Following the announcement by the former Prime Minister, David Cameron, on 18th January 2016 that family route migrants will face a new stricter English language tests when they apply to extend their stay in the UK, the Home Office is due to implement this change from October 2016, when it will increase the English language requirement for non-EEA national partners and parents from A1 CEFR to A2 CEFR.

This will only concern migrants on a 5-year partner or parent route to settlement, applying for an extension of their leave after the expiry of the initial 2.5 years period in the UK. Primarily this change will affect migrants on a Spouse/Civil partner visa or leave to remain, who will now be applying for extension of their initial 2.5 year period of grant.

Under the current Rules, English language requirement for the initial applications (whether applying for entry clearance or leave to remain) is the same as for the extension applications, where level of English proficiency at or above level A1 CEFR is required. The applicants who satisfied the requirement during their initial application are deemed to satisfy the English language requirement for the extension, even if their English language certificate has expired.

Nonetheless, when applying for a settlement in the UK under this route, the current English language requirement is level B1 CEFR.

Surprisingly, since Home Office’s announcement on 21 January 2016, no specific date has been fixed  for the actual implementation of the new requirement.. We are still however expecting the changes to take effect in October this year. As usual, lawyers at Edmans & Co will keep a close eye on the developments.

Please refer to the below table from Trinity College website with the explanation of English proficiency required for each level. For more information please follow the following link: trinitycollege.com/SELT

English Language Requirement Family Route Migrants

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