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Language requirements for Ukrainians seeking to work in the UK

With the start of BREXIT, the United Kingdom (UK) has recently changed its work permit visa rules opening new opportunities for Ukrainian qualified workers in the UK. By 2021 Ukrainian workers have the same rights and opportunities to immigrate to the UK as EU citizens as both groups are considered 3rd country nationals. English requirements for Ukrainians and other nationalities seeking to work in the UK also have to be met.

The new work permit visa rules require from Ukrainian candidates “A knowledge of English equivalent to level B1 or above of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework for Language Learning”.

Candidates were asking us how they can meet those requirements in Ukraine? This is an important question as Ukraine offers an abundance of useless, questionable, and not official language qualification training and certificates.

Candidates for a UK work permit visa have to show a B1 test certificate of a UK Home Office approved Secure English Language Test (SELT), such as IELTS for UKVI (Academic and General Training) or IELTS Life Skills.

What are the language requirements for a UK work permit visa?

You’ll usually need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply for a UK work permit visa unless you did this in a previous successful visa application.

You must prove you can read, write, speak, and understand English to at least level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.

You can prove your knowledge of English by:

  • passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider (IELTS, LanguageCert or Pearson)
  • having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English
  • having a degree-level academic qualification that was taught in English – if you studied abroad, you’ll need to apply for confirmation through UK NARIC that your qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or PhD

How can candidates test their actual language skill level to select the right test?

We will discuss the preparation for tests using the example from IELTS.

How good is your current knowledge of English?

This is the first thing to think about before your IELTS exam preparation begins.

Be realistic with yourself, and ask yourself, how long it will take you to prepare for the exam, especially if your English is poor. It can take several years to learn a language. Therefore, it is useful to first determine what level of English you have now and what level you want to get.

To determine the level of CEFR scale you can pass one of the dozens of trial tests on the Internet, or contact the language school.

Here are some of the online tests:

  1. www.ielts.org/usa/ielts-for-test-takers/ielts-practice-test
  2. takeielts.britishcouncil.org/take-ielts/prepare/free-ielts-practice-tests
  3. ieltsonlinetests.com

You must remember that the IELTS exam is an English language proficiency test. Tips for teaching strategies for passing and practicing test assignments online can increase your score and improve your English, but if your level is just initially low, then pure preparation for test items will not be enough for you.

Remember, the tasks in the IELTS exam are designed for candidates with a level of at least B1-B2 on the CEFR scale! But if you speak English at the C1-C2 level, then you should focus on the tips and strategy for passing the exam, without getting hung up on the general level of English.

How can candidates prepare for the language test?

How to start preparing for IELTS?

For everyone who decided to independently prepare for IELTS, we recommend that you first read the information about the test on the official website of the British Council – here you will find answers to the questions:

  • what is IELTS
  • how to properly prepare for the test format
  • what textbooks and teaching materials to use
  • how to prepare for each individual part of the exam

There are a lot of free, interesting, and useful materials from an official source! Including sample IELTS tests!

When you think about where to start preparing for the IELTS, think about how good your English in general. The duration of preparation will also depend on this. You may need to consider personal tutoring so you can focus on your speaking and grammar skills.

Usually, it takes up to 4 months to upgrade your English to the next level at English courses.

This time is enough to fully prepare for the test and practice all types of questions that are encountered in it. You will also have plenty of time to practice your essay writing.

In 4 months you can also improve your general level of English. To do this, load yourself as much as possible:

  • listen to music and podcasts
  • watch TV shows and films with subtitles
  • talk to people in English as much as possible

Where can candidates take the language test in Ukraine?

In Ukraine, we have 5 centers where you can pass these tests. All of them are in Kyiv.

Check the SELT provider’s website to find out when tests are available and to make sure the test center is open. Some test centers may be closed because of coronavirus. If you have any questions, use the website or contact them via contact details.

  1. IELTS SELT Consortium
  2. LanguageCert
  3. Pearson

How much does the language test cost?

IELTS SELT Consortium

On the official website, there is a calendar of the upcoming dates of the IELTS exam are presented. Also, you can see the prices for each type of exam below.

  • UKVI Academic – 5100 UAH
  • UKVI General – 5100 UAH
  • Life Skills – 4350 UAH

LanguageCert

If you want to pass the test in this center, you’ll need to contact them to find out the dates of the exams. The exam costs 160 EUR. There is a possibility to take a sample test online with their teacher. It costs 500 UAH.

Pearson

If you want to pass the test in this center, you’ll need to contact them to find out the dates of the exams. The exam costs about 200 USD but people can’t take a paper test because of the quarantine. They have only Academic PTE tests and it’s online. Please contact them to find out.

What cancelation options exist?

Refusing the exam

  • The candidate has the right to refuse to take the exam.
  • If you refuse to take the exam more than 35 days (5 weeks) before the date of the IELTS exam, the Test Center undertakes to return the paid registration fee to the candidate. In this case, the registration fee paid by him is returned to the Candidate minus 25% of the cost of the exam.
  • Refusal to pass the exam is made out on a special form of the IELTS Test Center in compliance with the deadlines.
  • In case of violation on the part of the candidate of the order and terms of registration of refusal to take the exam, the refusal is considered unofficial, the registration fee is withheld by the IELTS Test Center in full.

Exam transfer

  • The candidate has the right to postpone the exam date to any of the IELTS test dates set by the IELTS Test Center, and on which registration is open at the time the exam is postponed, and there are free places.
  • The exam can be postponed no later than 35 days (5 weeks) before the exam date.
  • If the exam is postponed within the established time frame, the Candidate must pay an additional payment.
  • The transfer of the exam is made out on a special form of the IELTS Test Center in compliance with the established deadlines.
  • In case of violation by the candidate of the order and terms of registration of the transfer of the exam, the transfer is considered unregistered and the registration fee is withheld by the IELTS Test Center in full.

Skipping an exam

  • The candidate has the right not to appear for the IELTS Exam
  • If you miss the exam, the registration fee will not be refunded to the Candidate, except for missing the exam for health reasons (a serious illness and/or hospitalization confirmed by an official medical certificate is a sufficient reason)
  • In case of missing the exam for health reasons, the Candidate has the right to postpone the exam or return the registration fee.

How can candidates prove their test results to the UK government?

After you pass the test, you will be given a SELT unique reference number which you must use when making your application. If you do not include your reference number, your application may be refused.

You will find your SELT unique reference number on your test result as:

  • ‘UER’ for Trinity College London tests
  • ‘UKVI number’ for IELTS SELT Consortium tests
  • ‘Candidate URN’ for LanguageCert tests
  • ‘SELT URN’ for Pearson tests

You do not need to submit any documents as part of the immigration or nationality application. Test results and scores are checked using the SELT online verification system provided by each approved SELT test provider using a SELT unique reference number.

How long are test results valid?

According to the official website of the UK Council test results from IELTS and Pearson are valid for 2 years from the date the test is awarded.

LangaugeCert test center is telling that they have Life-long certificate validity.

But we strongly recommend to clarify it with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

ABOUT US

Clarus Eastern Europe is a Ukrainian company providing such services recruitment, human resource outsourcing, outstaffing and consulting services to its international clients in Ukraine and abroad.

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