Below we look at the circumstances in which Appendix KoLL applies, including the exemptions under the rules and, where applicable, how these provisions can be met.
What is Appendix KoLL?
Appendix KoLL or “Appendix KoLL: Knowledge of language and life” sets out how an applicant proves sufficient knowledge of the English language and about life in the UK if required under the Immigration Rules when applying for indefinite leave to enter or remain.
To meet the KoLL requirements, unless exempt under the Rules, an applicant for indefinite leave to enter or remain will need to satisfy both of the following parts:
- Knowledge of the English language
- Knowledge of life in the UK
Appendix KoLL also sets out the general exemptions to the KoLL requirements on grounds of age, as well as provisions that enable a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) case worker to waive these requirements in light of any special circumstances.
When does Appendix KoLL apply?
Appendix KoLL applies in certain immigration applications where a person is applying for either indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK. This is also known as settlement.
However, the provisions under Appendix KoLL are to be distinguished from those in Appendix KoL, the latter relating solely to the requirement to prove knowledge of life in the UK by a person applying for settlement under certain other immigration routes. These routes include, for example, applications for indefinite leave to remain under Appendix Skilled Worker.
In the context of an application by someone who 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 KoL, and not the English language requirement. There was previously a language requirement for settlement applications made under the old version of this route (Tier 2 (General)), but under rules implemented in 2020, this is no longer the case. 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.
Under other categories, however, the applicant may be required to satisfy the requirements of both Appendix KoL and Appendix English Language. Further, applications for settlement under any route not covered by Appendix KoL must continue to apply Appendix KoLL.
Is Appendix KoLL different to Appendix English Language?
Appendix KoLL is the part of the Immigration Rules dealing with the requirement for an applicant to show both sufficient knowledge of the English language and of life in the UK in the context of certain applications for indefinite leave to enter or remain.
By contrast, Appendix English Language applies to applications for limited leave to enter or remain in the UK under most work and study routes including, for example, Appendix Skilled Worker, together with certain applications for indefinite leave to remain.
In the context of settlement applications, Appendix English language will apply to those routes where there is no previous requirement to prove any knowledge of English when applying for entry clearance or permission to stay, or where the requirement to speak and understand English is at a lower level than that required for settlement.
For example, in the case of Appendix T2 Sportsperson, the applicant must show English language ability on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) in speaking and listening of at least level A1 when applying for entry clearance. However, when applying for settlement, unless they have already proven a higher level of English in their previous application, the applicant must show an English language ability to level B1 CEFR.
What are the KoLL requirements?
There are two main requirements set out under Appendix KoLL: English language and knowledge of life in the UK. Having an understanding and being able to use English at a level which facilitates interaction with the wider community is thought to be key to successful integration. Equally, it’s important that those wishing to live permanently in the UK have a basic understanding of the responsibilities which come with settlement, as well as the UK’s history and culture. Below we set out how each of these requirements can be met:
The English language requirement
There are a number of ways a visa applicant can meet the English language requirement under Appendix KoLL. Where the KoLL provisions apply, an applicant will demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language if:
- They are a national or citizen of one of a listed majority English-speaking country. These include: Antigua & Barbuda; Australia; The Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Canada; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; Matla; New Zealand; St Kitts & Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent & the Grenadines; Trinidad & Tobago; & the USA.
- 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.
- 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 more than two years prior to the date of application.
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.
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.
Exemptions under Appendix KoLL
Under Appendix KoLL, an applicant will not be required to demonstrate their knowledge of English and about life in the UK in the following circumstances:
- They are under 18 years of age at the date of his or her application,
- They are at least 65 years of age at the date of his or her application
- Where, as a result of either a mental or physical condition, the applicant cannot reasonably be expected to fulfil either or both parts of the KoLL requirements.
Appendix KoLL also lists a number of immigration routes where an applicant who is not a national of an English-speaking country will be deemed to have demonstrated sufficient knowledge of the English language and about life in the UK – although in all such cases the applicant must have had continuous leave to enter or remain in the UK for at least 15 years. Further, the applicant will still need to show some basic knowledge of English (to level A2 CEFR) and that they have made efforts to learn English but do not yet have sufficient knowledge to pass a qualification at the required level (B1 CEFR).
In addition to the specific exemptions as set out under Appendix KoLL, the official Home Office guidance sets out a number of specific categories of applicant who do not need to meet the KoLL requirements, from victims of domestic violence to people applying for settlement as a stateless person.
Evidencing eligibility under Appendix KoLL
Where applicable, the applicant must provide specified documentary evidence to show that they satisfy the requirements under Appendix KoLL, although the nature of this evidence will depend on what provisions they are relying on in support of their application.
As the national or citizen of a listed majority English-speaking country: the applicant will need to provide either a valid passport or travel document that satisfactorily establishes their nationality.
As someone with a degree from a UK university: the applicant will need to provide a degree certificate issued by the relevant institution confirming the award of the academic qualification and showing the applicant’s name, the name of the awarding institution, and the title and date of the award.
As someone with a degree from a listed majority English-speaking country, including Ireland but excluding Canada: the applicant will need to provide a degree certificate from a relevant institution, together with confirmation from Ecctis that their academic qualification is at an equivalent level to at least a UK Bachelor’s degree. This confirmation is known as the Academic Qualification Level Statement (AQUALS).
As someone with a degree from any other country, including Canada: the applicant will need to provide a degree certificate, together with an AQUALS, ie; confirmation of degree equivalence. The applicant must also provide confirmation from Ecctis that their degree was taught in English, also known as the English Language Proficiency Statement (ELPS).
As someone who has passed an English language test in speaking and listening to level B1 CEFR: the applicant will need to provide the unique reference number (URN) assigned by the provider to the English language test taken. The URN issued by the provider of the “Life in the UK” test will also be required for the second part of the KoLL requirement.
In cases where the specified documentation to prove an applicant’s knowledge of English cannot be provided, for example, where a passport or degree certificate has been lost or stolen, or where the applicant has not formally graduated, alternative forms of documentation and the circumstances in which these can be used are set out under Appendix KoLL.
In those cases where a person is applying under a route where they are deemed to meet both KoLL requirements because they have at least 15 years’ continuous leave, they will need documentary evidence of their basic knowledge of English. They will also need evidence from a qualified English language teacher that they have made efforts to learn the language but do not yet have sufficient knowledge to pass a qualification at the required level.
The evidence specified for the purposes of requesting an exemption on the grounds of a mental or physical condition must be completed by either the applicant’s GP or a GP based in the same practice, or a General Medical Council registered consultant. This must be a professional who has met with the applicant in person, assessed their ability to fulfil either or both elements of KOLL, and supports their request for an exemption on the basis they have a condition which prevents them from satisfying the requirement(s) for the foreseeable future.
A “Waiver request’ form should be completed by a medical practitioner, providing information relating to the individual’s condition, symptoms, prognosis and reasons why they are unable to learn English or prepare for the Life in the UK test.
DavidsonMorris are UK immigration specialists. We provide guidance on all types of Home Office applicants, including eligibility requirements and where and how applicants must satisfy and evidence appropriate English language and Life in the UK knowledge.
If you have a question about your eligibility or the application process, speak to our experts.
Appendix KoLL FAQs
Who is exempt from B1 English test?
There are various circumstances when a visa applicant will be exempt from the B1 English test, including those aged under 18 or over 65, or because of a mental or physical condition.
What is KoLL requirement?
The KoLL requirement is the requirement to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and about life in the UK where it is a requirement under the UK’s Immigration Rules.
Who is exempt from UK citizenship test?
An applicant for naturalisation as a British citizen aged 65 or over will be exempt from taking the Life in the UK Test. An applicant with a long-term physical or mental condition may also be exempt.
Last updated: 30 April 2021