In this post we will discuss English Language requirement for the UK Spouse / Partner Visa route.
The UK Home Office introduced English Language requirement as part of the immigration process in November 2010. Although this was initially introduced for selected few visa application types, it is now widely used under multiple visa categories as a general requirement to reduce burden on UK tax payers and promote easy integration of migrants into the society.
Who needs to meet the English Language Requirement for a UK Spouse Visa and UK Partner Visa category?
English language requirement applies to:
- Leave to remain as a spouse or civil partner
- Leave to remain as an unmarried or same sex partner
- Entry clearance as a partner
- Entry clearance as a spouse
What is the level of English language requirement for UK Spouse visa and partner visa?
Most applicants are required to meet CEFR Level A1 or A2 (unless exempt: more on this later)
All entry clearance or initial leave application for UK Spouse visa need a minimum of CEFR level A1 (unless exempt)
All applications for leave to remain where previously exempt from A1 or were last granted visa as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner also need to meet the CEFR level A1 (unless exempt)
All UK Spouse visa applications for leave to remain where last granted visa with A1, which expires on or after 1 May 2017 need to meet the CEFR Level A2 (unless exempt)
Note: THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT FOR A UK SPOUSE VISA is only applicable to the main applicant and not the dependents
Where can you take the English Language Test for UK Spouse Visa?
Applicant has to take a test at one of the approved UK English Language test centre
You can only take an SELT with one of the following providers:
- IELTS SELT Consortium (UK or overseas)
- LanguageCert (UK or overseas)
- Trinity College London (UK only)
- Pearson (UK and overseas)
- PSI Services (UK) Ltd (overseas only)
The approved IELTS SELT Consortium tests are:
- IELTS for UKVI
- Life Skills
The approved LanguageCert tests are:
- LanguageCert International ESOL SELT
- LanguageCert International ESOL SELT (
Speaking and Listening)
The approved Trinity College London tests are:
- Integrated Skills in English (ISE)
- Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE)
The approved Pearson tests are:
- Pearson PTE Academic UKVI
- Pearson PTE Home
The approved PSI Services (UK) Ltd tests are:
- Skills for English UKVI (4 component)
- Skills for English UKVI (2 component)
Click HERE to download a list of approved secure English language test for UK Spouse Visa (in the UK) OR Click HERE to download a list of approved secure English language test for UK Spouse Visa (Outside the UK)
Besides taking the test there are other ways to meet the English Language Requirement for a UK SPOUSE visa application. 1) If you are an national of a majority English speaking country (more on this later) 2) You have formal education at a Bachelor or Masters level awarded in the UK or where the qualification is awarded abroad and this is recognised by UK NARIC of equivalent to Bachelor or Masters level.
Exemption from english language requirement for uk spouse visa is applied under following conditions:
- If the applicant is aged 65 and over at the time of their UK Spouse Visa application
- They have disability that stops them from meeting the English Language requirement for spouse visa
- Under exceptional circumstances
Following nationals can claim exemption from English language requirement for a UK spouse visa under majority English speaking 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; United States of America.
It is important that you take the right test at an authorised centre to meet the English language requirement for a UK Spouse visa to avoid refusal. If you have any specific questions about how to meet this requirement or general requirement for a uk spouse visa you can read our comprehensive post here. Why not speak to one of our registered immigration advisor about your application by asking a free call back below