Citizenship and Living in the UK

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Prove your knowledge of English for citizenship and settling

Overview

You might need to prove your knowledge of the English language if you’re 18 or over and applying for citizenship or to settle in the UK (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’).

You can prove it by having either:

  • an English qualification at B1, B2, C1 or C2 level
  • a degree taught or researched in English

 

You do not need to prove your knowledge of English in certain circumstances.

Your citizenship or settlement application will be refused if you send the wrong qualifications.

If you need more time

If you’re already in the UK you may be able to extend your permission to stay, so that you can prove your knowledge of English.

Check the guide for your current visa for instructions on how to apply for an extension.

https://www.gov.uk/english-language

Who does not need to prove their knowledge of English

You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re:

  • aged 65 or over
  • unable to, because of a long-term physical or mental condition

 

You must provide a completed exemption form from a doctor confirming your physical or mental condition.

Nationalities that are exempt

You will not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a citizen of:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • Ireland (for citizenship only)
  • Malta
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

 

If you’re from a country that’s not on the list you’ll need to prove your knowledge of English, even if English is an official language.

If you’re applying for citizenship

There are no other exemptions if you’re applying to become a British citizen. You must have a relevant English language qualification even if you were exempt when you were granted settlement.

Exemptions if you’re applying to settle

You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re applying as:

  • a victim of domestic violence as the partner or spouse of a British citizen or someone settled in the UK
  • the partner or spouse of a person who has died who was either a British citizen or someone settled in the UK
  • an adult dependent relative between 18 and 64 of someone who is present and settled in the UK, is a refugee or has humanitarian protection
  • a refugee living in the UK
  • someone living in the UK with discretionary leave
  • someone living in the UK for with humanitarian protection
  • someone who has permission to stay in the UK as a retired person of independent means
  • a Commonwealth citizen on discharge from HM Forces, including Gurkhas
  • someone in exceptional circumstances, for example as an orphan, widow or over-age dependant

 

https://www.gov.uk/english-language/exemptions

Approved English language qualifications

You can prove your knowledge of English by having a recognised English test qualification from an approved test centre.

You need to have a certificate to prove you have the qualification, or be able to view your results online.

You can only use English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) qualifications if they’re on the list. You cannot use other qualifications, for example GCSEs, A levels or National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs).

If your qualification has run out

Some recognised test qualifications only last for 2 years. You can still use a B1 level qualification that you took more than 2 years ago in 2 situations.

Applying for citizenship

You can use a B1 level qualification that’s run out if you’re applying for citizenship and it was accepted when you settled in the UK.

It does not matter if the B1 level test you took is not on the current list of recognised tests. You do not need to take another test.

Applying to settle in the UK

You can use a B1 level qualification that’s run out if both of the following are true:

  • it’s on the current list of recognised tests
  • it was accepted for another UK immigration application, for example when you got permission to enter

 

https://www.gov.uk/english-language/approved-english-language-qualifications

If your degree was taught or researched in English

You can prove your knowledge of English by having a degree that was taught or researched in English.

If your degree is from a UK university, you only need your degree certificate.

If your degree is not from a UK university you’ll need:

  • a copy of your degree certificate
  • an Academic Qualification Level Statement (AQUALS) from UK NARIC confirming the degree is equivalent to a UK qualification.

If your degree is from a non-majority English-speaking country you’ll also need an English Language Proficiency Statement (ELPS) from UK NARIC confirming the degree was taught in English.

If you’ve lost your certificate or you’re waiting for graduation

You must have proof that you’ve passed your degree. This can be either:

  • an official transcript with your name, the name of the institution, your degree and confirmation of the award
  • an official letter from your university confirming it cannot reissue your certificate or when it will be issued

Your letter must include:

  • your name
  • your degree
  • the date the degree was or will be awarded

 

https://www.gov.uk/english-language/degrees-in-english

Approved test providers

If you are in the UK

You can only take a SELT with one of the following providers:

  • IELTS SELT Consortium
  • LanguageCert
  • Pearson
  • Trinity College London

 

If you are outside of the UK

You can only take a SELT with one of the following providers:

  • IELTS SELT Consortium
  • LanguageCert
  • Pearson
  • PSI Services (UK) Ltd

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/prove-your-english-language-abilities-with-a-secure-english-language-test-selt


SELT preparation
will be available upon request.

 

– SPEECH ETIQUETTE

#SELT   |   #IELTS   |   #ESOL   |   #EnglishLanguage

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