English language requirement in work, study and business categories

The following Immigration practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • English language requirement in work, study and business categories
  • English language test
  • National or citizen of a country on the specified list of English-speaking countries
  • Met in a previous application
  • Academic qualification which was taught or researched in English
  • GCSE, A level or equivalent in English
  • Skilled Workers: registration of health professionals
  • Additional options for Students
  • Assessed by a higher education provider
  • Exemption due to disability
  • More...

English language requirement in work, study and business categories

Most work, study and business categories of the post-Brexit immigration system have an English language requirement which applies to applications for entry clearance and permission to stay. In some cases, main applicants will be required to meet an English language requirement also at the settlement stage, while all dependant partners and dependant children applying for settlement will need to meet one. This Practice Note sets out the alternative ways that applicants can meet this requirement.

Applicants must demonstrate English language ability at a specified level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The specified level, and which ‘components’ of ability are required (listening, speaking, writing, reading), will depend on the category applied for, and are set out in the Immigration Rules for the relevant category. The ways that the applicant can show that they meet this level, in the relevant components, are set out in the Immigration Rules, Appendix English Language, as supplemented by relevant guidance. Note that the categories to which the Appendix applies are listed at the top of the Appendix.

There are four ways in which an applicant can meet the English language requirement which are common to all categories. These are by:

  1. passing an English language test to the relevant level and in the relevant components

  2. being a national or citizen

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