From 28 October 2013, those applying for indefinite leave to remain and/or naturalisation as a British citizen will be required to not only pass the Life in the UK Test, but also to hold a B1 (intermediate) level English language speaking and listening qualification.

The two groups which will be considered to automatically meet the English language requirement component, and which will not be required to show a formal speaking and listening qualification, are:

  • nationals of Home Office defined majority English speaking countries (please go to page 9 of the pdf) eg Australia and the USA; and
  • those who have obtained a degree taught in English.

The Home Office will accept a range of English language qualifications as evidence that an applicant has met the requirement to hold a B1 level speaking and listening qualification, including:

  • qualifications covering speaking and listening at B1 or above from the Secure English Language Test (SELT) list in the Immigration Rules, Appendix O. The SELT list is available here.
  • qualifications in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) at Entry level 3, Level 1, or Level 2, that include speaking and listening and 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 have been taken in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. The Ofqual register is available here; and
  • a National Qualification in ESOL at Scottish Qualifications Framework (SCQF) levels 4, 5, or 6 awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and taken in Scotland.

For full details of the new requirements, including the limited categories of people exempt from the requirements, please see the Home Office’s Statement of Intent.

For those planning to submit an application for indefinite leave to remain or naturalisation as a British citizen from 28 October 2013, and who will need to obtain an English language speaking and listening qualification, we recommend that they plan early as test certificates may take some time to obtain