The date from which partners of settled or British citizens will have to take an English test before being granted entry to the UK is fast approaching.

From 29 November 2010 anyone applying to enter (or remain) in the UK as the husband, wife, civil partner, fiancé(e), proposed civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner of a British or settled person will have to demonstrate knowledge of English. A settled person is an individual with Indefinite Leave to Remain or a European national who has acquired permanent residence.

The partners will need to take an English language test with an approved test provider, if they are not nationals of a majority English-speaking country or have a degree taught in English. Note that South Africa is not classed as a majority English-speaking country.

The minimum standard applicants will need to meet is speaking and listening at level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference. Partners will need to produce evidence of having passed a test when submitting their immigration application.

We understand this may be a problem for some clients and would urge prospective applicants to start preparing for this language test as soon as any plans to come to or remain in the UK arise.