UK Spouse Visa English Language Requirements 2022
For the initial 30 months spouse visa entry clearance or leave to remain application, an applicant needs to demonstrate a minimum English Language proficiency of CEFR Level A1. Accordingly, the paragraph E-ECP.4.1. of Appendix FM relates to the way an applicant can meet the English Language Requirements. And the paragraph E-ECP.4.2. provides the details of availing exemptions from UK spouse visa English Test requirements. Therefore, if none of the exemptions are available then in terms of Paragraph E-ECP.4.2. (b), an applicant needs to furnish a Secure English Language Test (SELT) with a minimum CEFR Level A1 for speaking and listening.
…. have passed an English language test in speaking and listening at a minimum of level A1….
Since Jan 2016, for the subsequent 30 months extension application an applicant needs to meet a min CEFR Level A2, instead of A1, for speaking and listening.
Non-EEA national partners and parents on the family route will need to pass a speaking and listening test at level A2 to qualify, after two-and-a half-years in the UK, for further leave to remain on the five-year partner or parent route to settlement
From October 2013, migrants applying for spouse settlement (ILR) need to meet CEFR level B1 in speaking and listening skills. And need to pass the Life in the UK Test.
You need to take the test as part of your application for British citizenship or settlement in the UK
Impact of Covid-19 on UK Spouse Visa English Test Requirements
The UK Visa English Language Tests are available in most countries. However, due to coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions, the UK Visa English Language Test have been suspended in some countries. You can find a list of all approved test centres outside the UK and check the status of the Test Centre and available Test Date from SELT provider’s website such as International English Language Testing System (IELTS), LanguageCert, Pearson Test of English, or PSI (Services) UK Ltd.
*What happens next?
Multilingual qualified London based immigration specialists will get back to you, usually within 2-3 working days. If you have not attached any documents, then the UK based Law firm may ask for the relevant Case-Specific Document(s) such as Refusal Letters, Deportation Orders, Application Forms etc. Moreover, after reviewing the papers and information, the legal advisor may advise a course of action and quote the fees for processing the application.
Have a wonderful day!
Exemptions from UK Spouse Visa English Test Requirements 2022
An applicant can avail exemption from UK spouse visa English test requirements due to age, disability, and exceptional circumstances. Moreover, a National of Majority English Speaking Country and an applicant who has a degree taught in English can also avail exemption from UK spouse visa English Test requirements.
A National of Majority English Speaking Country
If an applicant is a national of a majority English speaking country, then is exempt from UK spouse visa English Language Test requirements. However, needs to provide a valid passport or travel document for availing the exemption. Moreover, if the passport or travel document is lost or stolen, expired or returned to the relevant immigration authority or with another department of the Home Office then the applicant can provide a current national identity document or a letter from the applicant’s national government, Embassy or High Commission confirming the applicant’s full name, date of birth and nationality
The evidence required to show that a person is a citizen or national of a majority English speaking country is a valid passport or travel document….
List of Majority English Speaking Countries
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Guyana, Australia
- The Bahamas
- New Zealand
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- The United States of America
Degree Taught or Researched in English
In terms of paragraph E-ECP.4.2. (c) of Appendix FM, if an applicant has a bachelor’s or master’s degree, PhD taught or researched in English in the UK then can avail the exemption. However, if an applicant has a bachelor’s or master’s degree taught in majority of English-Speaking Country then needs to submit:
- A copy of the academic degree
- The Academic Qualification Level Statement (AQUALS) from UK NARIC for confirming the academic level of the degree(s)
A Degree Taught in a Non-English-Speaking Country
If a Bachelor or master’s degree taught in other countries such as India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ghana etc. then for availing UK spouse visa English Test exemption an applicant needs to furnish:
- A copy of the academic degree
- The Academic Qualification Level Statement (AQUALS) from UKNARIC for confirming the academic level (at-least Bachelor) of the degree
- The English Language Proficiency Statement (ELPS) for confirming the English proficiency level (such as A1, A2, B1) of an applicant’s bachelor’s or master’s degree
UK NARIC Visas and Nationality is the designated service supporting individuals applying for UK visas or for settlement in the UK, provided on behalf of the Home Office
If an applicant is above 65 years of age, then they are exempt from UK spouse visa English Test requirements.
If a mental or physical disability prevents an applicant to meet the UK spouse visa English Test requirements, then the applicant can avail the exemption.
If there are exceptional circumstances, which prevents an applicant to meet the UK spouse visa English Test requirements then the applicant can avail exemptions. For instances, an applicant is getting a leave to enter or remain under the 10-year family route.
Popular Tests for UK Spouse Visa English Language 2022
If none of the exemptions are available, then an applicant needs to undertake a Secure English Language Test (SELT) for proving their English language speaking and listening skills. Accordingly, needs to score a minimum CEFR Level A1, A2 or B1 for UK spouse visa entry clearance, extension or ILR (settlement) application, respectively.
Indeed, there are several approved English Language Tests for applicants. However, IELTS Life Skills and Trinity College’s Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE) tests are specifically designed for meeting the UK spouse visa English Language requirements. In fact, for entry clearance applications, IELTS Life Skills test is quite popular because of its extensive network. However, GESE is a good option for leave to remain, extension and settlement applications.
IELTS Life Skills for Spouse Visa UK
Indeed, IELTS Life Skills is the most popular test for meeting the UK spouse visa English Language requirements. The IELTS Life Skills test is designed to meet the specific immigration requirements under Appendix FM. Accordingly, an applicant only needs to demonstrate Speaking and Listening skills. In fact, two candidates take the IELTS Life Skills test. And the test taker simultaneously assesses the English Language speaking and listening skills of the candidates.
The time duration of IELTS Life Skills for CEFR Level A1 (entry clearance), A2 (extension or leave to remain) and B1 (ILR or settlement) is 16–18, 20 and 22 minutes, respectively. Moreover, there is no break between speaking and listening components. The cost of IELTS Life Skills test is mostly GBP150/- from inside the UK. However, depending on the service provider the IELTS Life Skills test fee may slightly vary from country to country. There is more than one registration methods i.e. one can register with British Council or any other service providers.
With more than 1,600 IELTS test locations in over 140 countries, there is bound to be one near you.
Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE) for Spouse Visa UK
Like IELTS Life Skills, the Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE) of the Trinity College is also specifically designed for assessing the English Language Listening and Speaking skills of spouse visa applicants. Moreover, a UK spouse visa leave to remain, extension or ILR (settlement) applicant needs to pass the GESE test by securing Grade 2, 3 or 5, respectively. Therefore, GESE 2, 3 and 5 Grades are equivalent to CEFR Level A1, A2 and B1, respectively. In fact, the time duration of GESE Grade 2, 3 and 5 Tests is 6, 7 and 10 minutes, respectively. And the cost of GESE test is £150/- and an applicant gets the provisional result on the same day. However, Trinity College, usually, sends the Certificate within 7 days.
You can take a Trinity SELT test at any of our 10 SELT centres around the UK
What are the IELTS Test Requirements for UK Spouse Visa?
For UK spouse visa, if an applicant has skills equivalent to CEFR level A1 for English language in speaking and listening, then can meet the English Language requirements. Therefore, for spouse visa UK IELTS requirement is 0.0-4.0 Band Score, which is equivalent to CEFR Level A1. Please note, according to the official CEFR guidelines, the “A” Levels are for Basic User. Accordingly, A1 CEFR Level is for Beginners in English, who can:
- understand and use very basic expressions to satisfy concrete needs
- introduce themselves and ask others questions about personal details
- interact simply if the other person speaks slowly and clearly
What are the IELTS Requirements for UK Spouse Visa Extension?
For UK spouse visa extension, if an applicant has skills equivalent to CEFR level A2 for English language in speaking and listening, then can meet the English Language requirements. Therefore, for UK spouse visa extension IELTS requirements is 0.0-4.0 Band Score, which is equivalent to CEFR Level A2. Please note, according to the official CEFR guidelines, the A2 CEFR Level is for Elementary users in English, who can:
- understand frequently used expressions in most intermediate areas such as shopping, family, employment, etc.
- complete tasks that are routine and involve a direct exchange of information
- describe matters of immediate need in simple terms
What are the IELTS Test Requirements for Spouse Visa ILR?
For ILR application under the spouse route, if an applicant has skills equivalent to CEFR level B1 for English language in speaking and listening, then can meet the English Language requirements. Therefore, for UK spouse visa ILR IELTS requirements is 4.0-5.0 Band Score, which is equivalent to CEFR Level B1. Please note, according to the official CEFR guidelines, the B1 CEFR Level is for Intermediate users in English, who can:
- understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
- deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling
- produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest
- describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans