Search

How can we help?

Icon

English Language Requirements for Spouse Visa

The UK spouse visa requirements are governed by Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. There are numerous requirements, however this blog will only focus on the English language requirement.

The Home Office requires an applicant to possess a good knowledge of English language. An applicant can meet the English language requirement by one of the following:

1. The applicant is a national of a majority English speaking country, namely:

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; or the United States of America.

2. The applicant has passed an English language test in speaking and listening at a specified minimum level (see below) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages with a provider approved by the Home Office. The level of proficiency will depend on the stage of the spouse visa:

  • Entry clearance – minimum of level A1
  • Leave to remain – minimum of level A2
  • Settlement – minimum of level B1

3. The applicant has an academic qualification which is either a Bachelor’s, Master’s degree or PhD awarded by an educational establishment in the UK.

However, if the applicant gained their qualifications from outside of the UK, the institution must be deemed by a UK National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) to meet or exceed the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD in the UK. Importantly, it is required that UK NARIC has confirmed that the degree was taught or researched in English to level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages or above.

4. The applicant is exempt from the English language requirement if at the date of the application any of the following applies:

  • the applicant is aged 65 or over;
  • the applicant has a disability (physical or mental condition) which prevents the applicant from meeting the requirement; or
  • there are exceptional circumstances which prevent the applicant from being able to meet the requirement prior to entry to the UK.

The Home Office requires an applicant to possess a good knowledge of English language

About this article

Disclaimer
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

About this article

Read, listen and watch our latest insights

art
  • 12 June 2024
  • Privacy and Data Protection

UK data protection: Important basics

Sometimes, data protection can seem like unhelpful red tape. At other times, it is critical to cultivating a trustworthy reputation.

art
  • 11 June 2024
  • Immigration

UK Immigration Roundup – May to June 2024

As the UK approaches the upcoming general election, immigration remains a focal issue in political discussions. The Conservative party’s recent proposal to cap visas for skilled migrant workers has alarmed various industries who are concerned that a limit to migration could harm vital sectors of the UK economy.

Pub
  • 06 June 2024
  • Employment

Talking Employment Law: What does the new Worker Protection Act 2023 mean for employers?

In this podcast, Lucy Densham Brown and Shauna Jones, members of the employment team, will review the new Worker Protection Act 2023 and provide some guidance on how employers should review their policies in preparation for October.

art
  • 03 June 2024
  • Commercial Real Estate

Sustainability and commercial property: green leases  

Climate change is considered by many the biggest threat we are facing today. With the UK said to have one of the oldest housing/building stocks, the focus on a building’s environmental performance and sustainability has never been more critical.

art
  • 03 June 2024
  • Employment

Using AI technologies in recruitment: is it fair and transparent?

In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, where artificial intelligence (AI) plays an increasingly pivotal role in HR and recruitment processes, ensuring responsible and ethical implementation is paramount.

Pub
  • 03 June 2024
  • Employment

Navigating the Labour Party’s New Deal for Working People: Legal implications and opportunities

Join Monica Atwal and Amanda Glover, for this in-person seminar on ‘Navigating the Labour Party’s New Deal for Working People: Legal Implications and Opportunities’ at our Reading office on Thursday, 20th June.