British Citizenship (Naturalisation) English Language Test in 2019

The required British citizenship English language test in 2019 is the B1 standard test of the CEFR. This test must be on the Home Office approved Secure English language test list (which can be found here) and is required for British naturalisation applications.

If you are already British, you do not need to take an English language test – all you need to do is make a simple British passport application.

To kickstart your preparation stage, here are some helpful things you should bear in mind when taking a British citizenship English language test.

In this article, we will discuss:

  • The specific type of English language test that you must take
  • The cases in which you will NOT need to take the English language test because you are exempt
  • The different ways in which you can satisfy the British citizenship English language requirement without having to take the B1 test
  • How much the British citizenship english language test will cost you
  • The documents that you will need to submit in your application in order to meet the English language requirement

types english language tests

Which British Citizenship English language test shall I take?

There are four different B1 tests that you can take.

• IELTS Life Skills provided by IELTS SELT Consortium (link here)

• IELTS provided by IELTS SELT Consortium

• Integrated Skills in English provided by Trinity College London (link here)

• Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE) provided by Trinity College London (link here)

If you are relying on an English test in order to meet the British citizenship English language requirement, the test that you take must be one of the above.

This is because the above four tests can be found on the Home Office approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) list.

exempt english language requirement

Are you exempt from the the English Language requirement?

All those applying for naturalisation must meet both parts of the KoLL requirement, unless they are exempt because of their age, physical or mental condition.

Exemption due to age

If you are under 18 years of age or aged 65 or over on the date of application, you will not be required to meet the English language requirement. This is because you will be exempt.

If you are aged 60-64, you will normally be exempt if the time needed to meet the B1 standard will mean that you will then be aged 65 or over.

In order to evidence your age, you must provide evidence that shows this.

This may include:

  • Your passport;
  • EEA identity card (for naturalisation purposes)
  • Your birth certificate

Exemption due to a physical or mental condition

If, because of a physical or mental condition, it would be unreasonable for you to meet the English language requirement, then you do not need to sit the B1 exam.

The question is, ‘how does the condition prevent the applicant from learning the required level of English?’.

Following from this, you will normally be considered exempt if you are deaf, if you are a person without speech or if you have a speech impediment that limits your ability to communicate in English.

It is important to note that each application that claims exemption from the English language requirement to a physical or mental disability will be considered on its own merits. It will depend on your particular circumstances.

meeting language requirement

Different ways you can meet the English language requirement

There are three ways you can meet the British citizenship English language requirement.

#1 Taking the English language test

The most common way is to take an exam from the SELT list which is authorised by the Home Office and pass at least the B1 level for English speaking and listening.

#2 Having an English taught Degree, Masters or Ph.D. degree

Another way to meet the English language requirement is by getting an English-taught degree as long as the nature of the study is academic, and it is accepted by UK National Academic Recognition Information Center (UK NARIC) as a bachelor, master, or Ph.D. degree.

To prove that your degree was English-taught or research in a majority English speaking country, you need to provide the following documents:

  • Degree certificate
  • A document which states that your degree passes the UK qualification as confirmed by the UK NARIC

For applicants with a degree taught in a non-majority English speaking country, you need to provide the following documents:

  • Degree certificate
  • A document stating that your degree conforms to the UK standard as confirmed by the UK NARIC
  • Document from UK NARIC which confirms that your degree was English taught.

#3 By being a citizen of a majority English speaking country

The final option to meet the English language requirement is by being a citizen of a majority English speaking country. Automatically, you don’t have to take the English test if you are a citizen of any of the following:

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

#4 By being exempt

We discussed this above.

british citizenship language cost

How much does the British Citizenship English Language Test cost in 2019?

The Grade 5 (B1) GESE Trinity exam costs £150.

The IELTS Life Skills B1 test will cost (approximately) £150.

This is for one attempt at passing the test.

If you do not pass the test, then you will have to pay another £150 for another attempt at the test.

documents requirement english language

What documents do you need to prepare to meet the English Language requirement in 2019?

1. For applicants aged 65 years old and above who are exempted to take the test, you only need to provide a legal document showing your age like a passport, EEA identity card or birth certificate.

2. For applicants with mental and physical disability qualified for an exemption, you must provide a medical waiver pro forma, as well as original and current medical evidence from a medical practitioner.

3. For applicants who passed a Home Office approved English language test, you only need to supply the unique reference number of your exam. You can also provide a copy of your test certificate.

4. For applicants with an English-taught degree from an English speaking majority country, you need to provide an Academic Qualification Level Statement (AQUALS) from UK NARIC which confirms that your degree passes the UK standard.

5. For applicants with an English-taught degree from an English non-majority country, you need to provide an English Language Proficiency Statement (ELPS) from UK NARIC which confirms that your degree was taught in English as well as an Academic Qualification Level Statement (AQUALS) from UK NARIC which confirms that your degree passes the UK standard.

6. For applicants coming from a majority English-speaking country, you need to provide your passport, birth certificate or any travel document.

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