Changes to the English Language Requirements tests article banner image

Over the last few months a number of changes have been made to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

The CEFR is an internationally recognised system which describes language ability through a number of levels from A1 (beginners) up to C2 (fully proficient).

In order to pass the English Language requirement for many applications to remain or enter in the UK, the Home Office requires for the applicant to evidence their English language ability to the CEFR level required by that particular application.

On the 1st July 2014 the Home Office removed the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) from the available tests.

Additionally, as at the 1st August 2014 the following English Language tests have been removed from the list; English Skills for life (ESOL) Entry Clearance/Level 1 and Level 2 Certificate by Trinity College London, Business Language Testing Service online test issued by Cambridge English (BULATS); and the Cambridge IGCSE from the list.

The Home Office has made provisional arrangements to allow applicants who have completed  ESOL or BULATS tests which were administered by Cambridge English or Trinity College to be recognised as though the applications were made on the 31st July, for Leave to remain applications they must have made their application before the 1st August.  For Entry Clearance applications, they will need to be submitted before the 22nd August.

With changes to the requirements on almost a monthly basis, applicants should be very careful when making an application that the test they have taken is as at the time of the application valid and recognised by the Home Office to meet the criteria.

Jo Cassidy is a Paralegal in the Exeter Employment and Immigration Team. She specialises in immigration and nationality issues. To contact Jo about this or any related issue please call 01392 210700 or email