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FAQs - English language requirements for settlement

Please use this section of the board for queries about Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). However please use the EEA-route section for queries about the EEA-route equivalent of Permanent Residence (PR).


This section is relevant irrespective of whether current status is Tiered or Non-Tiered.

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geriatrix
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FAQs - English language requirements for settlement

Post by geriatrix » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:11 pm

English language


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

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?:

People applying in the following categories do not need to meet the KoLL (English + LITUK) requirement:
  • 1. are under 18, or
    2. are aged 65 or over, or
    3. 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
    4. applying as a victim of domestic violence as the partner or spouse of a British citizen or someone settled in the UK, or
    5. applying as the partner or spouse of a British citizen or someone settled in the UK who has died, or
    6. applying as an adult dependent relative between 18 and 64 of someone present and settled in the UK or who is as a refugee or has humanitarian protection, or
    7. applying as a refugee living in the UK, or
    8. applying as someone living in the UK with discretionary leave, or
    9. applying as someone living in the UK for with humanitarian protection, or
    10. applying as someone who has permission to stay in the UK as a retired person of independent means, or
    11. applying as a Commonwealth citizen on discharge from HM Forces, including Gurkhas, or
    12. applying as a highly skilled migrant applying under the terms of the highly skilled migrant program (HSMP) judicial review and your dependants, or
    13. applying as someone in exceptional circumstances, eg as an orphan, widow or over-age dependant, or
    14. 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
      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?

From 06-Apr-2016, a printout of the points-based calculator on gov.uk website cannot be used as evidence of English language proficiency to the prescribed standard.
Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC877, 11 March 2016 wrote:Changes relating to various Points-Based System categories

7.20. Amendments are being made to reflect the closing down of the “points based calculator” tool on the gov.uk website, which applicants may currently use if they would like to use an overseas qualification to demonstrate a requirement of the rules. From 6 April 2016, applicants should instead obtain an official statement from UK NARIC: http://www.naric.org.uk/visasandnationality.

7.21. Minor amendments are being made to clarify that UK NARIC determines the level of international qualifications, and does not assess UK qualifications;
If you hold a UK qualification that you wish to use as evidence of English language proficiency:
NARIC V&NS portal will not allow you to enter "UK" as country of study. If you do it will display the following message - "You have entered a UK qualification, you do not need the visa service for UK qualifications". Therefore:
If you hold an academic qualification: Submit your original (bachelor, master or PhD) degree certificate. No other document required - you may wish to include a print-screen of the NARIC V&NS webpage displaying the message mentioned above, your choice! See also this post.
If you hold a vocational / professional qualification: You cannot use a vocational / professional qualification to meet English language proficiency requirement. You will need to take a SELT (see Q4).

If you hold an overseas qualification that you wish to use as evidence of English language proficiency:
From 06-Apr-2016 applicants will need to apply for NARIC statement(s) using their new VIsa and Nationality Services:
Apply online for official UK NARIC statements, custom-designed for immigration purposes, that confirm your academic qualification level and/or English language proficiency – as appropriate for your personal circumstances and immigration route. All the key information required by Home Office UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) case workers is presented clearly.
What is the Visas and Nationality service for? wrote:A new online application system has been specifically developed and will provide official UK NARIC Visas and Nationality statements, custom-designed for immigration purposes. These statements confirm your academic qualification level and/or English language proficiency – as appropriate for your personal circumstances and immigration route. The new security-enhanced statements present clearly all the key information regarding your qualification(s)(about your qualifications, country of study etc) required by UKVI immigration case workers.
Costs



Q4: 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 the test at an approved test centre.

ESOL qualifications are no longer accepted as proof for settlement and citizenship applications.



Q5: Are GCSE and A-Level certificates or any other qualifications below B1 level accepted?

No, these qualifications won’t be accepted.



Q6: What if my qualification (Q4) has expired?

If you’re applying to settle in the UK, your expired qualification may still be accepted as proof if your qualification was accepted for another UK immigration application, e.g. - when you got permission to enter (If your qualification expires) and if you have had continuous leave since then and the test provider is listed in Appendix O (2.2(b))
2.2 wrote:(b) the applicant-
  • (i) has limited leave to enter or remain in the UK, and
    (ii) that leave (or a grant of leave which preceded it provided any periods of leave since have been unbroken) was given on the basis that the applicant had an English language qualification at a minimum level of B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
    (iii) at the date of application, the provider of that qualification continues to be approved by the Secretary of State as specified in Appendix O to these Rules.
You need to confirm your qualification with either a certificate or by checking that your results can be viewed online.

Note: Applicants relying on non-SELT examinations, please see the posts below.



Q7: What documentary evidence(s) do I need to include if I fulfill the requirements by either Q3 or Q4?
  • a) If you are fulfilling the requirement on the basis of a degree taught or researched in English and obtained in UK (i.e.- UK qualification), then:
    • 1. Your original degree certificate.
    b) If you are fulfilling the requirement on basis of a degree taught or researched in English and obtained overseas (i.e.- overseas qualification), then:then: c) 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 necessary details in the form).


Q8: I will be applying for settlement after 06-Apr-2016. Can I still use ELA / SOC ordered before 06-Apr-2016 from NARIC in my application?

There is no announcement from UKV&I whether the following combination of documents are still being accepted in support of a settlement application.
  • An English language Assessment (ELA) from UK NARIC, or
  • 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.
If you wish to use ELA / SOC statements obtained before the new V&NS service was launched in a settlement application to be submitted after 06-Apr-2016, please check with UKV&I beforehand (preferably in writing, by enquiring through email).




And, don't forget the Life in the UK test.


Guidance: Knowledge of life and language in the UK
Before commencing to post on this website, please read these important announcements carefully.
Life isn't fair, but you can be!

geriatrix
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Re: FAQs - English language requirements for settlement

Post by geriatrix » Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:47 pm

With reference to Q6 in the post above:

Neither do any of the settlement forms (SET(O) / SET(M) / SET(LR) ) give an option to choose a non-SELT test qualification nor does Appendix O of the immigration rules lists any non-SELT English qualification / test provider.

The above defies the statement published on the HO website which states:
You can use an expired test if you’re applying to settle in the UK and your qualification was accepted for another UK immigration application, e.g. when you got permission to enter

Since immigration rules trump policy guidance / generic statements on HO website, this essentially means that non-SELT test results - even if used earlier in previous immigration applications - may no longer be accepted as evidence of English language proficiency.

Here're two recent cases of refusals.
Before commencing to post on this website, please read these important announcements carefully.
Life isn't fair, but you can be!

geriatrix
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Posts: 24754
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:30 pm
Location: does it matter?

Re: FAQs - English language requirements for settlement

Post by geriatrix » Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:32 pm

The guidance - Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK - has been updated (even though, as on date, the webpage still shows the last update date as 16-May-15).
Applications made on or after 12 November 2015
For naturalisation applications made on or after 12 November 2015 and settlement applications made on or after 19 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.

The test must have been taken no more than 2 years before the date of application.
Before commencing to post on this website, please read these important announcements carefully.
Life isn't fair, but you can be!

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