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10 January 2024

Using your degree as proof of English ability

As part of your proof of English requirements for a visa, citizenship or naturalisation, you can use a degree taught in English. Find out more in our guide.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
A university degree for proof of English in a library, on a table of books with a graduation cap

Applying for a visa, citizenship, or naturalisation and trying to meet all the requirements can be a daunting task. As part of your application, you will need to show that you meet the proof of English language ability requirements. There are different ways you can prove your proficiency, such as by passing a Secure English Language Test at an approved provider. 

A degree taught in English can also act as proof of your English ability, and would be quicker and more convenient than doing a test. In this guide, we will tell you how you can use your degree as proof.

It should be noted that people from certain countries do not need to provide proof of their English language ability. 

A degree from the UK for proof of English ability

Those who have studied for a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or a PhD in the UK in English, can use it as proof that they meet the English language requirements. Your qualification cannot be lower than a bachelor’s degree. The degree cannot be a technical degree that focussed on practical work – it must be an academic degree. 

The institution who awarded the degree must be recognised in the UK, so as to prove the degree was actually issued in the UK. 

If your degree is from an English-speaking country

Degrees equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, or ones above, can be used to meet the English language requirements if it is from a English majority speaking country. This does not include Canada even though they are a majority English speaking country, as some degrees there are taught in French. 

To prove that your degree is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or above, you will need to use the Ecctis Visas and Nationality services. They will issue you with a letter that proves your degree’s level is equivalent to UK degree levels.

Like with degrees from the UK, you must have an academic degree, not a technical one. 

The countries this section applies to are: 

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • the British overseas territories
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • Ireland (only for citizenship; Irish citizens do not need visas to enter the UK)
  • Malta
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

A degree from a non-English majority speaking country

There are situations where you can use a degree from countries that are not majority English speakers. This includes Canada. Like with the above situations, it must be an academic degree.

You will need to use the Ecctis Visa and Nationality service like those in the previous situation. If your application to Ecctis is successful, you will be given a letter that proves: 

  • Your degree is equivalent to a UK degree
  • That your qualification is academic
  • That your degree was taught in English

How we can help

Here at Woodcock Law, our expert legal team can help you with any issues related to immigration. If you need help with your visa application, or naturalisation and citizenship, then they can help you.

You can get in touch with us for a free 10-minute consultation to share your issue with us, you can then have a longer, paid consultation where we provide you with advice. Your case will be managed by one of our experts for the whole time it is ongoing.

Additionally, if you need your degree from abroad verified so it can be used as proof, then our sister company Woodcock Notary Public can help. Your degree certificate will be verified by our Notary Public, so that then it will be accepted as a valid certificate. Then, you can use it as proof of your English language ability.

Ready for assistance?

If you have any questions, or want to book an appointment with one of our legal experts, contact Woodcock Law today. Call us on +44 (0)20 7712 1705 or email

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