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English Language: Migrants

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL2079, tabled on 16 October 2017

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that UK nationals can meet the English language proficiency threshold that has been set for non-UK nationals seeking permanent residency.

Answered on

30 October 2017

The department is supporting adults in England to ensure they have the English language skills for life and work.

Adults in England who do not have a Level 2 qualification in English are eligible for free courses up to, and including, Level 2 in English literacy. Adults in England are also eligible for fully or co-funded courses to help them learn English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), depending on their employment status. Funding is available for ESOL courses and qualifications up to Level 2. In 2016/17, the department supported 536,700 adults to improve their English skills through literacy courses and 114,400 through ESOL courses.

Since 2013, the Department for Communities and Local Government has invested £12 million to support 54,000 isolated adults to learn English in community settings at pre-entry level, focusing on women with no or very little English who are unlikely to access classes in more formal settings.

The English language proficiency level for non-UK nationals seeking permanent residency or applying to naturalise as British citizens is set at B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. This is equivalent to an ESOL Entry Level 3. Detailed Immigration Rules can be accessed here at the below web link or via the attached document.