Monday, 8 December 2014

When switching to a Spouse/Partner visa, can I use evidence of English language which I used in the previous (non-Spouse/Partner) application?

For example, if you  are switching from a Tier 4 Student visa or from a Tier 1 General visa or from a Tier 2 visa, you need to prove English language proficiency at minimum A1 level (in Speaking and Listening). Most likely you needed a higher level for your student visa (A1 is the most basic level). You had proved English at a much higher level if you  have a Tier 1 visa. And you had probably proved English at minimum A1 level if you’re switching from a Tier 2 visa (except for some on Intra-Company Transfer visas). So, wouldn’t be logical to just say you had proved it before and are relying on it now, in your FLR(M) application?
It would be logical but it won’t be within the Rules. If your previous visa were in the same category, ie a Spouse/Partner/Fiancée visa, and you’re extending in the same category then Yes, you can rely on the fact you had proved English language requirement earlier (assuming those visas were immediately before the current one).
However, if your previous visa is in a different category then you have to prove English all over again. For example, if you’re switching from a Tier 1 visa (ie Post-Study Work, General etc) to a Spouse/Partner visa and used your degree to meet the English language requirement previously then you can use the same degree again – but need to provide the original certificate (so it’s like doing it all over again).
If you are switching from a Tier 4 visa and have completed a degree in the UK (Bachelor, Master, PhD) then you can use it to prove English. If you don’t have a certificate yet it’s not a problem, as long as you have successfully completed your degree, it can be other documents than a certificate.
If you’re switching from a Tier 2 visa and used, say, an IELTS test 3 years ago which has now expired, then you can’t use it for your Spouse/Partner visa.
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