Exams for settlement visas

Exams For Settlement Visa

The UK Border Agency announced on 29 November 2010 that any migrant applying to enter or remain in the UK as the husband, wife, civil partner or fiancé of a British citizen or a person settled there will need to show that they can speak and understand English.

This rule is intended to help migrants integrate into British society, to open up more opportunities, help prevent exploitation and allow them to benefit from and contribute more to their communities.

Most applicants will meet the requirement by passing an English language test and supplying a test certificate with their visa application. The minimal level required is A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (speaking and listening) which is a basic level.

Please note that from 28 October 2013 the minimum level of English for a Settlement Visa will be B1 and applicants will also be required to take the Life in the UK test. British Council Ukraine does not currently run the Life in the UK Test.

Which exam should I take?

The British Council administers many exams which meet the UK Border Agency requirements and can support your visa application. The information below will help you to choose an exam. See the full table of Council of Europe levels to have a better idea of various exams.

I know English at basic level (А1–А2)

You can take Cambridge English: Key (KET) exam at A2 level. Your result will also be accepted if you do not achieve a pass grade but demonstrate ability at A1 level as stated on your certificate.

I know English at intermediate or advanced level

You can take an IELTS exam. You must achieve at least band score 4.0 (level B1) in your IELTS test for your visa application.

Please note that other Cambridge English language exams at B1-C2 levels (PET, FCE, CAE, CPE, BEC, ILEC, ICFE) are also accepted by the UK Border Agency. 

Exam Registration deadline Results available online Receipt of the Certificate
IELTS 5 weeks before the exam (or 1 day subject to places being available) 13 days after the exam 13 days after the exam
Cambridge Exams, Paper Based 6 weeks before the exam 6–7 week after the exam 12–13 weeks after the exam
Cambridge Exams, Computer Based 1 week before the exam 2 weeks after the exam 5 weeks after the exam

For more information please contact us.