Prove your knowledge of English for citizenship and settling

2. Who doesn't need to prove their knowledge of English

You don’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re:

  • aged 65 or over
  • unable to, because of a long-term physical or mental condition

You must provide a completed exemption form or letter from a doctor confirming your physical or mental condition.

Nationalities that are exempt

You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a citizen of:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of Ireland (for citizenship only)
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

If you’re from a country that’s not on the list you’ll need to prove your knowledge of English, even if English is an official language.

If you’re applying for citizenship

There are no other exemptions if you’re applying to become a British citizen. You must have a relevant English language qualification even if you were exempt when you were granted settlement.

Exemptions if you’re applying to settle

You don’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re applying as:

  • a victim of domestic violence as the partner or spouse of a British citizen or someone settled in the UK
  • the partner or spouse of a person who has died who was either a British citizen or someone settled in the UK
  • an adult dependent relative between 18 and 64 of someone who is present and settled in the UK, is a refugee or has humanitarian protection
  • a refugee living in the UK
  • someone living in the UK with discretionary leave
  • someone living in the UK for with humanitarian protection
  • someone who has permission to stay in the UK as a retired person of independent means
  • a Commonwealth citizen on discharge from HM Forces, including Gurkhas
  • a highly skilled migrant applying under the terms of the highly skilled migrant program (HSMP) judicial review and your dependants
  • someone in exceptional circumstances, eg as an orphan, widow or over-age dependant