The UK Border Agency has announced that from the 29th November 2010, any non-EEA national seeking leave to enter or remain in the UK as the partner of a British citizen or as the partner of a person already settled will have to demonstrate their ability to understand and speak English.

This requirement will affect you if;

• You are a national of a country outside of the EEA and Switzerland; and
• You are the partner of a British citizen or a person already settled here; and
• You are seeking leave to enter or remain in the UK as that person’s partner.

To demonstrate your ability to understand and speak English to a suitable level, you will be required to pass an acceptable English language test from one of the test providers approved by the UK Border Agency.

The minimum accepted level will be A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference. This basic level assesses listening and speaking skills only, and includes the comprehension and use of simple everyday expressions. Reading and writing skills will not be tested. A full list of the approved tests can be found here.

Evidence of passing an approved test must be submitted with your visa application.

However, the requirement to demonstrate English language skills does not affect you if you are a national of one of the following majority English-speaking countries:

• 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
• the United States of America