control panel
Applicants: Statement of intent outlines new requirements for settlement and naturalisation

08 April 2013

Today (8 April 2013), the Home Office is publishing a statement of intent outlining planned changes to requirements for those applying to settle in the UK, or become naturalised as British citizens.

From 28 October 2013, applicants in both categories will be required to pass the Life in the UK Test and to hold a B1 (intermediate) level English language speaking and listening qualification. This change will strengthen the citizenship process, replacing the current system which requires applicants to sit either the life in the UK test or s... how language progression from one English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) level to the next, but not both.

The knowledge of language and life requirement for settlement (Indefinite leave to remain)

From 28 October 2013, there will be two parts to the knowledge of language and life requirement, both of which must be met by all applicants for settlement unless the individual is exempt. Applicants will be required to:

  • pass the Life in the UK test; and
  • to have a speaking and listening qualification in English at B1 CEFR or higher, or its equivalent.
The knowledge of language and life requirement for naturalisation

The knowledge of language and life requirement for naturalisation as a British citizen will be the same as that for settlement, and the same English language qualifications will be accepted.

English language qualifications

A range of English language qualifications will be accepted as evidence that an applicant has met the B1 level speaking and listening requirements.

These include:

  • Qualifications covering speaking and listening at B1 or above from the Home Office's Secure English Language Test (SELT) list.
  • ESOL qualifications at entry level 3 or level 1 or level 2, including speaking and listening, that have been regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual). The qualification must be listed as an ESOL qualification on the Ofqual Register of Regulated Qualifications and must have been taken in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
  • A National Qualification in ESOL at Scottish Qualifications Framework levels 4, 5 or 6, awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority and taken in Scotland.

For full details of the new requirements, please see the statement of intent.