Department, faculty and colleges should satisfy themselves that the English language requirement is met before requesting a Skilled Worker CoS. This can be met by meeting one of the options below. Proof of meeting the English language requirement must be included in the visa application.
Any delay in verifying the English language requirement (such as the applicant needing to sit an English language test or have qualifications verified by UK NARIC) will delay the visa application.
1. Nationals from the following English speaking countries automatically meet the English language requirement:
Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the USA
2. English language test
For those who intend to meet the English language requirement by passing an approved English language test, please see the Home Office's guidance on the 'Knowledge of English' requirements and their list of Approved English Language Test providers and centres. This provides guidance on acceptable programmes and the grade applicants must reach in order to meet the Skilled Worker requirements.
Either ‘Academic’ or ‘General’ level English tests are acceptable but they must be approved tests for UKVI applications taken at an approved test centre.
There have been cases where applicants have sat the wrong English language test, or have taken the test at the wrong test centre. Having to book, pay for, and sit another test has led to significant delays to start dates. In order to avoid such delays please ensure applicants consult the Home Office list of Approved English Language Test providers and centres before booking a test.
3. Applicant was awarded a degree from a higher education institution where the course was entirely taught in English
A GCSE/A Level or Scottish Highers in English, studied at school in the UK
If the qualification is a Bachelor, Masters or PhD degree (or equivalent) awarded by an institution in Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago or USA, the applicant will need to have the level of the qualification verified by UK NARIC (see further information below). The degree certificate and the UK NARIC certificate (confirming their degree is equivalent to a UK degree) should be included in the visa application.
If the qualification was awarded by a country not listed above but was taught entirely in English, the applicant will need to apply for two UK NARIC certificates:
- UK NARIC certificate confirming the level of English at which the degree was taught; and
- UK NARIC certificate confirming the degree is equivalent to a UK degree
Applying for a UK NARIC certificate
Those who are required to have their qualification verified by UK NARIC can apply for verification online. A fee of £125+VAT is payable per application for verification. UK NARIC charge a single fee of £125 + VAT whether applicants are submitting one or multiple qualifications for verification and will return decisions by post within ten days.
Applicants who are required to obtain verification of their qualification(s) from UK NARIC are advised to do so as early as possible or consider taking an approved English language test instead which in some cases may be quicker and/or more cost effective.
When applying for verification to UK NARIC, applicants should be aware that they will be required to upload scanned copies of both their original degree certificate and their academic transcript. Those who are also required to have the fact that their qualification was taught in English verified, must also submit a letter form the institution that awarded their qualification confirming that the qualification was taught entirely in English. If any of the original documents are not in English, a certified translation will also need to be provided to UK NARIC.
Applicants should be aware that an application to UK NARIC does not guarantee that they will certify the level of the qualification or that it was taught in English. Where verification is not successful, the applicant will need to take and pass an approved English language test instead.