07 April 2010
On 7 April 2010, the UK Border Agency made important changes to the ESOL provisions within the 'knowledge of language and life' requirement for people seeking settlement in the UK.
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.
Until 6 April 2010, you could 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. Now you must also:
An 'accredited college' is:
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 submitted 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.