The English language requirement
In order for your Spouse Visa application to be successful you must be able to meet all of the Spouse Visa requirements. One of the main Spouse Visa requirements is that you must have a knowledge of the English language. To meet this requirement you will need to prove to the Home Office that you have adequate speaking and listening abilities in English.
Spouse visa applicants can demonstrate their knowledge by taking approved English language tests. The type of test you will need to take is a secure English language test (SELT). The test must be run by one of the Home Office approved test providers.
If you are taking the test from within the UK the approved test providers include IELTS SELT Consortium, LanguageCert, Pearson and Trinity College London tests.
If you are outside of the UK then you can use any of the above providers apart from Trinity College London, you can also use PSI Services (UK) Ltd.
What happens during the English language test?
You must pass your approved English language test at least level A1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale. The type of test that you will take for your Spouse Visa application will test your speaking and listening abilities.
What happens during the test varies depending on the provider you choose. You may carry out the test in a one to one interview style or you could be expected to listen to recordings and answer relevant questions about them. For more information about the format of the test you should check with your chosen provider.
Who is exempt from the English language test requirement?
Some people are exempt from having to meet the English language requirement for a Spouse Visa, this includes:
- People who have been in the UK on a family visa for 5 years and are extending it as a partner or parent
- People over the age of 65
- People who have a physical or mental condition that prevents them from meeting the requirement
You also may not be required to take the English language test if you come from a majority English speaking country. The majority English speaking countries include: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines,Trinidad and Tobago and the USA.
Can you meet the English language requirement in other ways?
As well as sitting an approved English language test, there are some other ways that you can meet the English language requirement. You won’t need to take the test if you can demonstrate your knowledge of the English language using an academic qualification.
If you have an eligible academic qualification that was taught in English then you can submit evidence of this to prove your English language ability. Eligible qualifications include those that are at least equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree but can also include higher qualifications such as a master’s degree. If your qualification is from a university in the UK then you will just need to submit your degree certificate.
If your qualification is from an educational establishment outside of the UK then you will need to get a certificate from Ecctis which shows that your qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or higher and that it was taught in English.
How can London Immigration Lawyers help?
Applying for a Spouse Visa is a complex process and it can be difficult to meet the requirements, but our immigration lawyers are here to help. As well as assisting you with your visa application, our expert immigration lawyers can answer any questions that you may have about the English language requirement or any other requirements, our lawyers can also offer you advice about how you can successfully meet the requirement.
The English language requirement also forms part of the criteria for many other types of UK visa applications such as the Skilled Worker Visa, Student Visa, Unmarried Partner Visa and more. No matter which type of visa you are applying for, our immigration lawyers can help you to meet the requirements and will make sure that your application has the best chance of success.
To find out more about our visa application services, or if you have any questions about the English tests and requirements, get in touch with our team today on 020 4502 8582.
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