Language requirement under 281(i)(b)(ii)?

Old Feb 5th 2012, 2:57 pm
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Default Language requirement under 281(i)(b)(ii)?

Unlike para 281(i)(a)(ii), which specifies that an official test must be taken and passed at level A1 or above, para 281(i)(b)(ii) of the Rules, simply says that the applicant must demostrate "...sufficient knowledge of the English language...". Not a dicky bird about a test. If I understand correctly, there has already been at least one case in which an application has been made under para 281(i)(b)(ii) without an official test, and has been successful (albeit on appeal).

Does anyone know any more about this? The wife and I are really up against the clock, now, before these new rules kick in, and being able to avoid the language test would help enormously. She can demonstrate ability in so many other ways. Being a qualified English teacher, for one.

Thanks.
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Old Feb 5th 2012, 3:43 pm
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Default Re: Language requirement under 281(i)(b)(ii)?

Further, would anyone with knowledge of this case consider that para 2.3 of the Immigration Directorate Instructions (Nov 2011) (http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/si...df?view=Binary) and Annex A3 (http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/si...df?view=Binary) effectively closes this option?

Thanks.
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Old Feb 6th 2012, 1:50 am
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Default Re: Language requirement under 281(i)(b)(ii)?

Originally Posted by TomInHongKong View Post
Unlike para 281(i)(a)(ii), which specifies that an official test must be taken and passed at level A1 or above, para 281(i)(b)(ii) of the Rules, simply says that the applicant must demostrate "...sufficient knowledge of the English language...". Not a dicky bird about a test. If I understand correctly, there has already been at least one case in which an application has been made under para 281(i)(b)(ii) without an official test, and has been successful (albeit on appeal).

Does anyone know any more about this? The wife and I are really up against the clock, now, before these new rules kick in, and being able to avoid the language test would help enormously. She can demonstrate ability in so many other ways. Being a qualified English teacher, for one.
Originally a pass in the Life in the UK test indicated that the person has sufficient knowledge of English. Whether or not this is still considered the case with the requirement of an English test is not clearly indicated anywhere that I've seen. It would be best to include a recognised English test pass, however you may also want to check with an immigration solicitor. The forums on UK Residenthave immigration solicitors on there (though not sure if they just mainly stick to the "supported forums" nowadays).
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Old Feb 6th 2012, 2:45 am
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Default Re: Language requirement under 281(i)(b)(ii)?

Thanks, roaringmouse. My wife's Life in the UK certificate does have on it words to the effect of 'no further evidence of English language proficiency is required', but I'd take that with a big pinch of salt as it's not really designed for people coming in from outside the UK. There's always a "Yes, but...", unless I can find an actual test case ruling.

It would be so much easier, I think, just to have the certificate, so I am trying to line up a BULATS test, as I have heard these can be done on practically zero notice, but I'm still investigating whether we can do it in Hong Kong and whether the results will be ready in time.

Fingers crossed.
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Old Feb 6th 2012, 1:03 pm
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Default Re: Language requirement under 281(i)(b)(ii)?

seems to me that if it says that no further language proficiency evidence is required, then id just take it as being true
you can always submit it with the visa application as well as showing her qualifications as an english teacher , those should demonstrate language proficiency without taking one of the english language courses
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Old Feb 7th 2012, 2:16 am
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Default Re: Language requirement under 281(i)(b)(ii)?

Originally Posted by paulpur View Post
seems to me that if it says that no further language proficiency evidence is required, then id just take it as being true
you can always submit it with the visa application as well as showing her qualifications as an english teacher , those should demonstrate language proficiency without taking one of the english language courses
You'd think so, wouldn't you? But I called the Consulate in Shanghai yesterday, and the person to whom I spoke was very clear that no matter what other evidence I have, and no matter how compelling it might be, the application will be refused in the first instance unless it is accompanied by one of the test certificates specified on the list.

She was very sympathetic and tried to suggest all sorts of ways within the rules that we might be exempt from taking the test, but she wouldn't go as far as to agree with me that a patently obvious ability in English ought to be enough, or that leaving common sense at the door was an absurd way to run an immigration department.

--EDIT-- (ADD DETAIL) - The actual wording of the Life in the UK test certificate says "Your success at this test also demonstrates that your level of competence in English meets the required standard for naturalisation or indefinite leave to remain. No further proof of this is needed". But again, said the apologetic officer in Shanghai, if it's not on the list, it doesn't count. --EDIT--

Last edited by TomInHongKong; Feb 7th 2012 at 2:23 am.
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Old Feb 7th 2012, 5:56 am
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Default Re: Language requirement under 281(i)(b)(ii)?

If this question is whether a KOL certificate provides the necessary language qualification for ILE (assuming marriage for 4+ years), then it does. I have it in writing from another British Embassy, and if you check around the forums, this is a route that many people use. The problem is that the form and accompanying notes does not make a specific reference to this.
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Old Feb 7th 2012, 7:13 am
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Default Re: Language requirement under 281(i)(b)(ii)?

Originally Posted by Markusha View Post
If this question is whether a KOL certificate provides the necessary language qualification for ILE (assuming marriage for 4+ years), then it does. I have it in writing from another British Embassy, and if you check around the forums, this is a route that many people use. The problem is that the form and accompanying notes does not make a specific reference to this.
Really? Oh, why can't they get their act together and all agree on what rules they're following??? The girl in Shanghai, yesterday, was adamant. This is why I'm losing my hair.

We've got a TOEIC test booked, but the guy from the test centre said he would 'try' to get the results to us 'by the end of March'.

I only hope that Parliament's upcoming breaks delay the final implementation. For clarity, in order for the Government to make changes to the immigration rules, it has to lay a Statement of Changes before both Houses. The House of Commons is in Easter Recess from 27 March to 16 April, so unless they get the changes through in early March, we should get a bit of breathing space.

Now that I've said that, of course, I can guess what the next item of Parliamentary business is going to be...
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Old Feb 7th 2012, 7:18 am
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Default Re: Language requirement under 281(i)(b)(ii)?

A thought on the timing of the rules changes Tom. Do you know / know of any UK MP(s) who could potentially ensure that the statement of changes get called to debate rather than just rubber stamped?
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Old Feb 7th 2012, 7:46 am
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Default Re: Language requirement under 281(i)(b)(ii)?

Originally Posted by englishguygoinghome View Post
A thought on the timing of the rules changes Tom. Do you know / know of any UK MP(s) who could potentially ensure that the statement of changes get called to debate rather than just rubber stamped?
I have been in contact with a Lib Dem peer about this. He assures me that the Law Practitioners Association has made representations against the MAC proposal and that the matter is still being considered, but he advises that once the Statement is laid before Parliament it would be "highly unusual for a motion to approve such a statement to be negatived".

My local MP is a Conservative and hasn't responded to my e-mail.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 1:19 am
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Default Re: Language requirement under 281(i)(b)(ii)?

In support of what Markusha wrote, and in direct contradiction to what the girl from the Shanghai consulate told me, I have an e-mail response from the visa processing centre in the Philippines stating :

"If the applicant and the sponsor can demonstrate they have been living together as a married couple for four or more years outside the UK, and the applicant has a valid Knowledge of Life test, then there is no further requirement to submit a language certificate from any of the approved testing centres."

I am so frickin' relieved, right now.
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Old Feb 10th 2012, 4:47 am
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Default Re: Language requirement under 281(i)(b)(ii)?

if you apply now you will need to show that you intend to travel within the next few months, your other posts suggest you will not travel til December.
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Old Feb 10th 2012, 10:51 am
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Default Re: Language requirement under 281(i)(b)(ii)?

Originally Posted by pennylessinindia View Post
if you apply now you will need to show that you intend to travel within the next few months, your other posts suggest you will not travel til December.
The date you put on the application is an intended date, it does not tie you in to that date. If ILE is granted then technically there isn't a date you must enter by, but much longer than about 6 months you're likely to be asked more questions by the border guard. Under current rules, the start date of the visa can be post-dated up to 3 months.
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Old Feb 10th 2012, 11:03 am
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Default Re: Language requirement under 281(i)(b)(ii)?

Originally a pass in the Life in the UK test indicated that the person has sufficient knowledge of English. Whether or not this is still considered the case with the requirement of an English test is not clearly indicated anywhere that I've seen. It would be best to include a recognised English test pass, however you may also want to check with an immigration solicitor. The forums on UK Residenthave immigration solicitors on there (though not sure if they just mainly stick to the "supported forums" nowadays).
We've just filled out the SET(M) (ILR) forms and the way it is worded on there is an 'either or' situation. You either need the KOL cert or the ESOL, not both.

Having said that, we applied for the Settlement (Spouse) visa from Oz and my wife isn't originally from Oz, but because she was an Oz citizen and had been living there for 16yrs and a degree that was studied for in English, the BHC in Canberra said that Mrs TB did not need to demonstrate any further knowledge of English. How that would have worked if we were applying from Korea, I don't know. (that was when we applied for our first one in 06, in 2009 when applied for our 2nd one, it wasn't mentioned)

Obviously that was for the spouse visa, and now she has passed her KOL test here in the UK. It's a pity we didn't have that before as we could have saved the £1350 it's going to cost us on Feb 22nd for her ILR fee,,uuugh!

Last edited by Tr1boy; Feb 10th 2012 at 11:17 am.
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Old Feb 10th 2012, 1:58 pm
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Default Re: Language requirement under 281(i)(b)(ii)?

Originally Posted by Tr1boy View Post
We've just filled out the SET(M) (ILR) forms and the way it is worded on there is an 'either or' situation. You either need the KOL cert or the ESOL, not both.
The ESOL with citizenship that can be done for ILR or Citizenship stage (if ILR obtained before the requirement to get it at ILR stage) is not the same as the recognised English tests for initial application overseas for partners.
Originally Posted by Tr1boy View Post
Obviously that was for the spouse visa, and now she has passed her KOL test here in the UK. It's a pity we didn't have that before as we could have saved the £1350 it's going to cost us on Feb 22nd for her ILR fee,,uuugh!
Haven't I read elsewhere on the forums you're pretty much definitely returning to Australia now?
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