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Court Rules That Spouses Must Speak English Before Arriving in UK

Image Courtesy: thisisleicestershire

Rashida Chapti, now a British citizen, has been married for almost 40 years. She has six children and find it hard to divide her time between Leicester and India. She claims, her husband wants to join her permanently in Britain but he is unable to speak, read or write in English.

The high court judge Mr. Justice Beatson dismissed a judicial review challenge where the immigrant couples including Rashida Chapti’s petition was dismissed on the grounds that the decision was racist and can break up their family ties.

The Birmingham high court judge said the requirement to have passed a pre-entry English language test did interfere with the couple’s article 8 rights to a family life. This was justified in the interest of promoting integration and social harmony among the citizen of UK.

“We believe it’s entirely reasonable that someone intending to live in the UK should understand English so that they can easily live in a common integrated society.” said Mr. Damian Green, the immigration minister, UK.

Pre-entry English language test for immigrants coming to Britain to join a spouse or civil partner on a spousal visa was first proposed by the labor ministers about three years ago to encourage social integration among citizen of UK and also to help newcomers get work and make clear to migrants the importance of learning English. Later it was introduced by the coalition in the last November.

The tests apply only to those who come from non-English-speaking countries, the top five nationalities of those coming to marry UK citizens are from Pakistan (8,750), India (5,110), Bangladesh (2.780), US (2,110) and Thailand (1,776).

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