New 'A2' level English language test requirement to be introduced for extension of leave under Appendix FM

Partners and parents currently on the Appendix FM family visa route should be aware that as of October 2016 the government intends to introduce the requirement to pass an approved English language test at CEFR level 'A2' for those seeking to extend their leave by a further 2.5 years.  Currently, the same 'A1' level pass used for the initial grant of leave is sufficient for an extension. A further language test passed at level 'B1' is then required when it comes to applying for indefinite leave to remain.

Those with a high level of English would be well-advised to simply pass a suitable test at level 'B1' at the renewal stage in order to avoid having to sit yet another test some years down the line.

It should be noted that these changes will only affect those non-EEA nationals who do not satisfy the English language requirements in some other capacity (eg, by having completed a suitable degree, or by being a national of a majority-English-speaking country).

The government press release can be found here.

Ironically, when this press release was first posted, the government had failed to correctly spell the word 'language'.  This spelling error did not escape the attention of the media.