Visas: English Language

Home Office written question – answered on 12th October 2020.

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Photo of Neil Coyle Neil Coyle Labour, Bermondsey and Old Southwark

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how her Department is making decisions on visa applications for people required to undertake English language tests as part of their application process where language test centres are closed due to the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Home Office has implemented a number of measures for visa applicants, including for those who are unable to take an English language tests due to the impact of Covid-19.

Details of all published concessions are available at -

Some specific concessions are in place on English language testing, for example, those applying to enter the UK or remain on the basis of family or private life can apply for an exemption if the test centre was closed or if they were unable to travel to a test centre due to Covid-19.

For students, Higher Education Providers (HEP) can self-assess the English ability of those studying at degree level or above and due to Covid-19, this provision has been temporarily extended to allow HEPs to self-assess the English ability of students undertaking pre-sessional courses.

The majority of Secure English Language Testing (SELT) centres have reopened in England and in a number of overseas locations outside of the UK, where local restrictions have eased.

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