How can you meet the English language criterion?

The migrant has to meet the English language requirement before submits his/her application. For example, a Tier 2 migrant or a Sole Representative has to have a knowledge of English equivalent to Level B1 or above; Level A1 for an initial spouse visa application whilst Level A2 for a spouse visa extension application; Level B2 for the Innovator or Start-up visa application; and Level B1 for Indefinite Leave to Remain etc.

National of a majority English speaking country

If the applicant is from a majority English speaking country, he/she will automatically meet the English language requirement. For instance, nationals of Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States of America.

Degree taught in English

Migrants might satisfy the English language requirement when they hold a degree taught in English. However, the degree qualification must be a UK Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree or PhD; or be awarded by an educational establishment outside the UK, which is deemed by UK NARIC to meet the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or a PhD in the UK, and UK NARIC has confirmed that the degree was taught or researched in English to the relevant level. For example, a degree taught in English from an educational establishment in one of the following countries:

Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Republic of Ireland; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; United Kingdom; United States of America.

English language test

Migrants can also meet the English language requirement if they passed the required level of English language test.

Tests taken within the UK

If the applicant attend the English language test in the UK, he/she can take ‘IELTS Life Skill’ or ‘IELTS for UKVI’ exams awarded by Cambridge English Language Assessments; ‘Integrated Skills in English’ or ‘Graded Examinations in Spoken English’ awarded by Trinity College London.

Tests taken outside of the UK

If the migrant attend the English language test outside of the UK, he/she can take ‘IELTS Life Skills’ or ‘IELTS for UKVI’ exams awarded by Cambridge English Language Assessments.

Please note that the validity of all above English language tests is 2 years. Migrants have to check the provider of the test is confirmed by the Home Office, the level of qualifications the application was awarded, validity period, and the level is met for reading, writing, listening and speaking.

For more detailed information in relation to the English language test, please refer to the GOV.UK website:

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the English language requirement, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075 or contact us here.



The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.