Many higher education institutions (HEIs) worldwide, before they accept foreign students, have a lot of requirements including proof of language proficiency. In most English-speaking countries and schools that offer programs in English, one of the most popular language assessment tests is the IELTS. 

Read below to know the countries the accepts your IELTS score. 

What is IELTS? 

IELTS is one of the most popular English language proficiency tests for applicants who want to study abroad, or migrate or work in another country. 

The test is accepted in more than 10,000 organizations from more than 140 countries worldwide. Those organizations include HEIs, governments, employers, and businesses. Moreover, IELTS test takers can choose between taking IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training, and are assessed in various language components: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. 

IELTS also prides itself for assessing and developing skills relevant to the applicant’s studies or life abroad. 

Where Can IELTS Take You? 

IELTS is the most used language proficiency test in many English-speaking countries such as Canada, Australia, the US, the UK, and New Zealand. Read on to learn more about the main countries that largely accept IELTS. 


In Canada, IELTS is accepted by many HEIs for its undergraduate and postgraduate programs. In most Canadian HEI, as a requirement, foreign student applicants need to get a 6.5 to 7.0 minimum overall band score for most of its programs. 

In addition, it is also accepted by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and Immigration Quebec when processing an applicant’s permanent residency or work visa. 

The United Kingdom

In the UK, IELTS is accepted in the country’s more than 800 universities. For foreign students to get accepted in most of its high-ranking institutions, they must get at least a minimum of 6.5 to 7.5 overall IELTS band score. 

For individuals who want to work in the UK, the country uses a Points-Based System (PBS) to know their type of visa description (Tier 1 or tier 2) and the work opportunities they can get in the UK. Each tier has a required IELTS score. 


IELTS is accepted in the US more than 3,400 HEIs, including broadening schools, undergraduate, postgraduate and associate degrees, and even professional and law programs. To get into the country’s top institutions, applicants need a minimum overall score of 6.5 to 7.5.


In Australia, IELTS is accepted by more than 900 HEIs. Moreover, many top institutions in Australia will accept students with a minimum overall score of 6.5, while some with a minimum overall score of 7.0.

IELTS is also used by applicants who want to work or migrate to Australia. Depending on the type of visa, each visa has its own required degree of language proficiency and score from IELTS. Below are the IELTS scores with their equivalent language proficiency: 

IELTS score of 6 or more for each componentCompetent English
IELTS score of 7 or more for each componentProficient English
IELTS score of 8 or more for each componentSuperior English

New Zealand

Individuals who want to work in New Zealand are required to pass a minimum standard of English proficiency. The New Zealand government makes use of different categories for its migrant workers and uses IELTS scores before processing an applicant’s visa. The country’s work categories include: skilled migrants, the residence from work, and business, and each category has a required minimum IELTS score for both IELTS General Training or Academic Test. 

Skilled Migrant6.5 or higher 
Business (Entrepreneur)4 or higher 
Business (Employee)5 or higher
Business  (Investor)3 or higher
Residence from Work 5 or higher

Aside from being an application requirement, an IELTS Score can also help students get a scholarship. To learn about other tips to increase your chances of getting a scholarship, check out MSM Unify’s articles. 

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