New English language test for Indians seeking UK visa

Applicants will need to show that they can speak and understand English to a basic level. They will usually meet this requirement by passing an English language test with a UK Border Agency-approved test provider as the government seeks to integrate migrants into British society.

According to an official announcement, applicants need to pass this language test before they apply for a visa and submit an original test certificate with their visa application from Monday.

The new language requirement is intended to help migrants integrate into British society - to open up more opportunities, help prevent exploitation, and allow them to benefit from, and contribute more to their communities.

It is also possible to meet the English language requirement by having an academic qualification equivalent to a Bachelor's degree in the UK which was taught in English.
Applicants will need to provide the original qualification certificate with their visa application.

This English language requirement does not apply to visitors or the spouses and partners of those in the UK who are on a temporary visa, such as workers and students under the points based system.

In a decision earlier this week, the government announced a cap of 21,700 on the number of skilled workers from India and other countries outside the European Union from April 2011, a decision likely to adversely impact thousands of Indians seeking to move to the UK.

The figure is a cut of 6,300 on the equivalent figure for 2009. Once the figure of 21,700 is reached, it is envisaged that no further employment visas will be granted during the year.

The cap excludes employees transferred by their companies from another country. The Inter-Company Transfer visa route is mostly used by Indian companies.

The decision has been flayed by a group representing the interests of professionals from India and other countries outside the European Union.

Buffeted by major funding cuts and looming cuts in the number of high-fee paying students from India and other non-EU countries, UK universities have lodged a strong protest against moves that are likely to seriously jeopardise their finances and global reputation.

 

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