If you wish to settle in the UK or want to marry your British citizen spouse or a permanent resident in the United Kingdom, you will need to pass a UK English language test (ESOL A1) with an approved test provider. If you are not an EU citizen, you will need to show that you can speak, read, talk and understand the English language if you want to apply under one of the following categories to join your spouse or partner living in the UK.
- Unmarried Partner
- Husband or wife
- Civil Partner
- Same-Sex Partner
- Proposed Civil Partner
Different universities require different UK English language test scores and even within institutions, these are often higher for courses such as law and medicine. You will also need to meet the requirements of the UK Border Agency (UKBA) if you require a student visa. Each of the following English language exams is accepted by most countries and many institutions around the world including government agencies, multinational companies, universities and professional and industry bodies. They are approved by the UK Border Agency for entry into the United Kingdom.
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
- Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)
- Cambridge English Language Assessment
UK English Language Test Requirements
From 23rd July 2010, the minimum English language test will be at level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). This is the situation before the judgment in the Judicial Review case. There will be exemptions to the minimum English language level. The exemptions will apply if you are a government-sponsored language student. If you are undertaking an English language course to improve your English before your degree course.
Exemption To the UK English Language Test
Many applicants of this test express concern over the content of the test, like what the test involves, and whether they will be able to pass the test successfully or not. Do not worry. The UKBA has set the English language test at the A1 standard level of the CEFR i.e., the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
You do not need to give an English language test if:
- The applicant is aged 65 or over or under 18 at the time of application
- The applicant has a bachelor’s degree or higher degree which was taught in the English language
- The applicant is a citizen of a majority English-speaking country as defined by the UKBA
- If the applicant has mental or physical incapacity or exceptional compassionate circumstances
These conditions would prevent the applicant from meeting the English language test requirement.