Overseas Students: Visas

Home Office written question – answered on 2nd December 2015.

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Photo of Kirsten Oswald Kirsten Oswald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Armed Forces and Veterans)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what regulations on prior knowledge of English apply to applicants for Tier 4 visas where the student's principal purpose in entering the UK is to study English as a foreign language.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration)

International students whose principal purpose for coming to the UK is to study English can use the Tier 4 (General) route of the points-based system or the short-term student route.

Applicants who wish to study a course below degree level under Tier 4 (General) must demonstrate that they are competent in English language at a minimum of level B1 in all four components (speaking, listening, reading and writing) on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Those who wish to study a course at degree level or above must demonstrate they are competent at a minimum of level B2 in all four components.

Applicants who wish to study under the short-term student route are not required to demonstrate a prior knowledge of English language. English language courses may be studied for up to 11 months under this route.

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