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FAQs - English language requirements for naturalisation

A section for posts relating to applications for Naturalisation or Registration as a British Citizen. Naturalisation

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FAQs - English language requirements for naturalisation

Post by geriatrix » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:01 am

English language


Q1: What are the English language requirements when applying for Naturalisation?

You will need to prove your knowledge of the English language when applying for citizenship, unless exempt.
You can prove it by having either:
  • - an English qualification at B1, B2, C1 or C2 level (C2 > C1 > B2 > B1), or
    - a degree taught or researched in English.

Q2: Which are the Exempt categories?:

You don’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you:
  • 1. met this requirement, on or after 28th October 2013, in order to obtain settlement (ILR or PR), or
    2. are under 18, or
    3. are aged 65 or over, or
    4. are unable to, because of a long-term physical or mental condition (You must provide a letter from a doctor confirming your physical or mental condition), or
    5. are a national of the any 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
      USA


Q3: I am not exempt. How do I go about fulfilling the requirement on the basis of a degree taught or researched in English?

You will need to apply for a document from NARIC.



Q4: I need to apply for a document from NARIC as evidence of English language proficiency requirement. Should I apply for ELA / SoC or through the newly launched Visa & Nationality Service (V&NS)?

UK qualification - The new V&NS does not allow you to input "UK" as the country of study.
  • Academic qualification - You don't need any document from NARIC. If in doubt, check with NARIC if they can issue ELA for a UK academic qualification.
    Vocational qualification - You cannot use a vocational qualification as evidence without a confirmatory document from NARIC. You will need to apply for ELA from NARIC.
Overseas qualification - If you need to apply for a NARIC letter and will be doing so on / after 06-Apr-2016, IMHO, you should apply using the newly launched Visa & Nationality Service (costs) and should not opt for the standard ELA / SoC. This will save you from changes regarding naturalisation application wrt English language proficiency.

Note: Please check with Home Office whether ELA / SoC letters are still accepted for naturalisation applications submitted after 06-Apr-2016.



Q5: I am not exempt and do not hold a degree taught or researched in English. How do I go about fulfilling the requirement on the basis of an English qualification?

You can prove your knowledge of English by having an English level B1, B2, C1 or C2 level qualification on one of the Home Office’s lists of recognised English tests and qualifications. You must take all the tests at an approved test centre.
Applications made on or after 12 November 2015 wrote: For naturalisation applications made on or after 12 November 2015, the only tests that are acceptable are qualifications covering speaking and listening at B1 or above from the Secure English Language Test (SELT) list in the Immigration Rules, Appendix O. No other tests are acceptable. The test must be taken at an approved test centre.


Q6: Are GCSE and A-Level certificates or any other qualifications below B1 level accepted?

No, these qualifications won’t be accepted.



Q7: What if my qualification (Q5) has expired?

Some qualifications on the Home Office’s list will expire after 2 years. If you’re applying for citizenship you can still use an expired test if your B1 level qualification was accepted when settling in the UK.



Q8: What documentary evidence(s) do I need to include if I fulfill the requirements by either Q3 or Q5?

a) If you are fulfilling the requirement on the basis of a degree taught or researched in English, then:
  • 1. Your original degree certificate, and
    2. one of the following:
    • 1. An English language Assessment (ELA) from UK NARIC, or
      2. A Statement of Comparability (SoC) from UK NARIC confirming your qualification is comparable to a UK degree and an official letter from your university with your name, the title of the degree, and that the qualification was taught in English.
      3. A statement obtained through the newly launched Visa & Nationality Service by NARIC.
Note: Please check with Home Office whether ELA / SoC letters are still accepted for naturalisation applications submitted after 06-Apr-2016.

b) If you are fulfilling the requirement on the basis of an approved test, then:
  • Certificate showing that you have a speaking and listening qualification in English at B1 CEFR or higher, or an equivalent level qualification. (If you sat a Home Office approved test you may not have a certificate, but should ensure that you state the test number at section 1 of the form).



Q9: What do the following two statements, published subsequent to Novemnber 2015 changes, mean and who do they affect?
  • 1. You can no longer use ESOL qualifications as proof for citizenship applications.
    2. From 12-Nov-15, we will only accept English language qualifications from the Home Office approved list of acceptable qualifications.
a) If you have met the KoLL requirement when applying for settlement between 28-Oct-2013 and 11-Nov-2015 then these statements do not concern you. Ignore them!
b) The statements are for the attention of, and affect, any non-exempt person applying for naturalisation based on an English language test and taken on / after 12-Nov-15. Such applicants cannot rely on ESOL qualifications or non-SELT examinations or SELT examinations taken at un-approved test centres.



Q10: I was granted settlement on / after 28-October 2013. What documentary evidences do I need to provide at the time of naturalisation?

:shock: If you haven't been able to find the answer to this question (still) even after reading Q1 to Q9, please read again - and this time more carefully than before.
Tip: read the question that relates to "free from an obligation or liability imposed on others" category of applicants.




And, don't forget the Life in the UK test.
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Life isn't fair, but you can be!

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