Home U.K Do I have to speak English to get British citizenship?

Do I have to speak English to get British citizenship?


If you’ve arrived in the UK from Ukraine, either on the family or sponsorship scheme, you have leave to remain in Britain for up to three years.

This means that during that time, you have access to healthcare, benefits, housing and education – including free English language classes.

But if you choose to remain in Britain once your three years are up, you may wish to apply for British citizenship.

You can do this if you’ve been granted indefinite leave to remain, if you’re married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen and have lived here for at least three years, or you have ‘settled status’ under the EU Settlement Scheme. You can find more about who can apply for citizenship on the Government website. 

But if you’re applying for citizenship or to settle in the UK (also known as applying for indefinite leave to remain or ILR), you may have to prove you have a sound knowledge of the English language.

You can prove this by having either:

However, there are some circumstances under which you would not have to prove your language skills. This includes 

if you’re:

  • aged 65 or over
  • unable to, because of a long-term physical or mental condition – however, you must provide a completed exemption form from a doctor confirming your physical or mental condition.

You will also not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a citizen of:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • Ireland (for citizenship only)
  • Malta
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

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