English Language Requirements For Spouse Visa UK

English Language Requirements For Spouse Visa UK

One of the main criteria requirements of the Spouse Visa is having a good knowledge of the English language. You may be wondering how you can prove this (or perhaps even if you even need to) and what the specific requirements of this vital eligibility criteria may entail. Well in this article we are going to look at this vital piece of the Spouse Visa puzzle and help you to figure out what you need to have to ensure that your Spouse Visa application passes without incident, allowing you to live in the UK with your spouse. If you do need to get qualified, we will also point you in the right direction as to the qualifications that you need in order to meet the level required.

Why Do I Need To Have A Basic Minimum English Language Level?

As a majority English speaking country and the country where the language came from, the United Kingdom relies heavily on the English language. While there is certainly help available in the form of translation services, living in the United Kingdom day to day without having a great grasp of the English language is going to be tough - some might say impossible. From simple things like driving around to more complicated things such as legal matters, day to day life in the UK could be extremely tough for those who do not speak even a reasonable level of English.

Another reason for the insistence of English language skill is the potential for segregated communities. Some communities in the UK have become somewhat isolated due to the inherent lack of English language ability in them. This has created a situation where communities cannot possibly integrate with each other, creating pockets of isolation that are not good for the UK as a whole. Divided communities can create social unrest and a breakdown in relations between the indigenous population and new ones that are moving in. The government is desperate to prevent this happening in the future. By ensuring that all of those who move to the UK have strong language skills, the government has done what they can to prevent the increase of the problem.

What Are The English Language Requirements For A Spouse Visa?

There are in essence three ways that you can pass the requirement for English language on a Spouse Visa, these are as follows:

Exemption route

There are several situations in which you may not need to prove your English language skill, these are as follows:

  • You are over 65 years of age
  • You have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from meeting the requirement

You will also not need to prove your English language skill if you come from any 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
  • USA

Academic route

You may not need to prove your English language skill if you have an academic background. If you have a degree or academic qualification that was taught or researched in English then you may well be exempt. Also, if your qualification is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelors degree or higher then you may also be exempt. You will need to obtain a certificate from UK NARIC confirming this. You will need to send this with your application.

Qualification route

If you cannot get an exemption for the English language requirement of the Spouse Visa then you will need to pass a CEFR qualification in order to satisfy the requirement. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is an international standard that allows students to prove their degree of proficiency in a language. It breaks down student ability into different levels so that it is easy to understand their current level of proficiency. The current minimum standard for someone applying for a Spouse Visa is a level A1 in speaking and writing. This is a basic level that shows that the student has a basic understanding of the language. If you wish to extend your stay in the UK at a later date, you will need to be able to pass at least a CEFR level A2 to show continuing improvement in line with the time that you have been in the country.

Where Can I Get Qualified?

In order to gain the level that you need to satisfy the requirements of the Spouse Visa, you must gain a certificate from an approved source. In the UK there are many such approved learning providers, a list of which is available on the gov.uk website. It is vital that you use one of these approved providers as this ensures a level of quality that meets the expectations of the Home Office. The approved companies have already been vetted to ensure that they deliver consistent quality and can provide a guarantee that your English language skills are genuine.

For many people who are looking to study for a CEFR A1 level, IELTS is going to be the most popular route. The company has a long history of providing training and examinations for those who are looking to move to the UK and are certainly somewhere that is worth looking for those who wish to gain a certificate in English competence to support their visa application. If you have any questions about studying, please get in touch and we can help.

Where Can I Get More Help?

If you need help with proving your English language skills or just need some immigration advice then please get in touch. Our team of experienced immigration specialists have lots of experience in sending students in the right direction for their studies and can no doubt help you. So for more information or help, get in touch today and our team can help.


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