Knowledge of Life and Language in the United Kingdom and Islands
Changes to the Immigration Rules –
A2 English Language requirement for Family Route
Current A1 English Requirement
The current English language speaking and listening requirement is level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference Languages (CEFR). This requirement promotes employability and integration within the Isle of Man and ensures that migrants are equipped to play a full part in life on the Isle of Man.
Applicants who do not meet the required A1 level by being a national of a majority English speaking country or holding a degree taught or researched in English, and who do not qualify for an exemption, are required to pass an approved test from a Home Office approved test provider at a secure test centre.
An applicant is exempt from the English language requirements if at the date of application:
- (a) the applicant is aged 65 or over;
- (b) the applicant has a disability (physical or mental condition) which prevents the applicant from meeting the requirement; or
- (c) there are exceptional circumstances which prevent the applicant from being able to meet the requirement.
New A2 English Language requirement
From 1 December 2017, applicants who have completed 2.5 years (30 months) in the Isle of Man with leave as a partner or parent under Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules, and who are applying for further leave to remain in that category, will be required to obtain an approved English language speaking and listening qualification at level A2 or higher unless they:
- Are a national of a majority English-speaking country (Appendix B of the Isle of Man Immigration Rules)
- They have a disability which prevents them from meeting this requirement; or
- There are exceptional circumstances which prevent them from being able to meet the requirement.
The requirement will apply to those whose leave to enter or remain as a partner or parent on a 5-year route to settlement under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules will expire on or after the 1 December 2017. An applicant whose leave is due to expire from 1 December 2017 and who makes an application on or before 1 December 2017 will be subject to the A2 requirement if they are applying for further leave to remain.
An applicant who do not otherwise meet the A2 English language requirement or qualify for an exemption from it and whose English language listening and speaking skills are not already at A2 level, will need to improve their language skills and pass an approved A2 test before submitting their further leave application.
Applicants intending to settle in the Isle of Man and apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) will continue, to be required to meet the B1 English language requirement and pass the Life in the UK and Islands test prior to submitting an application for ILR.
Approved English Language Tests
The following test providers are approved under the Immigration Rules to provide A2 level English language speaking and listening tests for applications under Appendix FM:
Changes to requirements for Knowledge of Life in the UK and Islands
All applicants for indefinite leave to remain and naturalisation as a British citizen will need to meet the knowledge of language and life requirement, unless they are exempt.
You can demonstrate your knowledge of language and life in the UK in three ways:
Passing the Life in the UK test, and either
having a qualification in English at B1 level or above of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), which includes assessment of speaking and listening, or
are considered automatically to meet the English language component of the KoLL requirement
You may be exempted from the requirement if you are over the age of 65, or have a serious physical or mental condition that would prevent you from meeting this requirement for the foreseeable future. For more information, see the Home Office Exemptions page.
Qualification in English at B1 level or above of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), which includes assessment of speaking and listening
A range of English language qualifications will be accepted as evidence that an applicant has met the B1 level speaking and listening requirements.
- 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.
Applicants considered to automatically meet the English language component of the KoLL requirement
The following groups are considered automatically to meet the English language component of the KoLL requirement and will not be required to show a formal speaking and listening qualification:
- Nationals of majority English speaking countries
- Those who have obtained a degree taught in English.
Both of these groups will, however, be required to pass the Life in the UK test to demonstrate their knowledge of life in the UK.
Countries accepted as majority English speaking countries
The Immigration Rules recognise the following as majority English speaking countries:
Antigua and Barbuda
St Kitts and Nevis
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
United States of America
We will include the Republic of Ireland for naturalisation purposes.
However, applicants that automatically meet the language component of the KoLL requirement will still be required to pass the Life in the UK test to demonstrate their knowledge of life in the UK.
Degree taught in English
The applicant will meet the language requirement if they have obtained an academic qualification (not a professional or vocational qualification), which is deemed by UK NARIC (the National Recognition Information Centre of the UK) to meet the recognised standard of a Bachelor's degree, Masters degree or PhD in the UK from an educational establishment in one of the following countries:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- the Bahamas
- New Zealand
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United States of America
and provides the specified documents.
If the applicant has obtained an academic qualification (not a professional or vocational qualification) from a country not listed above, they must either:
A(1) provide the specified evidence to show he / she has the qualification, and
(2) UK NARIC has confirmed the degree was taught or researched in English,
B(1) provide the specified evidence to show he/she has the qualification, and
(2) provide evidence that the qualification was taught or researched in English
What is specified evidence?
A certificate issued by the relevant institution confirming the award of the academic qualification. Provisional degree certificates are not acceptable. The certificate should show:
- Applicant's name;
- The title of award;
- Date of award; and
- The name of the awarding institution.
If the applicant no longer has the original certificate and cannot get a new one, they must submit a letter on official headed paper from the awarding academic institution with all of the above details and confirmation that the institution is unable to reissue the original certificate.
More information can be found on the Home Office website - Knowledge of language and life in the UK guidance.