Naturalisation

House of Lords written question – answered on 6th January 2015.

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Photo of Lord Roberts of Llandudno Lord Roberts of Llandudno Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether an applicant for naturalisation is exempt from satisfying the English language requirement if the applicant can prove a knowledge of Welsh or Scots Gaelic at a minimum level of Bachelor of Arts on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

An individual applying for naturalisation is required to demonstrate their knowledge of language and life in the UK. The British Nationality (General) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 specify how that requirement may be satisfied, which does not include demonstrating proficiency in either Welsh or Scottish Gaelic. The ability to speak to and understand the wider community is key to integration. As English is the language spoken throughout the UK, an ability to speak English enables interaction wherever an individual chooses to live. Therefore, a person can only meet this part of the knowledge of language and life requirement by demonstrating speaking and listening proficiency in English.

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