Rules for citizenship and settlement in the UK tightened

29 Oct 2015

From 12 November 2015, new UKVI rules will mean that applications for British citizenship, where evidence of knowledge of English is required, will need to be supported a Secure English Language Test (SELT) qualification, at level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

From 19 November 2015, only certificates from approved SELT providers will be accepted by UKVI for applications for indefinite leave to remain (also known as settlement or permanent residency) where evidence of knowledge of English is required.

The UKVI-approved test offered by Trinity as a SELT for citizenship and settlement applications is GESE (Graded Examination in Spoken English), which tests speaking and listening skills through a one-to-one conversation with an expert Trinity examiner. Further details can be found on the Trinity website.

SELT qualifications may be taken in one of 10 approved SELT centres across the UK, where exams are run in secure but welcoming environments.

Sarah Kemp, Chief Executive of Trinity College London, said: ‘Our tests reflect real life contexts and are an excellent way of assessing the communications skills that people need every day in the UK.’


Notes to Editors
Trinity College London was appointed as one of two exam boards approved by the Home Office to provide SELTs in the UK from April this year. Trinity SELTs are suitable for UKVI applications worldwide.

Certain nationalities are exempt from UKVI rules to prove their knowledge of English, including Australian, Canadian and American citizens. Further details can be found on the UK government website.

Trinity’s SELT centres are in: London Holborn, London Hammersmith, Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Peterborough. Tests can be booked via the online booking site.

Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE) are available as SELTs as follows:

GESE Grade 2 (A1) approved for Further Leave to Remain (FLR):
  • Spouse/Partner – FLR (M)
  • Parent of a Dependant – FLR (FP)
  • 6 minute speaking and listening test

GESE Grade 5 (B1) approved for:
  • British citizenship (Naturalisation)
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) (Settlement/Permanent Residency)
  • 10 minute speaking and listening test 


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