Non-EEA nationals wishing to enter the UK under the various categories in the Immigration Rules must be aware of the relevant immigration and visa requirements, including those for English language skills, and we set out an overview below.
There are several visa categories that do not impose any language requirements on non-EEA applicants, such as:
Tier 1 Investor;
Tier 1 Exceptional Talent;
Tier 2 (Intra-company transfer);
Tier 4 (Child) Student;
Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme);
Tier 5 (Temporary worker); and
Please note that if you are 65 or over, or unable to satisfy the English language criteria because of a long-term physical or mental condition, you may be exempt from proving this requirement. Alternatively, you will not need to satisfy the English language requirement if you are from a majority English speaking country – please do contact us for details. Please also note that different rules apply for settlement and citizenship applications.
Non-EEA nationals who wish to apply for a visa as a Representative of an Overseas Business will need to pass an approved English language test to at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening, or have an academic qualification that was taught in English and which is recognized by UK NARIC. (CEFR is the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) and Tier 2 (General) visa categories both require non-EEA nationals to prove their knowledge of English by either passing an approved English Language test to at least CEFR Level B1, or having an academic qualification that was taught in English and which is recognized by UK NARIC.
Finally, non-EEA nationals who plan to apply for the Innovator and Start-up visas must prove their knowledge of English by either passing an approved English Language test to at least CEFR Level B2, or having an academic qualification that was taught in English and which is recognized by UK NARIC.
Please also note that the English language requirement for Tier 4 (General) Student visas depends on each Higher Education Institution’s (HEI) specific requirements.
Even though there is an exemption to prove the English language requirement for certain visa categories, you will be required to prove your knowledge of English if you are 18 or over and are eligible to apply for British citizenship or to settle in the UK (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’ or ‘ILR’).
Gherson can advise and assist all non-EEA nationals with respect to UK immigration and visa related matters. We deal with all visa categories and can provide specific immigration solutions suited to your individual requirements. Please contact us should you wish to discuss your situation in detail.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.