Partners: the English-language requirement
Produced in partnership with Jo Renshaw of Turpin & Miller LLP
Partners: the English-language requirement

The following Immigration guidance note Produced in partnership with Jo Renshaw of Turpin & Miller LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Partners: the English-language requirement
  • Transitional arrangements relating to the A2 CEFR requirement
  • Ways of meeting the requirement
  • A national of a majority English-speaking country
  • Have passed an English language test in speaking and listening at the prescribed level
  • Hold a recognised academic qualification taught in English
  • Exemptions
  • What if there is no approved A1 test centre in the applicant partner’s country?
  • Met the requirement in a previous application for leave as a partner or parent
  • Quick reference table: initial applications

All overseas and in-country applicant partners seeking initial leave as a partner (including as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner) under Appendix FM must provide prescribed evidence that they either meet or are exempt from the English-language requirement. The only exceptions are where they are applying for leave to remain in the UK and fall within the exceptions set out in the Immigration Rules, Appendix FM, para EX.1, or, where they are applying either for entry clearance or leave to remain, under the residual cases ‘Exceptional circumstances’ provisions found in the Immigration Rules, Appendix FM, para GEN.3.2. Paras EX.1 and GEN.3.2 are two arms of the ten-year route to settlement.

Persons who obtained initial leave as a partner under Part 8 (as they applied on or before 8 July 2012) and who are seeking to extend their stay under Part 8 will have to provide evidence that they meet the relevant English-language requirement. This is the case whether or not they met an English-language requirement in their previous application. The English-language requirement in Part 8 largely mirrors the requirement in Appendix FM, and Part 8 applicants are required to provide the same specified evidence listed in Appendix FM-SE.

Guidance on the English-language requirement under Appendix FM can be found in the Immigration Directorate Instructions (IDIs).

The minimum level of English language required to obtain