English requirement for fiancé, prospective civil partner, spouse, civil partner or same sex/unmarried partner

Those seeking entry or an extension of stay in the UK in a relationship based category must demonstrate that they can understand and communicate in spoken English to the level of A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference, (broadly equivalent to the level of a child of 5 years old for whom English is a first language).

There are a number of ways to satisfy this requirement:

Provide an original English language test certificate in speaking and listening from an English language test provider approved by the Secretary of State for these purposes, which clearly shows the applicant’s name and the qualification obtained

It is not necessary to sit an English language test where:

1. the applicant is a national of one of the following 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; or

2. the applicant has obtained an academic qualification(not a professional or vocational qualification), which is deemed by UK NARIC to meet the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD in the UK, from an educational establishment in one of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; The Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Ireland; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and The Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; the UK; the USA; and provides the specified documents; or

3. the applicant has obtained an academic qualification (not a professional or vocational qualification) which is deemed by UK NARIC to meet the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD in the UK, and

(a) provides the specified evidence to show he has the qualification, and

(b) UK NARIC has confirmed that the qualification was taught or researched in English, or

4. has obtained an academic qualification (not a professional or vocational qualification) which is deemed by UK NARIC to meet the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD in the UK, and provides the specified evidence to show:

(a) he has the qualification, and

(b) that the qualification was taught or researched in English.

There are certain circumstances in which an individual can be wholly exempt from the English language requirement; specifically, if:

(a) the applicant is aged 65 or over at the time of making the application; or

(b) the applicant has a physical or mental condition which prevents him or her from meeting the requirement; or

(c) there are exceptional compassionate circumstances which would prevent the applicant from meeting the requirement.

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