UK Immigrations: Knowledge of English Exemptions

You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re:

  • Aged 65 or over
  • Unable to, because of a long-term physical or mental condition

If you are unable to because of long-term physical or mental conditions, you will need to provide a completed exemption form from a doctor confirming your physical or mental condition.

Nationalities Exempt from Meeting the English Language Requirement

There are nationalities that are exempt from meeting the English Language requirement. These are:

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

If you’re from a country that’s not on the list you’ll need to prove your knowledge of English, even if English is an official language.

Exemptions if you’re applying to settle:

You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re applying as:

  • A victim of domestic violence as the partner or spouse of a British citizen or someone settled in the UK
  • The partner or spouse of a person who has died who was either a British citizen or someone settled in the UK
  • An adult-dependent relative between 18 and 64 of someone who is present and settled in the UK, is a refugee, or has humanitarian
  • protection
  • A refugee living in the UK
  • Someone living in the UK with discretionary leave
  • Someone living in the UK for with humanitarian protection
  • Someone who has permission to stay in the UK as a retired person of independent means
  • A Commonwealth citizen on discharge from HM Forces, including Gurkhas
  • Someone in exceptional circumstances, for example as an orphan, widow or over-age dependant