New English Language Requirements for Family Members

November 2010

From 29 November 2010, any migrant from outside the European Economic Area will need to show that they can speak and understand English if they want to enter or extend their stay in the UK as the partner of a British citizen or someone settled in the UK.

The new requirement affects anyone applying as the husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner, same-sex partner, fiance(e) or proposed civil partner of a British citizen or a person settled in the UK. It covers those applying to extend their stay in the UK, as well as applicants from overseas. If the applicant is not a national of a majority English-speaking country or does not have a degree taught in English, he will need to pass an acceptable English language test with one of the UK Border Agency’s approved test providers.

In the test, the applicant will need to demonstrate a basic command of English (speaking and listening) at level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference. This is a basic level, which is judged to require 40 to 50 hours’ tuition for most learners. The applicant will not need to demonstrate reading and writing skills.

The UK Border Agency has released a video, to assist those making applications from 29 November. The video can be located at the Home Office’s youtube channel or by following the link below:

UK Border Agency Video

For further information please contact us at: or on 020 7495 3003