Today, it has been reported that a married couple of 6 years are facing being separated after the UK Home Office refused their application for a spouse visa extension. The Home Office’s reason for refusal was due to the fact that the applicant had submitted an English language test which was not recognised by the Home Office.
English Language Test not Recognised by the Home Office
Jirapon is a Thai national who has resided in the UK with her British husband, Phil Doidge since 2008. The couple married in Thailand and Jirapon applied for and successfully obtained a UK Spouse visa in 2008. Since her arrival in the UK, Jirapon has worked full time, pays her taxes and frequently donates to UK charities.
In 2013, Jirapon applied for a Spouse visa extension which was refused due to the wrong English language test being submitted with the visa application. The couple lodged a number of appeals at the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal in light of the Home Office’s decision which have been repeatedly dismissed. Jirapon also took a ‘City & Guilds International Speaking and Listening’ test in October 2014, which is on the Home Office’s approved list of Secure English Language Tests. Despite this the Home Office refused to change their initial decision and Jirapon is due to leave the UK on 13 February 2015, a day before valentine’s day.
Mr Doide stated that he and his wife have been so distraught with the Home Office’s decision that they decided to raise the issue with Labour leader Ed Miliband at a question and answer session in Plymouth. A member of the Labour leader’s staff told the couple that Mr Milliband would be in touch with the Immigration Minister after hearing their story. If Jirapon and Phil do not resolve their immigration matter by next week, Jirapon will have no choice but to make an entry clearance Spouse visa application from Thailand in order to join her husband in the UK.
Meeting the Home Office’s English Language Requirement
Currently, an applicant can meet the Home Office’s English language requirement in one of the following ways:
- By passing an acceptable test at a minimum level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) with an approved provider, or
- By being a national of a majority English speaking country, or
- By having an academic qualification recognised by UK NARIC to be equivalent to the standard of a Bachelors/Master’s degree or PHD in the UK which was taught in English.
The UKBA provides an exemption for those aged 65 or over, those who have a mental or physical disability or those who have exceptional circumstances which prevent them from meeting the requirement.
Do you meet the Home Office’s Requirements for a UK Spouse Visa?
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers will be able to go through the Home Office’s requirements with you. As well as, the process of making a visa application to the UK step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of law.
Contact us so that we can review your case and provide you with an assessment.