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What are the requirements?
For family applications, this requirement starts at level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), moving to A2 CEFR for an extension application and, finally, B1 CEFR for settlement.
For most work related and study routes, B1 CEFR is the minimum English language ability needed to enter into that route, but there are exceptions: for sole representatives of an overseas business it’s A1, for ministers of religion it’s B2.
How else can I prove my knowledge of English?
Where someone cannot meet the English language requirement through being a citizen of a majority English speaking country or by having a relevant degree taught in English, they are required to sit an English language test approved by UKVI (also known as a Secure English Language Test – SELT).
Currently, in the UK the following providers are approved:
- Trinity College London
- IELTS SELT Consortium
Outside the UK, the following are approved:
- TS SELT Consortium
When booking an English language test for immigration purposes, it is always important to check that the centre you are sitting the test at is approved. For example, some IELTS tests can be sat at centres and colleges which do not offer SELT tests; thus, they are not approved by UKVI. You can check whether a centre is on UKVI’s approved list here.
Which test do I need to book?
Even when you are confident that the centre you will be sitting the test at is approved, you also need to ensure you have booked to take a SELT. This causes unnecessary confusion for applicants. Each provider has a list of tests which they are approved to offer, and availability can differ between test centres run by the same provider. For example, IELTS General and Academic tests can be booked as both SELTs and non-secured tests. Even though the tests are probably identical in content, only the SELT will produce a Unique Reference Number (URN), which will need to be included as part of the visa application process. If your test doesn’t include this number, it is unlikely to be a SELT test; thus, will not be accepted by UKVI in the visa application. This will normally lead to refusal of an application.
Another important point to remember is that most of the approved tests are only valid for two years. It may be that a new test will be needed at a later stage of the application process, although there are some exceptions to this. Again, the position is confusing, and it’s important to get it right.
If you would like to find out more about how the English language requirement may apply to you, arrange an appointment with one of our solicitors now. You can contact our offices by calling 0044 161 234 6800 (Manchester) or 0044 207 046 7185 (London).
Why choose Latitude Law?
Our aim is to help professionals to navigate the complex UK immigration system and exceptional talent rules. Our lawyers are experts in immigration rules, Home Office policy and the case law which guides the courts and tribunals. Our passion for immigration law, legal expertise and advocacy skills have allowed us to help countless clients reach their end-goal of living and working in the UK.
If you need help securing a visa through the entrepreneur route, the immigration solicitors at Latitude Law are here to help. We can help you through the application process and provide legal advice and guidance on complex matters, such as appeals.
Whether you represent a business employing migrant workers, or an educational institution looking for help with a sponsor licence, the lawyers at Latitude Law will be happy to guide you through the requirements of the PBS sponsorship schemes.
Just to thank you all for the help given with Bodil's EU Settlement Scheme application, which came through in the last few days.
A good friend of ours once said: "People do not employ lawyers because they help; they employ them because they make a difference".
I'm convinced that referral to Latitude did jolt the Home Office into progressing consideration of the application, and it made all the difference.
T & B.
To Gemma and the team, Thank you very much for your amazing job done. You are life savers.
The British passports of my four children successfully reached us this week.
I wanted to thank the Latitude Law Firm for the constant professional support provided to us throughout the process. Your services have been helpful for us at each stage of the process. We would be happy to hire you again in the future for the process of my husband, and would also recommend your firm to others around us.
Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to appreciate the hard work of Joel Reiss towards the successful completion of our case. His support for all of us from day 1 till the very last day has been commendable. Me and my children are very thankful to him for the smooth execution.
Looking forward to hiring the firm for our next case as well.
All content on this page was reviewed by Latitude Law and is accurate as of 08/09/2021