The High Court have dismissed legal challenges to the rule that spouses should speak English, before coming to reside in the UK with their spouse. The law was implemented back in November 2010 and received great criticism from couples claiming the requirement was ‘unfair’ and ‘racist.’
Reasons for this requirement
UK immigration minister Damian Green has upheld the arguments for this legal requirement claiming “it is entirely reasonable that someone intending to live in the UK should understand English, so they can integrate and participate fully in our society.” As well as improving integration, it is thought this is an attempt by the Home Office to reduce the costs for translators needed in the public sector, as they are struggling to deal with the increasing demand from people who do not speak English.
Critics against this change in law have suggested that the new language test is incompatible with a couples right to family life, under Article 8 of Human Rights Act 1998. However such claims have been struck down by presiding judge Justice Beatson stating the test is “not a disproportionate interference” with this right.
What you should do
Overall this language test will continue to be a requirement for marriage or spouse visas, affecting all applicants. Immigration matters are very complex and it is imperative you seek specialist legal advice.
Our Immigration Experts are able to give specialist legal information and advice in this area of law. To contact one of our Solicitors or Barristers please click here to complete a legal case assessment or telephone 0845 8622 529.