The New English Language Test for Partners of British Citizens and Permanent Residents

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NEW YORK, N.Y., Nov. 29 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- Marriage Visa Help (, a leading global immigration consultancy firm specializing in fiancee, partner and marriage visas for the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand reminds that effective today all UK settlement visa applicants are required to pass a mandatory English language test prior to submitting the application to the British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission.

The summer announcement from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) that informed potential visa applicants that an additional English language test would soon be introduced has recently been followed up with further information. The new test came into force on the 29th November 2010 and will relate to the majority of UK visa applicants who are looking to obtain a UK fiancee visa, spouse visa or partner visa, both for same sex and opposite sex couples. This new element to the UK immigration rules are for migrants who intent to live in the UK on a permanent basis, and whose partner is a British citizen or lawful permanent resident in the UK.

As of the 29th November 2010, the test will be mandatory for the majority of non-EEA/EU nationals that want to make an FLRm (further leave to remain) application to extend their stay in the UK based on marriage to a British citizen or lawful permanent resident, or those applicants that intend to apply for a UK fiancee visa, proposed civil partner visa, marriage (spousal) visa or unmarried partner visa (same sex or opposite sex couples.) There are a small number of exceptions for applicants who do not need to take the new English language test: nationals from certain countries that are recognized as being English speaking; applicants with an academic qualification that is approved by UK NARIC as being of Bachelor's Degree standard and mainly taught in English; people over 65 years of age; and those people who can prove that they have medical or compassionate reasons for being unable to take the test.

The countries which are recognized as being predominately English speaking and therefore exempt from the test include: 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 and the United States of America.

The purpose of the new test is to ensure that the applicant has a strong enough grasp of the English language to deal with the basics of day to day life in the UK. As such, only spoken English will be tested, with written English not included as part of the test. It is understood that the test will be purely verbal, although both listening and speaking will be required. The grade required to pass the test is known as Level A1, as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference, with non-English speaking applicants taking around 45 hours of tuition to achieve this standard on average.

There are a number of approved testing centers across the UK that are equipped to conduct the test. It is worth noting that each testing center is able to decide what to charge for the test as there is no set charge defined by UKBA, although there will be a list of testing centers on its Web site in order to check the cost of local centers.

About Marriage Visa Help:

Marriage Visa Help is a specialized visa consultancy that is able to support your UK settlement visa application every step of the way. Since 2007, Marriage Visa Help has provided individuals with the highest quality one-to-one assistance in UK spouse visas, fiancee visas, de facto (unmarried) partner visas, and family dependents visas. Highly regarded for our 100% success rate in securing visas for people and their families for the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Marriage Visa Help is dedicated to delivering a personal service at what can often be a very stressful time.

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