Applicants from non – English speaking countries are required to pass an approved English language test when applying for a UK visa (in most cases) or citizenship application.
Types of tests
There are 2 different types of tests assessing English language ability at different levels and the test you will be required to pass will depend on the type of visa you are applying for.
You will need to pass a test assessing reading, writing, speaking and listening abilities if applying under the following categories:
- Skilled Worker
- Minister of Religion
You will need to pass a test assessing speaking and listening abilities only if applying under the following categories:
- Representative of an Overseas Business
- Indefinite leave to remain
The level of test known as the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level, will depend on the category you are applying for.
Applicants applying under the Innovator, Start-up and Minister of Religion route will need to pass an approved test at level B2 in reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Applicants applying under the Skilled worker route will need to pass an approved test at level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Applicants applying for settlement or citizenship must pass an approved test at level B1 in speaking and listening.
Students will need to pass an approved test at level B2 if will be studying a course at degree level or above or at level B1 if studying a pre-sessional course or a course below degree level.
Applicants applying under the Sportsperson, Representatives of an Overseas Business and Partner/Parent route will need to obtain A1 in speaking and listening. For Partner/Parent routes, A1 is only acceptable for the first application, a test at level A2 will be required for the extension application.
Exemptions from the English language test
If the English language requirement has been met at the required level for the current application in a previous successful application, you will not be required to re-take the test.
You will be exempt from the English language test requirement if you are a national of any of the following majority English-speaking countries:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- The Bahamas
- New Zealand
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United States of America
If you have a degree from the UKyou will be exempt from meeting the English language requirement. If you have a degree that was taught in English outside the UK you are not required to take the testbut are likely to be required to provide comparability statements from Ecctis (formerly known as UK NARIC).
You will be exempt from meeting the English language requirement if you have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from taking the test and are able to provide supporting medical evidence.
The above are the main exemptions, but the Home Office provides additional exemptions for certain settlement applications.
Approved tests and test providers
If you are in the UK, you must take a test with one of the following providers:
- Trinity College London
- IELTS SELT Consortium
If you are outside the UK, you must take a test with one of the following providers:
- PSI Services (UK) Ltd
- IELTS SELT Consortium
You must ensure that you book the correct test:
- LanguageCert: ‘LanguageCert International ESOL SELT’
- Pearson: ‘PTE Academic UKVI’ or ‘PTE Home’
- PSI Services: ‘Skills for English UKVI’
- Trinity College London: ‘Secure English Language Tests for UKVI’ – Integrated Skills in English (ISE) or Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE)
- IELTS SELT Consortium: ‘IELTS for UKVI’ or ‘IELTS Life Skills’
For the test results to be accepted, the test must be on the list of approved English language tests, have been taken at an approved test location and have been awarded in the two years before the date of your application.
How can Mulgrave Law assist?
For any queries regarding the English language tests or any query regarding a UK visa application, contact our team of expert immigration lawyers, Solicitors at Mulgrave Law.
We serve London and beyond, if you are looking for Local Immigration Lawyers in London or Local Immigration Solicitors near you, get in touch with us right away!