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  1. #1
    Respected Member cheekee's Avatar
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    Important if you booked your IELTS in before the changes in April 2015

    If you booked and paid for your IELTS general training in March 2015 or before the changes in April 2015 and your exam date is after April 6th you might have a problem like we have.

    The British council changed their website and added a UKVI Ielts test.

    We have been in touch with the British Council and it appears the IELTS general exam we booked and paid for is no longer valid for the UK spouse visa because of the venue. The new IELTS lifeskills/general training that is valid can only be taken at select venues in the Philippines if hosted by the British Council.

    After many emails and telephone conversations we have worked out what to do in this case and wanted to share it with you.

    The new tests costs more than it did previously. Unfortunately the British Council has stated to us that they we were unable to pay the difference and re book.

    This is what you have to do:

    You need to be refunded the money for the original exam.

    1) Download refund request form http://www.britishcouncil.ph/exam/ie...rms-conditions (It is at the bottom) Fill it out and print.

    2) Print confirmation/acknowlegement of Ielts general training email.

    3) Register and pay for the UKVI Ielts. (As we are going for spouse visa it was Ielts general skills A1). Print confirmation email.


    send all 3 documents together to British council using DHL account no 642210981 (this is free and is the British council DHL account)


    Must be done before the date of the original exam to get a refund.

    They are allowing refunds in this case as there has been such a recent change that was not reflected on their website till it was too late for us.

    Once sent the refund will take two weeks. A cheque will be issued. You will need to call them to check its ready and then give them an address to send it to.

    Sadly a long process. It would be better if you could just pay the difference and re book but they wont allow it.

    Hope this helps someone.


  2. #2
    Respected Member Michael Parnham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheekee View Post
    If you booked and paid for your IELTS general training in March 2015 or before the changes in April 2015 and your exam date is after April 6th you might have a problem like we have.

    The British council changed their website and added a UKVI Ielts test.

    We have been in touch with the British Council and it appears the IELTS general exam we booked and paid for is no longer valid for the UK spouse visa because of the venue. The new IELTS lifeskills/general training that is valid can only be taken at select venues in the Philippines if hosted by the British Council.

    After many emails and telephone conversations we have worked out what to do in this case and wanted to share it with you.

    The new tests costs more than it did previously. Unfortunately the British Council has stated to us that they we were unable to pay the difference and re book.

    This is what you have to do:

    You need to be refunded the money for the original exam.

    1) Download refund request form http://www.britishcouncil.ph/exam/ie...rms-conditions (It is at the bottom) Fill it out and print.

    2) Print confirmation/acknowlegement of Ielts general training email.

    3) Register and pay for the UKVI Ielts. (As we are going for spouse visa it was Ielts general skills A1). Print confirmation email.


    send all 3 documents together to British council using DHL account no 642210981 (this is free and is the British council DHL account)


    Must be done before the date of the original exam to get a refund.

    They are allowing refunds in this case as there has been such a recent change that was not reflected on their website till it was too late for us.

    Once sent the refund will take two weeks. A cheque will be issued. You will need to call them to check its ready and then give them an address to send it to.

    Sadly a long process. It would be better if you could just pay the difference and re book but they wont allow it.

    Hope this helps someone.
    Thanks for the information, this will be a godsend to someone!


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheekee View Post
    If you booked and paid for your IELTS general training in March 2015 or before the changes in April 2015 and your exam date is after April 6th you might have a problem like we have.

    The British council changed their website and added a UKVI Ielts test.

    We have been in touch with the British Council and it appears the IELTS general exam we booked and paid for is no longer valid for the UK spouse visa because of the venue. The new IELTS lifeskills/general training that is valid can only be taken at select venues in the Philippines if hosted by the British Council.

    After many emails and telephone conversations we have worked out what to do in this case and wanted to share it with you.

    The new tests costs more than it did previously. Unfortunately the British Council has stated to us that they we were unable to pay the difference and re book.

    This is what you have to do:

    You need to be refunded the money for the original exam.

    1) Download refund request form http://www.britishcouncil.ph/exam/ie...rms-conditions (It is at the bottom) Fill it out and print.

    2) Print confirmation/acknowlegement of Ielts general training email.

    3) Register and pay for the UKVI Ielts. (As we are going for spouse visa it was Ielts general skills A1). Print confirmation email.


    send all 3 documents together to British council using DHL account no 642210981 (this is free and is the British council DHL account)


    Must be done before the date of the original exam to get a refund.

    They are allowing refunds in this case as there has been such a recent change that was not reflected on their website till it was too late for us.

    Once sent the refund will take two weeks. A cheque will be issued. You will need to call them to check its ready and then give them an address to send it to.

    Sadly a long process. It would be better if you could just pay the difference and re book but they wont allow it.

    Hope this helps someone.
    Great work Phil
    Thanks for posting


  4. #4
    Respected Member cheekee's Avatar
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  5. #5
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    I'm surprised they wouldn't let you continue with the standard IELTS General training. It's perfectly acceptable to UKVI for entry clearance even under the new rules. Although the pass grade is minimum B1
    For spouse visa grade A1 is all that is needed.
    Still surprised though. Maybe they just wanted to pressurise for the extra dosh.


  6. #6
    Respected Member cheekee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terpe View Post
    I'm surprised they wouldn't let you continue with the standard IELTS General training. It's perfectly acceptable to UKVI for entry clearance even under the new rules. Although the pass grade is minimum B1
    For spouse visa grade A1 is all that is needed.
    Still surprised though. Maybe they just wanted to pressurise for the extra dosh.
    I know.

    According to what I have found out. The test can NOW only be taken at approved venues for UKVI purposes. Yes general training is still offered for UKVI but the price has increased to over 14000 pesos.

    They still offer the original IELTS general training at the lower cost but it's not at an approved venue.

    Ridiculous.


  7. #7
    Moderator Arthur Little's Avatar
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    Phil ... I regret I'm unable to offer any advice on these accursed English Tests, mate. Myrna came to the UK before they were first introduced.

    However, be assured, all who've read your *thread will be more than grateful for the extremely helpful information you've provided in your concern towards others confronted with this nightmare.

    Accordingly, I've upgraded *its status to 'Sticky'!


  8. #8
    Respected Member cheekee's Avatar
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    My very first sticky.

    Thanks Arthur


  9. #9
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    Hello cheekee, Thanks for your info I just want to ask if I can still use my expired Ielts I got B1 score and I am applying for my next flr m this Oct. Do I need to take another test or my expired Ielts is still valid for my next visa application? Thank you


  10. #10
    Admin's Assistant ^_^ raynaputi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akosicute11 View Post
    hello cheekee, thanks for your info i just want to ask if i can still use my expired ielts i got b1 score and i am applying for my next flr m this oct. Do i need to take another test or my expired ielts is still valid for my next visa application? Thank you
    yes.
    -=rayna.keith=-
    ...When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible...



  11. #11
    Admin's Assistant ^_^ raynaputi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheekee View Post
    I know.

    According to what I have found out. The test can NOW only be taken at approved venues for UKVI purposes. Yes general training is still offered for UKVI but the price has increased to over 14000 pesos.

    They still offer the original IELTS general training at the lower cost but it's not at an approved venue.

    Ridiculous.

    Can't they just change the venue to the approved one that they were saying? Or does your wife would mean she would travel to Manila if that will be the case?

    Also, I'm just wondering about what they're saying approved venue..according to their website, http://www.britishcouncil.ph/exam/ie...fees-locations, they all have the same venue, whether it's Life Skills or Academic/General Training.
    -=rayna.keith=-
    ...When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible...



  12. #12
    Respected Member cheekee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raynaputi View Post

    Can't they just change the venue to the approved one that they were saying? Or does your wife would mean she would travel to Manila if that will be the case?

    Also, I'm just wondering about what they're saying approved venue..according to their website, http://www.britishcouncil.ph/exam/ie...fees-locations, they all have the same venue, whether it's Life Skills or Academic/General Training.
    They won't do it Raynaputi. I tried and tried. There are now two venues in Manila and Cebu for ielts. One for the approved UKVI tests and another for the "non approved" tests. I have to pay the right fee and re register my wife. They wouldnt budge. The general training exams in April that have the lower fee are not being held at the "approved venue"

    The link you gave is the UKVI IELTS. the correct one. if you look at the other page (non approved) the fee is lower and the venues are not approved.

    http://www.britishcouncil.ph/exam/ie...fees-locations

    That's the one I booked because at the time the UKVI page wasn't there on their website.

    That's why I posted this thread in the end because of all the hassle it has caused.

    I don't wish others to go through this.

    How I wish I had waited till after April the 6th before booking a test.


  13. #13
    Admin's Assistant ^_^ raynaputi's Avatar
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    Oh I see..they don't make it easier.. So you booked for the A1 Life Skills. Bear in mind that your wife would need to retake the English test when she applies for ILR because she needs to have B1 for that.

    I would advise that if the wives/fiancees/partners of the members here are good and confident enough in conversing in English to take the B1 so they won't have to retake in the future. UKVI will accept expired IELTS test results as long as it's equivalent to B1 and above.
    -=rayna.keith=-
    ...When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible...



  14. #14
    Respected Member cheekee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raynaputi View Post
    Oh I see..they don't make it easier.. So you booked for the A1 Life Skills. Bear in mind that your wife would need to retake the English test when she applies for ILR because she needs to have B1 for that.

    I would advise that if the wives/fiancees/partners of the members here are good and confident enough in conversing in English to take the B1 so they won't have to retake in the future. UKVI will accept expired IELTS test results as long as it's equivalent to B1 and above.
    I havent paid yet so might book her on the B1 course instead. We havent decided.


  15. #15
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    If it was me, I'd just want to secure the pass certificate. So I'd reluctantly stump up the money.
    Then I go on a complaint mission with the provider and with UKVI. Is that provider Cambridge English?
    Phil, if your wife is confindent I'd go along with what Rayna suggests and go for the B1 level on the new IELTS Life Skills.


  16. #16
    Respected Member cheekee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terpe View Post
    If it was me, I'd just want to secure the pass certificate. So I'd reluctantly stump up the money.
    Then I go on a complaint mission with the provider and with UKVI. Is that provider Cambridge English?
    Phil, if your wife is confindent I'd go along with what Rayna suggests and go for the B1 level on the new IELTS Life Skills.
    She is really good. Problem is I really have no idea on how good she needs to be for B1. The problem is her use of grammar sometimes. On the mock tests she was sent from the British council she always scores over 50% correct. most times around 65% +

    Its the British council Phils. Part of the new IELTS consortium.


  17. #17
    Admin's Assistant ^_^ raynaputi's Avatar
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    I believe, well it's just my view on this, with speaking and listening, if she can clearly understand what the interviewer is saying and can respond properly and express herself in speaking in English, then that is good. She just needs to practice in conversing in English as often as she can. That will make her confident. For example, make sure that common mistakes like proper use of he or she will be corrected, coz that's one thing that is easily noticeable. Start from there and practice practice practice.
    -=rayna.keith=-
    ...When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible...



  18. #18
    Respected Member cheekee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raynaputi View Post
    I believe, well it's just my view on this, with speaking and listening, if she can clearly understand what the interviewer is saying and can respond properly and express herself in speaking in English, then that is good. She just needs to practice in conversing in English as often as she can. That will make her confident. For example, make sure that common mistakes like proper use of he or she will be corrected, coz that's one thing that is easily noticeable. Start from there and practice practice practice.
    I always correct her as you say. We converse loads every day. Thank you


  19. #19
    Member DAnn's Avatar
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    Hi. I did my IELTS General Training test in 14 Feb 2014. I got overall band score of 8.0. Is that good enough or equivalent to B1 so that I will not need to take another English test next time?

    I am in UK now and currently reviewing for my Life in the UK test. I suppose I don't have to take another English test just yet?


  20. #20
    Respected Member Michael Parnham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAnn View Post
    Hi. I did my IELTS General Training test in 14 Feb 2014. I got overall band score of 8.0. Is that good enough or equivalent to B1 so that I will not need to take another English test next time?

    I am in UK now and currently reviewing for my Life in the UK test. I suppose I don't have to take another English test just yet?
    Great result with your IELTS, no you won't need to take another English test. Congratulations!


  21. #21
    Member DAnn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Parnham View Post
    Great result with your IELTS, no you won't need to take another English test. Congratulations!
    Thank you Michael Parnham! That's good to know. One thing off of the to-do list. Also reviewing for DVLA, sorting out my daughter's child settlement visa when I am not at work, doh!


  22. #22
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    I've just booked wifey's Life Skills A1 and I would have to say its the most confusing website to navigate through - first you find the test you want and the centre you want on a date not 2 months away...

    ... Then you go into the online booking system and try and book it and then you only get a generic 'Manila' or 'Cebu' option the fee jumps 8900php to 11125php and rather than a test every other week pretty much and normally on Saturday to one test a month on a Thursday, and it doesn't tell you where the test is being held until you finish paying for it and then it emails you the confirmation.

    I think all that confusion on the website and lack of transparency is regarding the changes that Cheekee first posted about.

    The good news is the test centre appears to be the Crowne Plaza in QC for the Manila option (or Radisson Blu Cebu if you are going there) - which is much easier for asawa ko to get to especially when you need to arrive at 7am for the 8am test according to the documentation.


  23. #23
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    Having your spouse join you in the UK involves many hoops to jump through and many hurdles to jump over. All at a pretty penny too.
    It's a huge rip-off at those charges IMO but, if I'm honest, still worth it at the end of the day

    Good luck to you both on your immigration journey
    One thing's for sure .......it ain't going to get any easier any time soon


  24. #24
    Respected Member Harry T's Avatar
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    Just to compare, a friend of mine took the British Council IELTS Life Skills B1 Speaking & Listening for citizenship only on Saturday, she paid £150 equal to 10,500 pesos, so why the British Council charge more when in Phills goodness knows, just goes to show how these people/companies rip people off when it comes to mandatory requirements.


  25. #25
    Respected Member andy222's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terpe View Post
    Having your spouse join you in the UK involves many hoops to jump through and many hurdles to jump over. All at a pretty penny too.
    It's a huge rip-off at those charges IMO but, if I'm honest, still worth it at the end of the day

    Good luck to you both on your immigration journey
    One thing's for sure .......it ain't going to get any easier any time soon
    Quite right.


  26. #26
    Respected Member cheekee's Avatar
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    I booked her on the B1 life skills.

    We are getting a FULL refund for the general training booked as it was paid for before the end of March.

    Sadly anyone that paid after the end of March for the wrong test won't get a full refund. I think about 70% over the fee.


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