View Full Version : ESOL courses - how soon can you study after entry to the UK

11th May 2012, 12:03

for anyone contemplating an ESOL with citizenship course, I spoke to someone at UKBA today to find out if there is any time frame for when you can complete such a course.

I rang the Immigration Enquiry Bureau telephone number listed in this link from the ILR section of the UKBA website
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/settlement/guidesetm0420091.pdf (http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/settlement/guidesetm0420091.pdf)

I specifically asked him if my wife could complete an ESOL course as soon as she entered the UK on her 2 year spouse visa, which is something we are contemplating. He advised me there is no time frame or set amount of time you have to wait before you can complete a course or sit the LITUK exam.

Providing the course meets the necessary requirements for an ILR and citizenship application, there are no restrictions on when you can do it.

I could find nothing on the UKBA website to the contrary, but I accept the goalposts could move in the future, as is the way with immigration rules and regulations.

My initial thoughts were, don't do the course too soon as the rules might change by the time we come to apply for ILR. But then I thought, there's no way of knowing if and when the rules could change. We could do the course in 18 months time and still run the risk of the rules changing at any moment.

11th May 2012, 12:33
Another thing to consider is that (I believe) some colleges will charge higher "international student" fees if they have been in the UK for under a year but haven't looked at that in great detail so not 100% sure.

Personally, in our case, following the initial stress of going through the visa process and the move over, I didn't want to rush or pressure my wife into signing up for a course immediately when she entered the UK. Now that she's been here a while and is well settled we are starting to look more seriously at our options. At present she is looking at the LITUK book thai version but if she thinks thats above her level we will have to go down the ESOL route


11th May 2012, 12:37
From our experience i would say get it out the way and moniter the current rules for any changes. 27 months flys by and also it looks a long time but in reality its not.

Having said that Noo did a ESOL with citizenship over 3 terms, and there was a waiting list to get on the course so i had here enrolled on the course just after arriving in the UK and went to the collage direct and spoke to the tutor as i was given advice that the course was full. When we arrived at the collage an assesment was conducted to asses Noo's level of english that day and was on the course the week after.

11th May 2012, 15:41
No idea about ESOL ....but can take LITUK at any time .... when it s done will cover ILR and citizenship , as things stand ... , good luck with it

11th May 2012, 18:14
Sisaket, true enough, however some spouses english is not at level 3 so they have to do ESOL.

11th May 2012, 20:26
Sisaket, true enough, however some spouses english is not at level 3 so they have to do ESOL.

yes you are correct ......

9th Aug 2012, 21:03
I am trying to find out about criteria for international student. I have heard that you pay international student rates if you have been in UK less than one year. The following website seems to confirm it - can anyone confirm the position? I have asked the local college specifically and I guess that might be the only way to know for sure. Personally I think it's best to start learning english asap but just wanted to fully understand the options as the international rates are somewhat higher than normal ones - does it serve financially to wait one year and therefore can pay the non international rates?

Category 4 being most relevant:

10th Aug 2012, 14:29
When my wife came to the UK she was on a ESOL cse within 2 months of been here.

We paid £66 per term from what i recall.


10th Aug 2012, 14:39
Chips, are you talking about ESOL with a view to using it for future ILR application?? If so I believe the ESOL will be obsolete for this purpose after the new requirement comes in from Oct '13

11th Aug 2012, 09:39
Todd, thanks for reply. Yes I'm aware of B1 requirement and LIUK test replacing current ESOL or LIUK from Oct-13 but it would appear that as ukba are not submitting an approved qualification list until early 2013 ESOL (with entry level 3 being equiavalent to b1) seems like a valid direction to take.

However if you can offer alternatives, they would be welcome. My wife is keen to study soon after arriving to the UK to boost her confidence and keep busy, help her integrate into UK life etc, so ESOL looks best adapted to this at the moment. I have asked a couple of colleges for prices for this and full time courses (16 hours per week ) range from £600 - £1,300 for a full year (3 terms I guess) and was quoted by one college at an open day that she would be an international student in the first year of being in the UK. I guess I'm just trying to understand all the facts to make an informed decision.

11th Aug 2012, 18:17
my dil came to uk 2nd june this year on 2 year spouse visa, she is starting college early october this year on esol with citizenship content, tutor told me with time she could achieve b1 speaking and listening level, she goes on a saturday for 4 hours and it's for 10 weeks at a cost of £380 and from what iv'e been told because of this course even after a year she will still have to pay.

i know it won't be relevant for her ilr but she has to start somewhere and i think it will help her in her studies, as for the lituk test im still waiting for the revised book to come out but haven't heard anything yet.

hope this helps.

12th Aug 2012, 02:12
My missus did an esol with citizenship course when on a visit before we moved to the UK. When we actually settled she had ILE but she is enrolled on another esol course 4 hours a week cost 120.00 per term they said because we moved from another EU country they charge normal fees. If I bother to sign on as unemployed then its 2 pounds per term .

16th Aug 2012, 21:37
Yep - just for everyone info: Colleges confirm....In Year one of arrival in UK wife is international student. One college confirms fees full time >£4k!, p/t >£750. Another college does not take on international students at all. Therefore as p/t is only 3 hrs per week it seems waiting 1 year is best option as it is extremely punitive to study in year one.