The UK High Commission said that a new English language requirement will be introduced on Monday 29 November 2010 for non- European migrants who, from this date, apply for a visa to enter or remain in the UK as a partner or spouse of a British citizen or person settled there.
Applicants will need to show that they can speak and understand English to a basic level. They will usually meet this requirement by passing an English language test with a UK Border Agency-approved test provider. The list of approved test providers and further guidance is available on the UK Border Agency’s website.
Applicants need to pass this language test before they apply for a visa and submit an original test certificate with their visa application.
It is also possible to meet the English language requirement by having an academic qualification equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in the UK which was taught in English. Applicants will need to supply the original qualification certificate with their visa application.
The new language requirement is intended to help migrants integrate into British society – to open up more opportunities, help prevent exploitation, and allow them to benefit from, and contribute more to their communities.
This English language requirement does not apply visitors or the spouses and partners of those in the UK on a temporary visa, such as workers and students under the points based system.