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New English language requirement: family route

Posted by Ruken Sahin on December 06, 2016

New English language requirement: family route

Earlier this year, David Cameron announced the government’s intention to introduce a new English language requirement for family migrants (parent’s/partner’s). This applies to those who are seeking to extend their leave in the UK on a five-year route to settlement under the Immigration Rules.

The new requirement is set to come into force from 01/05/17 and will only apply to those whose leave as a partner or parent is due to expire on or after the proposed date.  The purpose of this change is to promote and encourage migrants to integrate into British society.

The English language qualification (speaking and listening), the provider (i.e. Trinity College London or IELTS SELT Consortium) and the test centre must be on the Secretary of State’s approved list.

The change will not affect:

  • Those whose leave is due to expire before this date
  • Partners who are applying for further leave to remain under the 10 year partner or parent routes to settlement
  • Those who qualified for an A2 level English language test (exceeding the required level A1) upon making an application for leave to enter the UK so long as the test is on the current list of approved English language tests and centres

Applicant’s can rely on the following exemptions:

  • They hold a degree which is taught or researched in English;
  • they are a national of a majority speaking country;
  • they are aged 65 or over;
  • they have a disability which prevents or hinders their ability to take the test;
  • there are exceptional circumstances which prevent or hinder their ability to take the test

Those who fail to meet the A2 English language test requirements are likely to qualify for further leave to remain under the 10 year partner, parent or private life route to settlement.