2. Test taker exceptions

If you did not attend your British Council IELTS for UKVI test due to exceptional circumstances on the day of your test, you can make a case. Your test centre will assess your case for exceptional circumstances and respond to you within seven working days of receiving your case in writing. 

All cases for exceptional circumstances and supporting evidence must be received by your test centre no later than five working days after the scheduled test date.

If your test centre approves your case, you will receive a refund of 80% of the test fee. We will deuduct an administration fee of no more than 20%.

We define exceptional circumstances as:

  • Serious medical conditions which prevent you from attending or performing normally on test day; such conditions require supporting evidence of a medical certificate from a qualified medical practitioner 
  • Evidence of bereavement, trauma or other forms of significant hardship
  • Military service

3. Test centre exceptions

Under certain circumstances outside test centre control, we may have to cancel your test. These circumstances include and are not limited to extreme weather conditions, natural disaster, civil unrest and industrial action.

In these circumstances, your test centre will provide you with as much notice as possible and give you the choice of either:

  • A full refund, or,
  • A transfer to a future test date convenient to you.

In cases where your test centre cancels a test under circumstances within its control then in addition to a full refund or transfer to another test date, you may be eligible to apply for compensation for expenses incurred. Your eligibility will be assessed as a reasonable claim or not by the test centre and any compensation will be awarded depending on the following conditions:

  • The test centre will assess whether the decision to cancel is within or outside its control.
  • Any compensation awarded will be limited to travel and accommodation expenses only and which are:

- directly incurred as a result of planning your attendance on test day, 

- evidenced by payment receipt(s),

- evidenced that cancelled travel and/or accommodation charges are non-recoverable from vendor,

- benchmarked against lowest reasonable market rates for the expenses in question (this will be carried out by the test centre).

  • If you travel further than the closest test venue to your normal place of residence then the test centre will not find your claim reasonable.

B. British Council IELTS for UKVI Transfers

4.1. More than five weeks before the test:

You may change your IELTS for UKVI test date at any time more than five weeks before the test. This will be a free of charge transfer.

You must select a test date, where available, within the next three months from your original test date. If your preferred test date is more than three months after your original test date your transfer will be treated as a cancellation.

You can only transfer the same booking once. 

4.2. Less than five weeks and up to the test date:

We will charge you 10% of your test fee for your transfer.


i.Your test centre is responsible for issuing refunds and organising transfers.

ii. The test centre is responsible for decisions related to test taker claims for exceptional circumstances.

iii. The test centre is responsible for decisions related to compensation, including eligibility and any amounts awarded. 

iv. If local consumer protection law in the country you have registered to take the IELTS test provides for cancellation and transfer rights which are more favourable to the test taker than the rights set out above, then local consumer protection law will apply.