A Guide to Appendix English Language
In this article we look at how UK visa applicants can meet the English Language requirement for visa applications under Appendix English Language. We look at who needs to meet the Appendix English Language requirement, how to meet the Appendix English Language requirement and who is exempt from meeting the requirement.
Who Needs to Meet the Appendix English Language Requirement?
Applications under the following immigration categories, to which Appendix English Language is applicable, will need to prove that the Appendix English Language requirement has been met:
- Skilled Worker;
- Representative of an Overseas Business;
- T2 Minister of Religion;
- International Sportsperson;
- UK Ancestry (Settlement only);
- Global Talent (Settlement only);
- Temporary Work – International Agreement (Settlement only);
- Domestic Worker in a Private Household (Settlement only);
- High Potential Individual;
- Settlement Family Life;
- Private Life (Settlement only);
- Scale Up (from 22 August 2022) (Settlement only);
- Hong Kong British National (Overseas) (Settlement only).
For information on how to meet the English Language requirement for the Family & Partner visa, please see here.
How Can I Meet the Appendix English Language Requirement?
A previous successful application
If you have proven that you have met the English language requirement in a previous successful application and it is the required level for your current application, then this requirement is satisfied. Therefore, you will automatically meet the requirement and no further evidence is required.
Majority English speaking country
You will also meet the Appendix English Language requirement if you are from a majority English speaking country. This will be the case if you are a national of one or more of the following countries:
- Antigua and Barbuda;
- The Bahamas;
- New Zealand;
- St Kitts and Nevis;
- St Lucia;
- St Vincent and the Grenadines;
- Trinidad and Tobago;
- United States of America.
If you are a dual national and one of your nationalities is included in the list above, then you will meet the requirement.
Another way to meet the Appendix English Language requirement is through an academic qualification taught in English. If you have a:
- Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or doctorate in the UK; or
- A degree or degree-level qualification taught in a university or college from an above majority English speaking country (with the exception of Canada), or from Ireland. This must meet the recognised standards of a bachelor’s/master’s degree or doctorate; or
- A degree or degree level qualification which meets, or exceeds the recognised standard of a bachelor’s/master’s degree or doctorate that was taught or researched in English, in the UK.
To demonstrate this, you must provide:
- A certificate from the body that awarded you the qualification; or
- A transcript issued by the institution that awarded you the qualification; or
- A official letter from the institution that awarded you the qualification, which includes information that would be on a degree certificate (e.g. your name; type and level of degree; awarding body; date awarded)
If your qualification was awarded by a body outside the UK, then you must also provide a confirmation from Ecctis. Ecctis is the organisation that oversees the recognition of international qualifications and will need to confirm that your degree is equivalent to a degree taught in the UK, and, for those not taught in a university from a majority English speaking country (excluding Canada) or from Ireland, taught or researched in English. For more information on how to do this, see here.
For information on how to meet the English Language requirement for Appendix FM, you may wish to also see our previous post on meeting the English Language requirement using an academic degree.
English Language test
If the above factors are not applicable to you, then you can still meet the English Language requirement by passing an English Language test from an approved provider. You must provide a digital reference number from an approved provider to show you have passed the test of the required level. This must be in the two years before the date of your application. A list of approved tests and providers can be found here.
Additional options for Student applications
Student sponsors must assess their student’s English language ability before issuing a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). The CAS allows for a field to input the name of the English language test provider, if a test was taken. If not, the Sponsor must provide the relevant details in the ‘Evidence used to obtain offer’ free text box for the CAS. The guidance further notes that if the sponsor answers ‘yes’ to the ‘Is SELT (Secure English Language Test) required?’ question, the following fields become mandatory:
- English language level attained
- English language test provider
If the sponsor answers ‘no’ to the ‘Is SELT required?’ question, the following field becomes mandatory:
- Reason not required
Additional options for some Skilled Worker applications
For those being sponsored to work as a doctor, dentist, nurse, or midwife (applying under the SOC codes 2211, 2215, 2231, 2232, respectively), then the English language requirement will be met if you have passed an English language assessment that is required for your registration by the relevant regulated professional body in the UK.
Additionally, if you are being sponsored to work as a veterinary professional, under SOC code 2216, then the requirement will be satisfied if you have passed an English language assessment required for registration by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the regulated professional body in the UK. Please note that you must be registered as a UK practising veterinary surgeon with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
GCSE or A Level English
You may be able to meet the Appendix English Language requirement using your GCSE or A Level qualification in English, however this only applies to the following routes:
- Skilled Worker;
- High potential individual;
- Private Life (Settlement);
- Settlement Family route after a 10 year qualifying period.
You will meet the English Language requirement if you have a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification at level 4 or 5 or, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher, in English (language or literature), that was awarded:
a) by an Ofqual (or SQA, Qualifications Wales or CCEA) regulated awarding body; and
b) after your education in a UK based school which started when you were under the age of 18.
You must prove this by providing evidence of either a certificate or an official transcript from the awarding body.
Who Is Exempt From the Appendix English Language Requirement?
Applicants for settlement are exempt from the English language requirement where at the date of application they are:
- aged 65 or over; or
- aged under 18; or
- have a disability (physical or mental condition) which prevents them from meeting the requirement; or
- applying for settlement as a partner, parent or dependent child aged over 18 where you:
- have spent a continuous period of 15 years in the UK with permission; and
- can show an English language speaking and listening qualification at A2 CEFR or ESOL entry level 2 or Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework level 3; and
- provide confirmation from a qualified English teacher that the applicant has attended an English language class for at least 75 guided learning hours (not unsupervised study or preparation time) in the 12 months before the date of application and the teacher’s view is the applicant is unlikely to attain B1 level through further study.
How to prove that your disability exempts you from meeting the requirement
If you have a disability which exempts you from meeting the English Language requirement, you must give reasons and provide evidence. Examples provided by the Home Office guidance are those that are:
- suffering from a long-term or ongoing illness or disability (which may last for years) that severely restricts their ability to learn English or to take the test;
- suffering from a serious or life threatening illness such as cancer, which may involve treatment over the course of several months that severely restricts their ability to learn English or to take the test;
- has a mental condition which prevents them from speaking or learning English to the required standard.
When considering your circumstances and evidence, the Home Office will consider various factors such as:
- If the disability affects your ability to meet the requirement;
- The seriousness of your disability and whether your position is unlikely to change in the future;
- If your disability will last a long time, e.g you will still not be able to meet the requirement for at least 3 or more years.
The evidence required to demonstrate your disability is not specified. An example of sufficient evidence would be a letter from a registered medical practitioner in the UK.
For further information, you may wish to review the Appendix English Language Immigration Rules.
Contact Our Immigration Barristers
For expert advice and assistance in relation to meeting the Appendix English Language Requirement, contact our immigration barristers in London on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.