Family visas: apply from outside the UK

4. Knowledge of English

You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply.

You can prove your knowledge of English by passing a test at an approved test centre. You need to get at least CEFR level A1.

Check the current list of approved tests and test centres. This list changed on 6 April 2015 - tests on previous lists won’t be accepted.

Alternatively, you can give evidence that you have an academic qualification that both:

  • was taught or researched in English
  • is recognised by UK NARIC as equivalent to a bachelor’s or master’s degree or PhD

National of a majority English speaking country

You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of these countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • US


You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if:

  • you’re age 65 or over
  • you’re unable to because of a long-term physical or mental condition
  • you can show there are exceptional circumstances which prevent you from meeting the requirement

You must explain why you can’t prove your knowledge of English in your application and give evidence to support this.

More information

See the document about the English language requirement in the guidance for family members for more information.