Life in the UK Test
All adults aged 18-65 who apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain will be subject to the requirement to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and life in the UK. Adults aged 18-65 will have to meet this requirement unless the applicant falls under the Transitional Arrangements for Skilled & Highly Skilled Migrants as of 6 April 2011.
In the case of dependants, be aware that the principal applicant must fulfill the requirements in order for any of his/her dependants to receive ILR. For example, if a work permit holder's dependant spouse successfully passes the Life in the UK test but the work permit holder him/herself does not, neither the work permit holder or his/her spouse (or any of their children) will receive ILR.
Minor children are exempt, but children who are 18 or over at the time that they are eligible for ILR will be subject to the requirement. Those who are physically or mentally unable to meet the language & life in the UK requirement will also be exempt. Exemptions exist for those applying under the Bereaved Parter, Domestic Violence and Retired Persons of Independent Means categories.
The Life in the UK Test for ILR: Key Points
- The most recent guide was published 26 March 2007 (Second Edition) and is available directly from The Stationary Office or at many book retailers.
- The Life in the UK test can be taken at any one of the 65 test centres around the country- for more information go to www.lifeintheuktest.gov.uk. A sample test is also available on the website.
- Those will be applying forr ILR can take the Life in the UK test at any time prior to application.
- If an applicant passes the test for ILR purposes, he/she will not have to take it again when making an application for British citizenship.
- Those who already have ILR and have not taken the Life in the UK test will have to pass it if applying for naturalisation.
- If an applicant cannot pass the Life in the UK test in time to apply for ILR, he/she should apply for an extension of FLR (paying the appropriate fee), which will be granted assuming that the immigration rules for their current immigration category continue to be met. Work permit holders should renew their work permit before applying for a FLR extension. The Home Office will not remove someone from the country simply because they fail to meet the language/Life in the UK requirement.
Indefinite Leave to Enter
Because the new rules state that all (non-exempt) applicants for settlement must pass the language and life knowledge requirements, overseas consulates will not issue Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) to individuals without a certificate showing this requirement has been met.
- This will mainly affect spouses and partners who have been living with their UK sponsors for 4 or more years outside the UK. .
- If the spouse (partner) has passed the test and includes the certificate with their application, and they meet all the other requirements, they can be issued ILE.
- If the spouse (partner) has not passed the test, yet meets all other requirements for ILE, upon application for entry there is the option to request the 'KOL Req' Endorsement to be applied to the visa. This endorsement allows the bearer to enter the UK, take the LiUK test and upon successfully passing the test to immediately apply for ILR without having to meet the 24 month residence period.