Thursday, November 26, 2015

EdD Reading: UK Visa Categories and Their Language Requirements, 2015 lists catergories of visas with the CEFR level and appropriate SELT. For example, a sportsperson is required to have A1 capabilities in the Speaking and Listening domains, whereas a Minister of Religion is required to have B2 in all 4 domains, see ( 2015) for advice to those seeking the Minister of Religion visa. My (rusty) legal research skills will be useful here: what is the statutory basis for these categories? What was said in Parliament and in the media when they were being enacted?  

Butterworths Immigration Law Service 2015 gives the background to the law behind the non-EEA economic migration system which gives us the Visa Categories. A points based system, (PBS) was introduced by legislation in 2008 and “has undergone significant evolution” since then, (Butterworths Immigration Law Service 2015 [1]). [NB I’m primarily concerned with non-economic migration, but this is useful scaffolding]. “The Government's fundamental objectives rooted in the PBS are to balance the need to tighten immigration controls and limit abuse of the rules whilst maintaining economic competitiveness in the global playing field.” Further, the PBS are designed to make the process transparent and objective.(Butterworths Immigration Law Service 2015 [4]).

[NB for the Immigration Rules  - referred in in Butterworths as “HC 395” - see (, 2015b).]

(Butterworths Immigration Law Service 2015 [4.1]) refers to the 2010 UK (Coalition) Government’s stated aim of reducing economic migration to the country from 100,000s to 10,000s. This impinges on what I was blogging yesterday: why? Influence of right wing press and right wing political parties on the electorate? It’s a matter of discourse framing. Politicians could say, “There are [250,000] economic migrants in the UK, which shows how succesful our economy and immigration policies are”. Instead they say, “There are far too many economic migrants in the UK and we will reduce the overall number to 99,000 or less.” 

Those earning more than £153,500 are exempt from language requirements even when applying to extend their stay beyond 3 years, (therefore, indefinitely) where they come into the intra-company transfer category, (an employee of a multinational?) So a Russian Orthodox priest, say, coming to the UK to administer to his (and it will be a man?) flock will need to be B2 CEFR whereas a Russian oil company executive does not need a word of English, ever. Why? We require their compatriot playing in the Premier League to have A1 English. No language requirements for Tier 1 (Investors). What were the political thought processes and what lobbying was involved in these provisions? No doubt many investors and multinational executives could pass B2 assessments, but they appear to have been spared the inconvenience. Why? [NB be helpful to speak to a practitioner or student of immigration law to clarify my understanding of these rules]. 

[Come back to (Butterworths Immigration Law Service 2015 [8 et seq]) tomorrow…] 


Butterworths Immigration Law Service > Division III Employment, Business, Investment-Related Immigration Categories and the Points-Based System > Introduction > Business immigration case law developments, (2015) Retrieved 26 November 2015 from,. (2015)a. Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa - GOV.UK. Retrieved 26 November 2015, from,. (2015)b. Immigration Rules - Guidance - GOV.UK. Retrieved 26 November 2015, from,. (2015). Trinity College London - Secure English Language Tests for UK visas. Retrieved 26 November 2015, from