UK announces new language requirement for Non-EEA Parents and Partners

UK announces new language requirement for Non-EEA Parents and Partners


The UK announces new language requirement for Non-EEA Parents and Partners
 
In November last year, the government of the United Kingdom announced that it was mulling over a new language requirement for all parents and partners from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) zone.Just two months after, on 18 January 2017, it was officially announced that the new requirement would be implemented on 1 May 2017.
 
In a statement from the Home Office, it said that the new regulation aims to give applicants more time to improve their English language skills.  This will also make them more competitive once they apply for work in the country. “[It] delivers the government’s manifesto commitment to ensure that those coming to the UK on a family visa with only basic English will become more fluent over time. It will mean that the person can better engage in everyday conversation and thereby better participate and integrate [into] everyday life in the community,” the Home Office explained.
 
The new rule states that all non-EEA partners and parents applying to extend their stay after two-and-a-half-years in the UK need to pass the Level A2 test.
 
The new language requirement
 
The A2 requirement can be fulfilled in one of the following ways. These are as follows:
  • if the applicant is a citizen of a country whose official language (or one of its major languages) is English;
  • if the applicant holds a degree taught in English; and
  • *if the applicant passed a speaking and listening test at Level A2 at a licenced test provider.
 
*English language tests are provided by an approved test center. For the complete list of accredited testing centers, click this link.
 “You can only use English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) qualifications if they’re on the list. You can’t use other qualifications, e.g. GCSEs, A levels or National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs),” the government advised the public.
 
Exemptions
 
Applicants who fall under these categories are automatically exempt from the new language requirement:
  • Applicants who are 65 years old and up
  • Applicants suffering from an illness or a disability preventing them from fulfilling the requirement
  • Exceptional circumstances preventing them from meeting the requirement
  • Note: Applicants are also required to pass the new Life in the UK test.
 
The UK government clarified that all applicants who would be submitting their applications before 1 May 2017 are exempt from this new rule and will be consequently evaluated using the existing language requirement. It also advised the public to check the government’s official website for further details on the program.
 
Are you a non-EEA parent and partner applying for stay extension? Complete a free online assessment or speak with one of our regulated UK Migration Consultants and know more about the changes in the UK’s Family Visa program.
 
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