Foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area
wishing to enter or remain in the UK as the spouse, civil/unmarried
partner, or fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner of a British
citizen or a person with settled status in the UK will need to
demonstrate a basic command of English, according to a change in
the immigration rules due to come into force on 29 November
This will be achieved by passing an English language test with
one of the UK Border Agency's approved test providers (unless
an exception applies). Foreign nationals from the following
majority English-speaking countries, however, will be exempt from
Antigua and Barbuda
St Kitts and Nevis
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
United States of America
Those with an academic qualification deemed to meet the
recognised standard of a UK Bachelor's degree and which was
taught or researched in English will also be exempt.
The new requirement will not apply to dependants of foreign
nationals with temporary residence in the UK, such as Tier 1 or
Tier 2 migrants under the Points-Based System.
Although the proposal for the requirement pre-dates the current
government, it can be seen against a background of the
government's plan to reduce annual net migration to the
'tens of thousands'. It has already introduced a temporary
cap on migration under Tier 1 for highly skilled individuals and
Tier 2 for sponsored new hires. A permanent cap is to follow in
April next year.
Additionally, on 6 September the immigration minister delivered
a speech in which he announced his intention to further review the
immigration rules with the aim of reducing net migration. The
minister indicated that he would be looking in particular at
students who enter the UK to study at below degree level;
lower-skilled workers; and the ability to switch from a temporary
visa category to one which leads to settlement.
For further information please contact Joshua Le Vay, UK
Solicitor, on +61 2 8224 8563 or via email at
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
The Federal Court handed down the largest court imposed fine for breaching subclass 457 visa sponsorship obligations.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).