The UK Government introduced an English language requirement in 2010. A person’s ability to speak English language is the key element to social integration and economic growth of the country. If you are applying for a visa to enter the UK, chances are – you are mot likely to be a required to meet the English language requirement.
Levels of English Language
The requirement proficiency in English language requirement will depend on your immigration category. There are generally three
groups: A (beginner level), B (intermediate level) and C (advanced) of the Council of Europe’s common European framework for language and learning (CEFR). It is a guideline. The authorities use it to describe achievements of learners of foreign languages across Europe.
There are two stages in each category: A1 and A2; B1 and B2; C1 and C2. These test related to three areas: Listening, Speaking and Writing.
Who Needs to Pass English Language Tests?
If you are from a visa national country you’ll most likely need to meet this English Language requirement.
Even if you are from a non-visa national country but you would like to enter the UK for more than 6 months, you will need to meet this requirement unless exceptions apply (see below). That is, of course, you are exempt.
You should remember that once you passed the test, your certificate will only be valid for 2 years.
Who Can be Exempt from Meeting the English Language Requirement?
There are generally 5 categories of applicants who can be exempt from meeting the English language requirement:
National of a majority English speaking country You will not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a citizen of one of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland (for citizenship only), St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and USA.
You have a degree taught in English
You’ll satisfy the requirement if you:
- have the relevant level of English language as shown in the Level of English required section
- have a qualification (not a professional or vocational qualification) which is either at a UK Bachelor’s degree level or above: Master’s degree or PhD.
Also, if it is a qualification awarded by an educational establishment outside the UK, which is considered by UK NARIC to meet the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or a PhD in the UK, and UK NARIC has confirmed that the degree was taught or researched in English to the relevant level. And finally, if UK NARIC confirmed that it meets or exceeds the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or a PhD in the UK. It must be from an educational establishment in one of the majority English speaking countries listed above.
You are Over the age of 65
A long-term physical or mental condition
I would like to warn you that this is a tough condition to meet. If you think you can be exempt on medical grounds, your doctor will need to complete a ‘Life in the UK exemption form: long term physical or mental condition’ form.
You are Not Required because of the Immigration Category
For further leave to remain applications and, in some cases, for settlement applications, there is no English language requirement for the following routes: Tier 1 (Investor), Tier 1 (Exceptional talent), Tier 2 (Intra-company transfer), Tier 5, a victim of domestic violence, bereaved partner applications, dependent relative, refugee, discretionary leave, humanitarian protection, a Commonwealth citizen on discharge from HM Forces, including Gurkhas and someone in exceptional circumstances, for example as an orphan, widow or over-age dependant
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