English test for UK foreign spouses

Migrants wishing to marry a UK resident will have to pass a basic English test before they are allowed a marriage visa.

    The level of knowledge required by the UK Border Agency should take 40 to 50 hours of tuition [GALLO/GETTY]

    The British government has ruled that migrants wishing to marry a Briton or other UK resident will have to pass a basic English test before they are allowed a marriage visa.

    From Monday, they will have to prove they can speak the language as well as a native-born six year old before the visa will be granted.

    Damian Green, Britian's immigration minister, said: "Being able to speak English should be a pre-requisite for anyone who wants to settle in the UK - that is why from the end of November we are making it compulsory for migrant spouses and partners to demonstrate they can speak English before we grant them a marriage visa.

    "Speaking English promotes integration into British society and broadens opportunities.

    "The new rules will help ensure that migrant spouses are able to participate in British life from the outset and integrate more easily into our society."

    Evidence will need to be provided with applications that an English test in speaking and listening has been passed.

    The level of knowledge required by the UK Border Agency should take 40 to 50 hours of tuition.

    A loophole means that the new law will discriminate against UK citizens because EU laws state that other Europeans living in Britain can bring in a foreign partner from overseas without them having to pass the test.

    This is because the spouse of an EU citizen is automatically given the same right to free movement under the EU's rules.

    This does not apply while an EU member is in their native country, such as a Briton living in the UK.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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