Changes to the 'knowledge of language and life' requirement for ILR/Naturalisation
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.
My wife finished her ESOL course in June 2009 and I have a revised letter from the college dated April 1st 2010.
We apply for her ILR on April 29th.........with these new changes will this affect our application?
The letter reads from the college reads.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
Confirmation of achievement of a Certificate in ESOL Skills for Life delivered within a citizenship context.
The attached Certificate in ESOL Skills for Life awarded by City & Guilds is being submitted by Mrs Suwimol ?????? (dob ??.??.????) as part of her application for naturalization, as set out in requirements by the Home Secretary.
Mrs ????? progressed from Pre-Entry level to Entry Level 1 as evidenced by her certificate.
This letter is to confirm that the certificate was gained after attendance at an ESOL course provided by this institution. This course was delivered in a citizenship context and used materials derived from ‘The Citizenship materials for ESOL learners’ pack produced for the Home Office by NIACE and LLU+.
Is this letter now okay and how will I know if Bedford College is an accredited college?
Chris, I would be on the phone to the college tomorrow asking them if they are able to prove (in writing to you) that they fall in to the "accredited" field as described and explain to them that this is now a requirement for ESOL courses with the view of Settlement.
I think they will probably be shocked to learn of the changes if schools/colleges in my experience are anything to go by.
If that fails then I would contact Ofsted, BAC, ABLS or ASIC to find out.
Independence Day 31st January 2020
The college is closed for Easter - just looked on the Ofsted website and Bedford College appear on their website so presume this is good news.
Will follow up with them next week - how will a PEO office know if they are an approved body though? Will they expect a letter (this isn't mentioned) or will they just do some check when we are there?
Does anyone know if this also applies to Naturalisation ? Mol will be applying next month, she has a letter from Epping Forest College but they're not currently on the list of accredited colleges.
thanks Keith - that puts my mind at rest - still wonder how the Border Agency will check this though - would be deadfull if someone attended an ESOL course, then to find out it was not an approved college/centre.
Nothing in Hereford or really close for us.
I bet were all the same here but if its not a huge fee to pay, there seems to be a new hurdle for us to climb weekly. Just so fed up of this all.
Keith, did Mol pass this hurdle for her ILR application?
Originally Posted by -Keith-
Hello Keith We are in a similar situation but would assume that if our certs were accepted for the issue of an ILR they would also be accepted fro the Naturalisation application but that's using logic but logic doesn't always apply does it?
Just as an after thought Tobias to my post which was written without seeing the other post thereunder, It occurs that most of the colleges may not have the accreditation but their exam invigilators do and I distinctly remember that because these accredited people took so much time to do their job Wan had to take the short 5 day course for the issue of the ILR.
Didn't have to mate, that was 7 years ago.
Originally Posted by Tobias
I thought that these new rules were introduced to eliminate folks studying at bogus colleges. Epping Forest College is a state funded Ofsted inspected 6th form and adult education college !!!!!!!
That's correct Harvey, that's why I asked Keith the question earlier. Anyone who has already demonstrated that they meet the knowledge of language and life requirement when they applied for and were granted settlement will not be affected by this new requirement.
Originally Posted by Harvey at home
It is the college that must be accredited, not any individual employed by it.
Originally Posted by Harvey at home
Then you are safe Keith, if the college is state funded and Ofted inspected then it is considered to be an 'accredited college' for this purpose.
Originally Posted by -Keith-
Does that mean one should also get a letter from the college (more paperwork) confirming they are an accredited college or hopefully the UK Border Agency will know this already?
Although my wife enrolled at Bedford college, she was sent to one if it's other sites within Bedford (that runs the ESOL courses) at a different address (even though under the Bedford College campus.
The Border Agency don't actually ask we show as evidence in their new statement, therefore hope they are sensible enough to pass applicants without any written statement that the college is accredited.
What rules are they going to introduce next - I have been preparing my wife's evidence for nearly 2 years now and she finished college last June (2009) as she is now a full time mother to our one year old son. She would never have managed to go back to college this year, thankfully we got the certificate in June 2009 and letter from the college (last week) confirming progression and cizitenship content.
What IF someone had done a similar route to what we had - enter the UK and enroll to college immediately......then 2 years down the line the rules are changed.......but enrolled at a non-accredited one at the time - they would be scuppered....!
Luckily Bedford College are okay - It just seems as if it's getting more and more difficult even if you prepare well in advance......
I wouldn't have thought so Chris, one would assume that they know which establishments are recognised for their purposes. Always worth checking - especially with private colleges - if they are accredited by Accreditation UK, the British Accreditation Council (BAC), the Accreditation Body for Language Services (ABLS) or the Accreditation Service for International Colleges (ASIC) before starting the course.
Originally Posted by Chris M
They certainly would be scuppered! No accreditation - no recognition of the qualification ... and that may mean another FLR or delayed citizenship application.
Originally Posted by Chris M
Chris under your circumstances and the fact that your going to the PEO office in person,i would strongly recommend you get a letter of confirmation that the college your wife studied at is accredited.
If i was in your position that's what I'd be doing.I'm not suggesting Tobias is wrong on the assumption that the PEO office can check if the college is accredited,but there is a lot at stake here with your recent trip coming up and the amount of money involved to go through the process in the first place.
Just my thoughts on the situation Chris
Thanks MacDuff - the college is on Easter break so will contact them early next week to try and get a letter of confirmation that they are accredited. Hopefully this won't be a problem as they are very forthcoming and have helped in the past.
Also, in Bedford we have so many nationalities studying ESOL that I can't believe the college wouldn't be accredited as they are running so many ESOL courses.
If the PEO office are going to check every submission be it in person or post, then they haven't suggested we have to put this in writting and many people will therefore be caught out, hence I have to agree with Tobias's comments.
Hi Chris.With this new requirement and with yourself being on a timeline it would only make sense to get a letter of confirmation for them to look at in black and white instead of looking on a computer screen witch may not have that information therefore delaying your application.
I noticed the college my wife studied at is not accredited,so unless it gets accredited there maybe trouble ahead for hundreds of ESOL applicants.
Found this link (point 82 - see below) within the UK Border Agency website as well as Keith's link in point 5 detailed earlier. These both give accredited colleges within the UK, which thankfully include Bedford College.
Guess the PEO Offices must use this link as it's off their website....!
KNOWLEDGE OF LIFE IN THE UK: REQUIREMENTS FOR SETTLEMENT APPLICATIONS
82. What is English UK?
English UK is the association for British Council accredited English language centres in the UK. It has a Website: www.englishuk.com which contains details of privately owned schools, as well as state sector centres offering English courses in the UK. Your local further education college, library or Basic Skills provider will also be able to give you details of state sector courses.