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11 March 2021

What are the English language requirements for my UK visa?

A common question for UK visa applicants is whether you need to meet the English language requirements, and how. Woodcock Law has the answers below from Home Office.
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
What are the English Language Requirements for my UK visa?

By Papia Kabir

Legal Intern

For immigration matters including visa or citizenship applications, you will need to satisfy the English language requirements.

You must prove you can read, write, speak and understand English to at least level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale. Proof can be provided in the following ways:

  • Passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider
  • Having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English; they must have been gained by studying at a UK school when you were under 18
  • Having a degree-level academic qualification that was taught in English. For applicants who studied abroad, you will need to apply for confirmation through UK ENIC that your qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD.

Visas that have English language requirements

There are two types of tests that can be taken, depending on your application route.

  1. The following application routes will need to take a test that assesses your reading, writing, speaking and listening abilities: Innovator Visa, Health and Care Worker Visa, Skilled Worker Visa, Minister of Religion Visa or Student Visa.
  2. The following application routes will need to take a test that assesses your speaking and listening abilities: Sportsperson, Representative of an Overseas Business, Partner, Parent, Settlement or Citizenship.
You will not need to prove your knowledge of the English language if you have already provided proof in a previously successful application.

If you are unsure about whether your visa has English language requirements, do not hesitate to contact us.

What to do next if you are required to take an English language test

  • Find an approved test provider either in the UK or outside of the UK, depending on your geographical location. UK providers include: IELTS SELT Consortium, LanguageCert, Pearson and Trinity College London. Providers outside the UK include: IELTS SELT Consortium, LanguageCert, Pearson, PSI Services (UK) Ltd. 
  • Find an approved test which satisfies the following criteria: your test must be on the list of approved English language tests, have been sat at an approved test location and have been awarded in the two years before the date of your application.
  • Find an approved test centre by checking the SELT provider’s website. A list of approved test centres can be found on the Government’s website.
  • Book an English language test with your provider.
  • Provide evidence of your identity on the test day. Contact the Home Office if you do not have a valid identity document.
  • Sit the test!

Next steps after you have passed the English language test

After you pass the test, you will be provided with a SELT unique reference number. You will need this reference number when completing your immigration application.

Your test results will be valid for two years from the date the test is awarded.

Our services

At Woodcock Law, our legal experts can help you with your visa application.

Depending on what you are coming to the UK for, we can help you decide what the best visa would be for you. 

You can arrange a free-consultation, which can then be followed by a longer paid consultation. For more information, visit our webpage on what to expect when you have your consultation meeting.

Contact us

If you need our help, get in touch for your free 10-minute consultation today.

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If you have any questions about the changes or want legal advice, contact
Woodcock Law & Notary Public today. Contact us by phone on 0330 133 6490 or
by email at info@woodcocklaw.co.uk.

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