Exemptions can also be granted for exceptional compassionate circumstances
4th October 2010: The UK Border Agency has asserted that a migrant need not meet the English language requirement, if he provides satisfactory evidence that he is 65 or above, or he cannot meet the requirement due to a physical or mental condition. Exemption can be granted because of special compassionate circumstances.
The announcement on exemptions came along with a reiteration that from 29 November 2010 any migrant wanting to enter or remain in the UK as the partner of a British citizen or a person settled here would need to show they can speak and understand English.
The UKBA said: `You will need to meet the requirement if you are a national of a country outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland; you are in a relationship with a British citizen or a person settled here; and you want to apply to enter or remain in the UK as that person’s husband, wife, civil partner, fiancé (e), proposed civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner’.
Elaborating, the UKBA added: `If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country, you will need to pass an acceptable English language test with one of the approved test providers.
`In the test, you will need to demonstrate a basic command of English, speaking and listening, at level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference.
`This is a basic level, which is judged to require 40 to 50 hours’ tuition for most learners. Someone assessed at level A1 can understand and use simple, everyday expressions and very basic phrases.
`You will not need to demonstrate your reading and writing skills.
`When you make your application, you will need to provide evidence that you have passed the test.
`You will need to pay for your own English language test. The cost of a test will vary according to your test provider and country.
`If you are a national of a majority English-speaking country, you will meet the English language requirement automatically. You will not need to take a test.
`The majority English-speaking countries are 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, and the United States of America’.
The UKBA further clarified: `If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country or do not have a degree taught in English, you will need to pass an acceptable English language test with one of our approved test providers.
`If you have a degree taught in English you will meet the English language requirement automatically. You will not need to take a test.
`The applicant will not need to meet the English language requirement if they provide satisfactory evidence to demonstrate one of the following: they are aged 65 or over at the time they make their application; they have has a physical or mental condition that would prevent them from meeting the requirement; and there are exceptional compassionate circumstances that would prevent the applicant from meeting the requirement’.