If you wish to gain entry or remain in the UK as the spouse or partner of someone settled in the UK you will from 29 November 2010 have to confirm that your English at a high enough level so that you can both speak and understand English. This will cover you in the following circumstances:
- You are in a relationship with someone who is a British Citizen or who has permanent residence in the UK.
- You wish to apply as a husband, wife, civil partner, fiance(e), proposed civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner.
- You are a citizen of a Country outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland. This European Economic Area includes the whole of the European Union as well as a few other Countries.
If you are not a national of a majority English speaking Country you will need to meet the following requirements:
- You will need to pass an acceptable English language test with an approved test provider.
- You will need to show a basic level of English ability speaking and listening at level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference. Generally, this is thought to require 40 to 50 hours of tuition for most people. You will need to understand simple everyday expressions and very basic phrases. You will not need to show ability in English in reading and writing.
- You will need to pay the cost of the English language test yourself. The cost of the test will vary greatly depending on the provider and Country.
The list of majority English speaking Countries, whose nationals do not have to take the test are included below:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- the Bahamas
- New Zealand
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- the United States of America
If you wish to avoid this new requirement you should make sure that your application is submitted before 29 November 2010. Unless you are from a majority English speaking Country after this date you will have to pay for English language tuition and take a test.