Changes to the 'knowledge of language and life' requirement for settlement
01 April 2010
The UK Border Agency is making important changes to the ESOL provisions within the 'knowledge of language and life' requirement for people seeking settlement in the UK. These changes will come into force on 7 April 2010.
Most settlement applicants aged between 18 and 64 must show that they have sufficient knowledge of the English language and of life in the UK. They can meet this requirement by either passing the 'Life in the UK' test or obtaining an approved English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) qualification. The ESOL provision is for people whose standard of English is below ESOL Entry Level 3.
Currently, you can satisfy the ESOL requirement by obtaining a relevant ESOL qualification from an approved awarding body following attendance on a course which was taught using specified citizenship materials. From 7 April 2010, you must also:
have studied for your ESOL qualification at an 'accredited college'; and
be able to demonstrate that you have progressed at least one level in order to obtain your qualification.
An 'accredited college' is:
a publicly funded college which is subject to inspection by Ofsted or its devolved equivalents; or
a private college which is accredited by Accreditation UK, the British Accreditation Council (BAC), the Accreditation Body for Language Services (ABLS) or the Accreditation Service for International Colleges (ASIC).
We will accept that a college meets the definition of an 'accredited college' if it was accredited on the date when you obtained your qualification, or if it is accredited on the date when your settlement application is decided.
If you submit your settlement application on or after 7 April 2010, you must meet the new requirements.
If you submit your settlement application before 7 April 2010, it will be considered in accordance with the provisions in force on 6 April 2010. The college where you studied will not need to be accredited, but you will still need to have obtained an ESOL qualification from an approved awarding body following attendance on a course which contained citizenship materials.
There is no change to the provisions for those taking the 'Life in the UK' test.
For more information, please see the Knowledge of language and life pages in the Settlement section of our website.