Statement of intent for new requirements for ILR and citizenship

The UKBA have announced proposed changes to the requirements for anyone applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or naturalisation as a British citizen. The changes will be made in October 2013 and will increase the requirements for applicants.

Under the new rules applicants will be expected to pass the Life in the UK test and also demonstrate English speaking and listening skills equivalent to level B1 (Intermediate). Under the current rules you meet the English language requirements by passing the Life in the UK test, or showing progression of at least one level of the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) gradings.

The complete details can be found in the Home Office document, Knowledge of language and life in the UK for settlement and naturalisation: Statement of Intent, changes to the requirement from October 2013.

The knowledge of life and language requirement from 28 October 2013

For both ILR and citizenship applications, there will be two elements to the requirement to have sufficient knowledge of life and language in the UK. With effect from 28 October 2013 applicants will have to:

  • pass the Life in the UK test; and
  • have a speaking and listening qualification in English at B1 CEFR or higher, or its equivalent.
Exemptions will be made for applicants from majority English-speaking countries and anyone who has obtained a degree which was taught in English. The countries considered as majority English-speaking are:
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Guyana
  • Australia
  • Jamaica
  • The Bahamas
  • New Zealand
  • Barbados
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • Belize
  • St Lucia
  • Canada
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Dominica
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Grenada
  • The United States of America

Accepted English language qualifications

Any English language qualification used as part of your application must come from a UKBA accredited body. The list of qualifications accepted by the UKBA include:

  • Qualifications covering speaking and listening at B1 or above from the Home Office’s Secure English Language Test (SELT) list.
  • ESOL qualifications at entry level 3 or level 1 or level 2, including speaking and listening, that have been regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual). The qualification must be listed as an ESOL qualification on the Ofqual Register of Regulated Qualifications and must have been taken in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
  • A National Qualification in ESOL at Scottish Qualifications Framework levels 4, 5 or 6, awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority and taken in Scotland.

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