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UK to require English tests for immigrants

LONDON, Sep 10: The British government said on Sunday that it would introduce English proficiency tests for thousands of potential immigrants, but declined to say whether the move was intended to reduce the number of people moving to the country.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown's office said Brown would announce on Monday that skilled workers from outside the European Union would have to prove English proficiency before coming to work in UK.

They will have to show they have passed an internationally accepted English test or obtained a university degree having an English language course.

Under current rules, the government divides migrant workers from outside the EU into three groups - highly skilled, skilled and low skilled. At present only those in the highly skilled group have to show English proficiency before coming to Britain. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the proficiency test would be made compulsory for low skilled immigrants as well. ap
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