Every year, thousands of migrants to the UK are required to prove that they meet the English language standard required by the Home Office. Not all UK immigration applicants have to prove they meet the requirement, including nationals of Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. Also exempt are those under 18 or over 65, people with degrees (or higher) taught or researched in English, and people with certain physical or cognitive conditions. When applying for settlement, applicants who are victims of domestic violence as the partner or spouse of a British citizen or someone settled in the UK, refugees, and people with discretionary leave are also exempt.
Those who are not exempt will need to provide evidence as part of their application that they meet the required standard, which is where the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) becomes relevant.
According to the CEFR website, the Common European Framework “provides a common basis for the elaboration of language syllabuses, curriculum guidelines, examinations, textbooks, etc. across Europe. It describes in a comprehensive way what language learners have to learn to do in order to use a language for communication and what knowledge and skills they have to develop so as to be able to act effectively. The description also covers the cultural context in which language is set. The Framework also defines levels of proficiency which allow learners’ progress to be measured at each stage of learning and on a life-long basis”.
The CEFR is in no way limited to the English language, rather it is available in 40 languages. From an immigration standpoint, by using the CEFR, the Home Office can be assured that when an applicant provides a certificate of proficiency, they meet the standard required. Part of the role of the CEFR is to ensure that individuals can be educated and tested to a set proficiency level.
When enquiring about the eligibility requirements for your visa or for settlement, you will no doubt have seen reference to letters and numbers such as A1, B1, or C1. They will also specify whether the level must be met for reading, writing, speaking, and/or listening. The English language requirement for a Tier 2 work visa, for example, states that applicants must have passed “an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening”. You may not, however, understand what these letters and numbers mean; these are defined by the CEFR as follows:
Each of the levels is split into smaller levels:
For a more detailed understanding of the difference between each level, more details can be found on the CEFR website. As users pass from A1 to C2, they are progressing from basic and concrete use of English for speaking and listening only, to speaking, writing, reading, and understanding in a highly nuanced, flexible, and spontaneous manner.
There are only four approved providers which operate testing centres both in the UK and internationally, namely:
Each of these testing companies provides exams that meet the different CEFR levels.
The Home Office website provides a list of 55 secure English language test centres in the UK and 577 outside of the UK.
The Home Office webpage for the specific type of leave you are applying for will outline the CEFR level to be met. For example, applicants for a Tier 4 (General) student visa for a course below degree level must pass an English language proficiency test at level B1 in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Once students reach the degree level, however, they are expected to pass the B2 level test.
Applicants using the family visa route (i.e. for a Spouse/partner, or parent of a dependant) will initially need to prove they meet the A1 level for speaking and listening, but when they apply to extend their visa after 2.5 years in the UK, they are required to have increased their proficiency to level A2.
Applicants for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and citizenship must meet the B1 level for speaking and listening.
Before proceeding down the path of meeting the English language requirement, it is always recommended that you check if you are exempt from doing so. Many applicants are unaware that due to their age, qualifications, or their country of origin, they do not need to satisfy this requirement. Another important consideration is to ensure that when applying, you do not simply rely on a certificate of proficiency you have used in the past, as when applying to extend or for ILR, you may need to meet a higher level than you originally met. And at any point, if you are unsure if you do meet the English language requirements, it is recommended that you seek the advice and support of immigration Solicitors before submitting your application. Doing so may save you both money and time, and will provide greater certainty as to your situation.
It's a shame that you dont have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards.
I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind.
TI have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, i was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that i wasnt disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle thier case, contact Reiss Edwards.
My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly.
I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.
Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them.
I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.
530 ReviewsREAD ALL REVIEWS