Pwede ka palang exempted sa English test for a UK visa?

Kung mag-apply ka ng visa sa UK, mandatory ang English language requirement, but you may be exempt from taking and passing a certified English test if any of the following apply:

  • You are aged 65 or over
  • Have a physical or mental condition which means you are exempt*
  • You have a degree taught or researched in English
  • You are a citizen of one of the following countries:
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Australia
    • The Bahamas
    • Barbados
    • Belize
    • Canada
    • Dominica
    • Grenada
    • Guyana
    • Jamaica
    • New Zealand
    • Ireland (for citizenship only)
    • St Kitts and Nevis
    • St Lucia
    • St Vincent and the Grenadines
    • Trinidad and Tobago

Application For A Waiver Based On A Health Condition

In order to satisfy the exemption for those with physical or mental health conditions, a Waiver request for the knowledge of language and life in the UK requirement: medical opinion must be completed by a medical practitioner registered with the General Medical Council who is able to comment on the applicant’s specific condition/s.

Exemptions For Degree Taught Or Researched In English

Para naman magkaroon ka ng exemption, you will need to prove that you have a degree-level qualification taught in English. For those who attended a university in the UK, this process is relatively straightforward as the Home Office only requirea degree certificate as evidence. Kung ang iyong degree was taught in English outside of the UK, you will need to provide the Home Office with a copy of your degree certificate and an Academic Qualification Level Statement (AQUALS) from UK NARIC confirming that your degree is equivalent to a UK qualification.

UK NARIC is an official agency whose role it is to recognise and compare international qualifications and skills.

If you gained your degree in a country that is not majority English-speaking, then you will also need to ask UK NARIC to provide an English Language Proficiency Statement (ELPS) which confirms that the course was delivered in English.

In the absence of an official degree certificate (i.e. if you have lost it and cannot acquire a replacement) the Home Office may also accept an official transcript containing your name, the name, and address of the university, the degree, and confirmation of the award. Failing this, they may also accept an official letter from your university which states that it cannot reissue your certificate and includes your name, degree, and the date the degree was or will be awarded.

English Language Exemptions If You Are Applying For ILR

If you are applying for settlement in the UK, also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain, you will not be required to fulfil the English language requirements if you are:

  • 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 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
  • A highly skilled migrant applying under the terms of the highly skilled migrant program (HSMP) judicial review and your dependants
  • Someone in exceptional circumstances, for example as an orphan, widow or over-age dependant

Given the range of possible exemption scenarios, the Home Office clearly recognises that applying the English language requirement for the purposes of settlement in the UK is not always needed or appropriate.

In Conclusion

There are several circumstances that may negate the need for you to sit and pass an English language test. This may come as welcome news to those who are exempt, especially given the considerable time and cost which may be saved by not having to learn and then attend exams. If you are unsure if you are exempt, it is advisable to speak to an immigration Solicitor before proceeding with your application.

Legal disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.


We are Queen’s Park Solicitors. My name is Mr.  Don Magsino, BSc, MBA, GDL. We are based at Suite 4, Stewart House, 56 Longbridge Road, Barking, Essex IG11 8RW Telephone: 02036437508 | Fax: 02033931725 | Email: donm@queensparksolicitors.co.uk

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