If you are applying for ILR or British Citizenship you will need to meet the KoLL requirements, unless and exemption applies.
Appendix KoLL is the relevant law that sets out the criteria for the applicants needs to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and about Life in the UK if required under the Immigration Rules when planning to apply for Indefinite Leave to Enter or Remain. This is also known as settlement.
To meet the KoLL requirements, an applicant for Indefinite Leave to Enter or Remain will need to satisfy all of the following parts:
- Knowledge of the English language
- Knowledge of Life in the UK
What are the KoLL requirements?
There are two main requirements set out under Appendix KoLL: English language and knowledge of life in the UK. It is believed that the key to effective integration is having a comprehension of and being able to utilise English at a level which promotes contact with the larger community. Those who want to settle permanently in the UK should also have a basic awareness of the duties involved in settling as well as the history and culture of the country. Below we set out how each of these requirements can be met:
The English language requirement
The English language requirement under Appendix KoLL can be satisfied in a number of ways by visa applicants. Where the KoLL requirements are in effect, a candidate will show they have sufficient English language proficiency if:
- They are a national or citizen of one of a majority English-speaking country.
- They have passed an English language test in speaking and listening at a minimum level B1 CEFR through an approved English language test provider taken at an approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) centre no longer than two years prior to the date of application.
- They have obtained an academic qualification which either is a UK Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD; or is deemed by Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC) to meet the recognised standard of a UK degree from an educational establishment in one of the listed majority English-speaking countries, including Ireland but excluding Canada.
- They have an academic qualification which is deemed by Ecctis to meet the recognised standard of at least a UK Bachelor’s degree, and Ecctis has confirmed that the qualification was taught or researched in English.
An applicant will also meet the English language requirement if they have limited leave to enter or remain in the UK and, that leave (or a grant of leave which preceded it, provided any subsequent periods of leave have been unbroken) was granted on the basis that the applicant held an English language qualification at a minimum level B1 CEFR. For example, if the applicant has held leave continuously for 5 years under the Skilled Worker route, they would only be required to satisfy the ‘knowledge of life in the UK’ requirement under Appendix KoLL, and not the English language requirement. This is because a Skilled Worker applying for settlement would already have proved their knowledge of English to the required level when applying for this category in the first place.
The knowledge of Life in the UK requirement
Where the KoLL provisions apply, an applicant will demonstrate sufficient knowledge of Life in the UK if they have passed the Life in the UK Test administered either by an educational institution or other approved body.
An applicant will be tested on information in the official handbook for the Life in the UK Test.
When taking the test, the applicant will be given 45 minutes to answer 24 questions about British traditions and customs.
The KoLL requirements’ general age exemptions are also listed in Appendix KoLL, along with clauses that allow a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) case worker to waive these requirements in certain exceptional cases.
Exemptions under Appendix KoLL
An applicant will not be required to demonstrate their knowledge of English and about Life in the UK Under Appendix KoLL in the following circumstances:
- They are under 18 years of age at the date of their application,
- They are at least 65 years of age at the date of their application
- Where, because of either a mental or physical condition, the applicant cannot reasonably be expected to fulfil either or both parts of the KoLL requirements.
In addition to the specific exemptions as set out under Appendix KoLL, the official Home Office guidance outlines a number of specific applicant categories that are exempt from the KoLL requirements, including stateless applicants and victims of domestic abuse.