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As of the 28 October 2013, the government has introduced changes to the Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK (KoLL) requirement which will apply to any application for permanent residence (settlement) in the UK for adults (aged 18 and above). The new requirements will also apply to individuals applying to naturalise as British citizens.
There are two components to this requirement. Applicants for settlement and naturalisation are now required to:
The first component of the KoLL
The Life in the UK test
This is a computer based 45 minute test, with 24 multiple choice questions which are based on the official handbook “Life in the United Kingdom: A Guide for New Residents”. The test is for individuals to show that they understand English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic and know about life in the UK. Please see the link below to the Life in the UK test website which explains how to prepare for and book the test.
Click HERE for further details.
The second component of the KoLL
English Language Qualification
The purpose of this test is to demonstrate that applicants can understand and use English at a level which facilitates integration in the wider community. Although applicants do not need to study for this qualification at any particular institution it is important to ensure that their qualification will be recognised by the UKBA. Applicants will need to take a specified English language test or qualification which must be awarded by a recognised body.
The following qualifications will be accepted:-
Level B1 is described by the Council of Europe as the “Threshold level specification and is perhaps most categorised by two features. The first feature is the ability to maintain interaction and get across what you want to (…). The second feature is the ability to cope flexibly with problems in everyday life (…)”. In summary, applicants will need to demonstrate that they are able to discuss topics in their field of personal interest as well as various familiar topics regularly encountered in a school, work or leisure context.
These tests can be taken in any order. The cost of the Life in the UK test is £50 and the average cost of the English Language Qualification is £150. Should the applicant fail either of these test, these can be retaken. This will not be prejudicial to the application.
Degrees taught in English
Those who have obtained a degree taught in English will not be required to show a formal speaking and listening qualification. They will still be required to pass the Life in the UK test to demonstrate their knowledge of life in the UK (the first component of the KoLL requirement).
Those with an academic qualification (not a professional or vocational qualification) who provide appropriate evidence that the qualification was taught or researched in English 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. The qualification must be deemed by UK NARIC to meet the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD in the UK.
If an applicant’s academic qualification was obtained in one of the listed countries, the Home Office will assume that it was taught in English (click 'Read more' to see full list):
Nationals of majority English speaking countries
Nationals of designated majority English speaking countries 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. However, they will still be required to pass the Life in the UK test to demonstrate their knowledge of life in the UK.
Nationals of the following countries are accepted as majority English speakers (click 'Read more' to see full list):
Exemptions from the “Life in the UK” test AND the “English Language Qualification”
For settlement applications:
For naturalisation applications:
Please note that applicants who already have an English Language qualification at B1 level or above will not need to take another one.
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