English Language Requirement for Family Members

The legal challenge against the English language requirement supported by Liberty and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in the case of R(Chapti) v SSHD [2011] EWHC 3370 (Admin) 16 December 2011 failed.

Permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal was granted. The court however did decide that Article 8 (family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights will always be engaged in cases involving the refusal of entry clearance/leave to remain applications involving spouses. Also, it may be arguable that the English language requirement would be a disproportionate interference in that Article 8 protection but it will depend on the individual facts of each case.

More when we have it.

Families of Migrants

The government are looking at making changes to the rules that allow family members to reunite and live with migrants who have already achieved full settlement (permanent residence) status. The proposed changes, which unsurprisingly make the system tougher, include:

  • Five-year probation period before family members are allowed to apply for settlement.
  • The migrant will be required to demonstrate a higher level of income.
  • The family member, on applying for settlement, will need to demonstrate they have qualified an English language course equivalent to level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference (Cefr).

Under the proposals the unemployed or those living on less than around £5,000 a year would be banned from applying to come to the UK. The family member, once in the UK, will be denied access to welfare benefits during the 5 year probation period.

The government are also looking to change the human rights protection to allow deportation of family members who have been living illegally in the UK.

If implemented, the proposals would be far stricter than those in force in most EU countries, the US and Canada, says Thomas Huddleston, a researcher for the Brussels-based Migration Policy Group.

New Tier 4 Student Policy

Changes to Tier 4 have come into effect on 21 April 2011. The Government announced that the changes 'deliver a strong migration system which tackles immigration abuse, while allowing genuine students to study at genuine colleges.'

A UKBA summary of the changes are below.

Entry Requirements: Accreditation

All sponsors must have been accredited by either Ofsted and its devolved equivalents, QAA, the Independent Schools Inspectorate, the Bridge Schools Inspectorate or the Schools Inspection Service and all must become Highly Trusted Sponsors.

Sponsors will be required to achieve Highly Trusted Status by April 2012, and ... Read More...

Migrants marrying UK citizens must now learn English

Today, the Home Office announced that it is bringing forward to the autumn a piece of Labour legislation that will deny entry to people from outside the EU who marry British citizens but don't speak English.

Immigration Rules: Changes

The English language requirement for spouse and partners has been introduced. It takes effect for new applications made on or after 29 November 2010. Also changed are Read More...

English Language Requirement

Leading lawyers, Rabinder Singh QC and Aileen McColan, advising Liberty say that making spouses pass English language tests could be discriminatory and could amount to a breach of the right to family life under the Human Rights Act. They sight Read More...

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