English Language Requirements for British Citizenship & Indefinite Leave
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04/03/2021
English Language Requirements for British Citizenship

What are the English Language Requirements for British Citizenship and Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)?

To become a British citizen or to settle in the UK (indefinite leave to remain), the required British Citizenship English language test is B1 SELT of the CEFR.  This test is one of the Home Office’s lists of approved English Language requirements for British citizenship (naturalisation) applications.

To prove your proficiency in the English language, you will need to pass a Secure English Language Test (SELT) in at least CEFR level B1 in Speaking and Listening.

In this article, we will discuss, some helpful things you should keep in mind when preparing to take a British citizenship English language test.

 

English Language Requirements for British Citizenship

Which specific type of tests do I need to apply for UK Citizenship or ILR? 

Below tests are required for UK Citizenship or ILR: 

  • Speaking and Listening in English test (Offered by Trinity College London)
    Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE), Available at levels A1, A2, and B1  
  • Life in the UK Test

Applicants for settlement and citizenship must prove that they have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK.  It is a legal requirement by Home Office for every individual, regardless of their nationality or for how long they have lived in the UK.

In order to meet the British citizenship English language requirement, you can select the above tests at the levels you need for your UK visa requirements.

However, as per UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), to qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the UK or British nationality(naturalisation), one needs to pass a Secure English Language Test (SELT) in speaking and listening at level B1.

At Bright Learning Centre, we offer B1 SELT GESE Grade 5 Test Preparation in Leicester which is Classroom-based. We also offer these classes online via Zoom, so you can learn with us anywhere in the UK. We have a 100% success rate for this exam and all our students have passed their B1 test first time.

We also offer Life in The UK classes in different languages to help our learners prepare for the test with full understanding of Life in the UK test.

Are you Exempt from The English Language Requirement When Applying for A UK Visa? 

If you are applying for naturalisation with an English language requirement, you may be exempt from taking and passing the exam if any of the following apply:

  • Exemption due to age – If you are under 18 years of age or aged 65 or over, you will not be required to meet the English language requirement which means you are exempt. 
  • Exemption due to a physical or mental condition – If you are having a physical or mental condition, then you do not need to sit the B1 exam. You will normally be considered exempt if you are deaf, or a person without speech that limits your capability to communicate in English.  

However, each application that claims exemption from the English language requirement due to a physical or mental disability will be considered on its own merits.

What are the different ways you can meet the English Language Requirements for British Citizenship? 

To meet the British citizenship English language requirement, there can be a number of different ways: 

  1. The most common way is to take an exam from the SELT List of Home Office approved English language tests which are required for a settlement or citizenship application and to pass the B1 level for English speaking and listening of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
  2. Another way to meet the English language requirement is by getting a degree taught in English. The simplest way to meet this requirement is to submit an original degree certificate from a UK university. Though, overseas qualifications can be equally valid, while UK NARIC will need to evaluate the qualification to confirm that its level is satisfactory and that it was an English-taught degree.
  3. Citizenship of a majority English-speaking country – The last option to meet the English language requirement is by being a citizen of a majority English-speaking country. UK Visas and Immigration has compiled a list of countries and nationals of those countries are automatically accepted as English speakers. If you are a citizen of any of those countries, then there is no need to take the English test. The only evidence they need is a passport from your home nation.

How much does the British Citizenship English language and Life in the UK test cost? 

  • The GESE Grade 5 – B1 SELT Trinity exam costs £150.

This fee is for one attempt at passing the test. If you do not pass the test, then you need to pay another £150 for the next attempt.

  • Life in the UK Test costs £50.

This fee is for one attempt at passing the test. If you do not pass the test, then you need to pay another £50 for the next attempt.

What documents do I need to provide to prove that I am exempted from the tests? 

  1. For applicants aged 65 years old and above who are exempted to take the test, must provide documents that include a passport, EEA identity card (for naturalisation purposes), or birth certificate.
  2. For applicants with mental and physical disabilities who are exempted to take the test, must provide a medical waiver pro forma, which is completed by a medical practitioner registered with the General Medical Council.

What documents do I need to meet the English Language requirements? 

  1. For applicants who passed a Home Office-approved English language test, need to provide the unique reference number of your exam or a copy of your test certificate.
  2. For applicants with an English-taught degree from an English-speaking majority country, need to provide an Academic Qualification Level Statement (AQUALS) from UK NARIC.
  3. For applicants with a degree taught in English from an English non-majority country, need to provide an English Language Proficiency Statement (ELPS) from UK NARIC which confirms that their degree passes the UK standard.

Need to take the Life in the UK Test and B1 English Test as part of your application for British citizenship or ILR? We can help you pass the exam with FREE online study materials & practice tests. Book your course today!  

 

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