The English language test announced by the British government for all non-European migrants applying to come to Britain to join or marry their settled partner will become compulsory from November 29 this year.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) Monday announced that from this date, any migrant who wants to enter or remain in the country as the partner of a British citizen or a person settled here will need to show that they can speak and understand English, by taking an English language test with one of the test providers approved by the agency.
This means the applicants will have to demonstrate basic English at A1 level, the same level required for skilled workers admitted under Tier 2 of the points-based system. The test will be compulsory even for people applying from within Britain, UKBA said in a statement. The government announced the new stipulation last month.
Partners who apply for settlement after completing their two-year period of temporary residence will still need to meet the "knowledge of language and life in the UK" test. This is in addition to the new basic English language requirement, which forms part of their initial application.