English is the universal language we all should learn and speak. In many countries worldwide, it’s their mother tongue, but others speak other languages but learn English too. We can say that plenty of young people these days are speaking English like they’re bilingual, not as if it’s their second language. And that’s how many start working for international companies without any communication issues.
It’s the same about working in the UK. Still, you’ll have to take a test to prove your English proficiency, especially British English. Even though it’s the same language, there are slight differences between different versions of English. Still, when applying for a skilled worker visa UK, you’ll have to show proof you already speak British English, or maybe they can demand a test.
Before we go any further, let’s see what benefits you may have with this visa.
- You can move to a great country with pretty high living standards and life quality
- A chance for a well-paid job
- Many opportunities to grow professionally
- You can add your spouse and children to the application
- After 5 years, you are becoming eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain
And the only catch is to be responsible, qualified, and to speak British English of course.
So, how can you prove your English skills? Here are some tips:
1. Take Some English Language Tests
You can take some of the UK government-approved English language tests such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic, or the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test. In general, you will need to achieve at least a level B1 in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
Usually, you can find some of these tests while in your homeland since there are many British councils and language centers worldwide. You should invest some time and effort until you get completely used to British English and take the tests to prove your language skills. Once you have your certification, you can attach it to your skilled worker visa application.
Another option is to directly take the test if you’re sure you can get a higher mark on it. Many already speak English pretty well, even though it’s their second language. So, sign up for a test, and you can prove you speak the language proficiently.
2. University and Professional Qualifications
Many universities worldwide have English as the main subject. Students who complete the university degree are already proficient in English, and they don’t need additional courses and tests to prove their knowledge. So, suppose you have a degree or academic qualification taught in English and recognized by UK NARIC (National Recognition Information Centre). In that case, you may be exempt from taking an English language test.
It all depends on University recognition because not every educational institution is equally recognized worldwide. So, you’ll only need some time to research this and see if you’re eligible to prove your English skills without additional classes and tests.
3. You’re a Native English Speaker
As we said, English is the first language in many countries worldwide. If you are a citizen of a majority English-speaking country, you may not need to take an English language test. These countries include the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Even though you may not speak British English correctly, they believe you can get used to it quickly.
Is There Anything Else to Prove Your English Skills?
It was pretty complicated in the past when English courses weren’t widely available for people to take. Things got pretty easier in the 90s, but now, we consume so much English content daily, and it’s not really difficult to learn the language.
We believe that many readers are confident enough with their proficiency (you’re reading this article, right). Still, can you prove the skills without taking some government test?
Here are a few options:
You Already Have Some Work Experience That Included Using English Daily
If you have worked in an English-speaking country or an international company for a significant amount of time, you may be able to prove your English proficiency without additional tests. You only need to provide proof of your employment and the time you spent working in an English-speaking environment. In many cases that’s enough for British authorities to approve your application and move on with the procedure.
English Language Courses Since Childhood
Many kids start learning English at the age of 5 or 6. Taking an English language course at a reputable institution can improve your language skills. You may use your course completion certificate as evidence of your English proficiency. That’s why we suggest making copies of your diplomas and certifications and adding them to your visa application.
Personal Statement for English Proficiency
Sometimes you can prove your English skills by writing a personal statement or expressing your experience with the language the right way. You can include it in your visa application, explaining your language abilities and how you developed them. You will have to provide some proof for your claims, so get ready to include examples of your work or someone’s recommendations on this.
Still, note that the UK government often has specific requirements for proving English proficiency. That’s why you must check their guidelines before submitting your visa application. If you don’t meet the requirements, your initial application will be denied, and you’ll have to re-apply later again.
As a conclusion to all that we have said, we can add that English language skills are something that is expected from anyone who plans to work in the UK. Most of the time, there are no exceptions and it is necessary to know the language well, especially if you plan to stay for a long time and use all the benefits of the comfortable life the UK offers workers.
We believe many already speak the language well but have no formal proof. Perhaps during the communication, the authorities will assess your skills, but you must have a document that shows that you have the necessary knowledge, before your application is officially processed.