UK Immigration Update: English Language Tests Change From 6 April 2015

Today, UK Visas and Immigration announced (UKVI) changes to the Secure English Language Tests (SELT) for individuals obtaining a visa to come to the UK. If you are coming to the UK as a student, a spouse or to work, you are required to have a minimum level of A1 or B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) in speaking and listening for a UKVI approved centre. 

Home Office Approves IELTS & Trinity College English Tests

From 6 April 2015, City & Guilds IESOL, ESOL and ISESOL qualifications and Pearson Test of English Academic will not be amongst the approved English language tests by the Home Office. Instead the new test providers are:

  • Trinity College London, for individuals applying for a visa in the UK.
  • IELTS SELT Consortia, for a individuals making visa application in or outside the UK.

It should be noted that individuals that take one of the current approved English language tests before 5 April 2015, will be valid until November 2015. Any of these English tests taken after this date will be deemed invalid.

One of the reasons for the change in English language tests is due to BBC Panorama broadcasting a programme highlighting the  fraudulent measures that visa applicants take when sitting Educational Testing Services TOEIC English language tests. For this reason the Home Office decided not to renew the ETS licence after the expiry of their licence was made public in April 2014.

Trinity College of London’s Chief Executive, Sarah Kemp, commented on the Home Office’s changes:

“The Home Office have done an extensive piece of work, and not just the bid process – there was a very extensive due diligence aspect to it as well. The Home Office has gone through a huge level of detail not only concerning what the tests themselves contain but how the tests are delivered, the kind of security arrangements that are in place.”

Meeting the Home Office’s English Language Requirement

If you are applying for a UK visa that requires you to prove your level of English, our expert Immigration Solicitors will be able to guide you. You can prove your knowledge of English by either:

  • Passing an approved English language test at the required level (varies depending on the visa) in reading, writing, speaking and listening; or
  • Having an academic qualification that has been taught in English and is recognised as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree.

Furthermore, you may be exempt or are able to show to meet the English language requirement in other ways. Find out more by booking a consultation with our Solicitors who are based in central London. A detailed consultation will ensure that you leave with a greater understanding of what is required of you to make a successful visa application.

Are you affected by the Home Office’s ‘English Language Requirement’?

If you would like to discuss how the English language requirement may affect you, call one of our immigration solicitors in London who will be able to assist you by meeting with you and reviewing your case. There are many providers but many have had their visas refused for taking tests with rogue providers. Contact us/instruct us so we can review your case and ensure you have the correct documentary evidence in place in this regard.

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