English Language Requirement under the family route

In January 2016 the Government announced the intention to introduce a new English language requirement, at level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, for partners and parents applying to extend their existing leave under the family Immigration Rules. The announcement indicated that the requirement would not be introduced before October 2016. This new A2 requirement for partners1 and parents applying for further leave to remain under the family Immigration Rules will be introduced from 1 May 2017.

It will apply to those required to apply for further leave to remain on a 5-year route to settlement as a partner or parent on or after that date. The statement of intent was published yesterday and provides details about the new requirement, the speaking and listening qualifications which applicants can use to meet it, the approved tests available and the exemptions which will apply.

From 1 May 2017, applicants who have completed 2.5 years (30 months) in the UK with leave as a partner or parent under Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules, and who are applying for further leave to remain in that category, will be required to obtain an approved English language speaking and listening qualification at level A2 or higher, unless they:

 Are a national of a majority English-speaking country

 Hold a degree taught or researched in English

 Are exempt from the requirement.

A partner or parent whose leave is due to expire from 1 May 2017 and who makes an application on or before 30 April 2017 will be subject to the A2 requirement if they are applying for further leave to remain. A partner or parent whose initial period of leave to enter or remain is due to expire before 1 May 2017 will not be affected by the new A2 requirement.