Home News News list Compulsory English language tests

Language testing for partners -implementation 29 November 2010

Back to news list
26 October 2010

The government are bringing forward the measures requiring many immigrants marrying UK citizens to prove they have a command of English to November 29th 2010 These measures, which Labour had planned to introduce in July 2011, will apply to partners coming to the UK from areas outside the EU, such as South Asia. The government is introducing a pre-entry language requirement for anyone wishing to enter or remain in the UK. In order to show that they ‘can speak and understand English’, applicants will have to take and pass a Speaking and Listening test from an ‘approved test provider’ at a minimum level of Entry or (A1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages CEFR). Applicants need to meet the requirement if they are a national of a country outside European Economic Area and Switzerland, are in a relationship with a British citizen or a person settled here; and want to apply to enter or remain in the UK as that person's husband, wife, civil partner, fiancé(e), proposed civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner It does not apply to people from the European Economic Area, those from a ‘majority-English speaking country’ or those with a degree in English. English language test with an approved test providers. List http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/pbs/approvedenglishtestst2.pdf Whether they have married in the UK or overseas, the non-UK partner must apply for a two-year settlement visa to come and live in the UK as a husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner. At the end of the two years, they can apply for permission to settle in the UK (indefinite leave to remain). Partners who apply for settlement after completing their two-year period of temporary residence will still need to meet the 'knowledge of language and life in the UK' test. This is in addition to the new basic English language requirement, which forms part of their initial application. NATECLA opposes this new requirement for spouses and other dependants from non-European countries wishing to settle in the United Kingdom. http://www.natecla.org.uk/content/509/press_releases/ On 25 October 2010 there was a House of Lords debate on the introduction of English language tests for spouses before their arrival in the UK. “Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules (Cm 7944)” The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) produced a briefing paper which can be downloaded from this page. NATECLA is quoted "The National Association for Teaching English and other Community Languages to Adults (Natecla) argue that the UK is the best place for people to learn the English language" Debate text http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/101025-0002.htm#10102521000387 The motion to disaprove the changes to the immigration rules was withdrawn. ESOL and citizenship http://www.natecla.org.uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=497 Click 'more' to go to UK Border Agency

Search Press Releases