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English language test for family members

On 18 January 2016, the Prime Minister announced the introduction of a new English language test for migrants’ parents and partners. The Government’s intention is for family members of migrants to become more fluent over time.

The new test will come into operation from October 2016. The announcement means that family route migrants seeking to extend their stay in the UK will need to pass a speaking and listening test at Level A2 in order to qualify. The new test applies to non-EEA national partners and parents seeking further leave to remain on the five year partner or parent route settlement.

Non-EEA national partners of British citizens or persons settled in the UK applying for a visa or initial leave to remain under a family route have been required, since November 2010, to show they are able to speak and understand basic English. In July 2002 this was extended to parents, and since October 2013 adult migrants applying for settlement (also known as indefinite leave to remain) have been required to meet Level B1 in speaking and listening skills and pass a new Life in the UK Test.


This briefing is for guidance purposes only. RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken or not taken in relation to this note and recommends that appropriate legal advice be taken having regard to a client's own particular circumstances.

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