What is the English language requirement for UK visas? - | Hudson McKenzie

What is the English language requirement for UK visas?

January 27, 2021 | Immigration, UK Government

The English language requirement can be confusing for people applying for UK visas. Some people may think that they do not need to meet the requirement because they speak English well or they are from a country which speaks English day-to-day. However, the Home Office has specific requirements in Appendix B of the immigration rules, which outlines what they will accept as proof of English language.

Regardless of how well you speak English, if your country is not on the list of majority speaking English countries, then you will need to provide evidence of your English language ability to be eligible for a visa.  

Majority speaking English countries:

Antigua and Barbuda


The Bahamas









New Zealand

St Kitts and Nevis

St Lucia

St Vincent and The Grenadines

Trinidad and Tobago

the USA

What do you need to provide to meet the English language requirement?

For non-majority speaking English nationals, the requirement can be met in a number of ways. Depending on the level of English needed for a certain visa, you could provide a degree certificate from your home country which may need to be approved by UK NARIC, a SELT (Secure English Language Test) or a degree obtained in the UK. The full list of approved tests and levels can be found in the English language guidance

SELT tests

In order for your SELT to be approved, your test must be on the list of approved English language tests, at an approved location and must have been awarded in the 2 years before your application is made. So make sure that your test will be valid before you book it. The test must be at the right level that is required for the particular visa you are applying for and if not, your visa application will likely be refused. 

Should you have any queries regarding the above information or if you require assistance with your corporate, employment or immigration matter, please get in touch with a legal professional at Hudson McKenzie via email at londoninfo@hudsonmckenzie.com or by telephone +44(0) 20 3318 5794.