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How to Pass the English Language Requirement for Skilled Worker Application

BY: Andrea Perez and Micah Lee

Immigration rates to the UK have faced a steady increase since the pandemic. Work-related visas granted in the year ending March 2022 saw a 129% increase from the previous year, 66% of these were for skilled workers.

The Skilled Worker Visa is a route available to Applicants outside the UK. They must have a job that is eligible under this visa, from an employer who has been approved by the Home Office and are paid at least the minimum salary for the type of work they are doing.

Unlike the Health and Care Worker Visa, which is specifically aimed at overseas medical professionals to work within the NHS or in social care, the Skilled Worker Visa is aimed at a variety of professions. For example, chefs or quality control and
planning engineers.

One of the key requirements of the Skilled Worker application is meeting the English Language requirement. The Applicant must prove they can read, write, speak and understand English. They can prove their knowledge of English by passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider. They must achieve at least a level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The approved test providers within the UK and outside the UK are listed on the gov.uk website.
There are also other ways to meet the English Language requirement. For example:

 – If the Applicant has a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English.
 – A degree-level academic qualification that was taught in English. If the applicant studied abroad, they need to apply through Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC) to confirm that the qualification is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD in the UK.
 – If they are a national of a majority English speaking country such as, Canada, New Zealand, USA, etc.

In conclusion, Applicants for the Skilled Worker Visa have specific English requirements that must be met. Failure to meet the level B1 of the CEFR scale as well as failure to acquire a test result from an approved provider will lead to an unsuccessful application. Therefore, for anyone who seeks to apply through this route, it is important to research and understand all the requirements.

Source: gov.uk, coe.int