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English Language Test Requirement for Spouse Visas and Exemptions to the test


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If you are applying for a UK spouse visa, the English language requirement must be met as per the eligibility criteria. This requirement aims to ensure that non-native speakers have sufficient language skills to speak and understand English at an adequate level meaning that you will be able to effectively integrate into society. 

In this article, we will inform you about the requirements for the spouse visa and outline the instances in which you may be exempt from the English language test requirement.

English Language Requirement 

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The English language requirement is a crucial aspect of the spouse visa application process in the UK. You must demonstrate your proficiency in the English language by taking and passing an approved English language test. 

The test must be taken at a secure test centre, and the results must meet the minimum requirements for the visa category. The minimum requirements for the spouse visa are currently set at CEFR A1 level in speaking and listening.

The Secure English language test (SELT) must be taken with the following testing providers:

    English Language Placement Test | Bath | Bath Academy 

  • Pearson  
  • LanguageCert 
  • Trinity College London 
  • PSI Services (UK) Ltd (If you are not currently in the UK)

When attending the test, you will need to provide your full name, address and contact information. A valid form of identification will also need to be provided for example a passport or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). You will also need to pay the required fee. 

Exemptions for Language Test  

  • If you are under 18 years of age or over 65 years old. 
  • If you obtain a degree taught and researched in English or a degree-level course taught in English. 
  • If you have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from taking the English language test – evidence from a medical practice of your condition must be provided. 

You are also exempt if you are a citizen of one of the following countries: 

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

If you are exempt from taking the English language test, kindly note that you will still have to pass the Life in the UK test as part of your application. 

If you wish to talk to us about your spouse visa application, please contact our friendly team of London immigration lawyers at Barar & Associates at or call us on 020 7487 8370. You can access more information about us at 

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