4 Exemptions For The A2 English Language Test

A2 English Language Test For Spouses (Husbands and Wives of UK Nationals)

The Spouse Visa is considered by many a very difficult English speaking and listening exam. It is only 6 minutes long however, over 86% of students who have not prepared for the exam fail first time. This is a problem as spouse visa extensions by the Home Office are time sensitive and a lot of families do not have time to waste. To what extent do students needs to practice before they reach the exam centre and who are exempt from these rules? This article will outline the A2 Spouse Visa exam and what the reader can do to make the exam easier for themselves.

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What is the English Language Test For Spouse Visa? 

On 29th November 2010, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) first introducethe requirement for the English language test. Foreign nationals who are have married a UK national have to prove they can speak and listen at a GESE Grade 2 level of English. Naturally, one would assume confidence will be the main aspect of the examiner’s criteria for passing in line with the UKBA’s requirements. This will ensure that the candidate has sufficient knowledge and in-depth skills in listening and speaking to integrate into everyday life. Thus, all the visa applicants who do not carry sufficient knowledge of English language (as mentioned below in the exemptions) are required to pass this mandatory English language test for spouses in order to qualify for visa under the settlement category. 

Here is the list of the current exam centres:

Why Are Some People Exempt From The English Language Test? 

Since 2010, list of approved providers for the English language test has been updated many times however the exemption list has never been  changed by the Home Office. Furthermore, the Life in the UK test (which will be needed after 5 years of residence along with a B1 English test) has similar exemptions however it is best to speak to a teacher first before sending your Home Office application just to double check. Trinity College London conducts this English language test for spouses in their test centres as it is just a test for listening and speaking which the entire process lasts only for 60 minutes including ID checks and waiting time (30 minutes beforehand).


You can still take a test outside of the UK however this article does not cover those centres or their procedures. For the citizens who apply for a UK settlement visa to join their partners within the United Kingdom then these exam centre are suitable (Just google Trinity College London SELTs booking) Those who are not required to pass the English language test for spouses may provide other reasons however the Home Office approved exemptions are as follows:  

  • If age of the applicant is under 18 or more than 65 at the time of application 
  • If the applicant has a degree of Bachelor’s or higher which was taught in English 
  • If the applicant is a citizen of a majority English speaking country, defined by the UKBA 
  • From meeting the English language test physical or mental incapacity can prevent the applicant  

Why Should Every Foreign National Spouses Improve Their English And Prepare For The English Language Test In The UK? 

The student will be completing numerous English exams over the course of their residency in the UK. Many students and their families have concerns over the contents of English language test for spouses such as passing scores, what will test involves or whether they will pass the test successfully or not. The English language test has been set at the 3 levels by the UK Border Agency i.e. A1 English language test or ESOL entry level 1, A2 English language test or ESOL entry level 2 and ESOL entry level 3 or B1 CEFR English language course in listening and speaking for British passport or British Citizenship and Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Furthermore, the student will need to pass the Life in the UK test at 5 years of residency. Thus, it is vital the the student receives English training as soon as possible when entering into the UK so as to support and prepare them for life during their marriage.

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The Home Office have set these exams not as barriers but to push newly wed arrivals into English classes which in turn allows for easier integration in British society. At Fast Track Training the teacher’s do not like to see students suffer and recognise the barriers faced by newly arrived husbands and wives. If you feel you would like advice, guidance or support in preparing for your Spouse Visa Extension A2 Exam please do not hesitate to contact us on 07768279709.

Read Our Reviews

Marian Berbecila
Marian Berbecila
After joining the classes for the Gedling Knowledge Test got my certificate within weeks. The teachings are very interactive and very detailed, excellent teachers and very knowledgeable always available to answer your questions and guide through. I would like to thank Mr Rahil for his availability all the time, for his professionalism and patient. I would rate this 10/10 and recommend to everyone who wants to pass the Gedling Knowledge Test. Thank you once again Fast Track and thank you Mr Rahil.
Kelly Luz
Kelly Luz
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Tasawar Hussain
Tasawar Hussain
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De Le
De Le
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Arijeta Hasani
Arijeta Hasani
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Pandis Namdar
Pandis Namdar
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Elisheva Shalom
Elisheva Shalom
I strongly recommend any courses from Fast Track as it was my second course with them after accomplish successfully the life in the UK test on 17th April 2021. Therefore, 3 days of passing I decided to enrol in another course with them called Driving Theory Test Training, which they help me to pass my theory test first attempt on 3rd June 2021 in just 3 weeks of online training. In addition, from my point of view it is the best place for you to consider in taking any kind of courses from Fast Track Training related to your desire. I just don’t have words to say thank you to my teachers such as Mr Gazin and Mr Rahil as they motivated me a lot by giving me online group training via zoom twice a week, but if you are not able to attend a group session they also got one-to-one session. Furthermore, the teachers are fully trained and have been teaching for over 10 years, which they are confident in giving you the support you need in order to pass your theory test first time like me, such as motivation, explanation and confidence as well as knowledge and online training from the platform plus online training via zoom. Also, I have been told from Mr Rahil, who is one of the teachers from Fast Track Training that in the future they gonna produce recorded videos explaining any gaps from each topics besides mock tests. Give a chance to yourself in passing your theory test first time with Fast Track Training! That’s very kind indeed, one more time Fast Track Training, to be honest I am more than happy in doing my second review! Elizabete
Zak Mohammed
Zak Mohammed
I hired fast track training for my wifes A2 test preparation and from the first telephone call till the end they were very professional. The 121 training was ideal for my wifes preparation and she passed the exam in Leicester first time. Which was a massive relief for the visa process. The classes were on time and flexible. My wife really enjoyed the experience and her confidence grew with each lesson. Rahil is a great professional. Massive family way of working.

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