New English Language Requirement for Family Visas

On 18th January 2016, The Prime Minister announced a new English language requirement for family route migrants seeking to extend their stay in the UK. That is, non-EEA national partners and parents currently on the family visa route who wants to apply for further leave to remain, and who do not satisfy the English language requirements need to pass speaking and listening test at level A2.

Since 2013 and to date, you had to apply for an extension of your visa after two-and-a half-years since your spouse visa was issued by submitting duly filled the Form FLR(M). However, as of October 2016 you might be requested to pass a speaking and listening test at level A2 (Elementary English level) order for you to qualify for further leave to remain on the five-year partner or parent route to settlement.

Who would be affected by this new English requirement?

If you do not fit in any of the above groups, you will be also asked to pass B1 English requirement (intermediate English level) to apply for indefinite leave to remain and naturalization. This measure was already introduced in October 2013.  The government seeks to add to this measure the new proposed requirement to test your English halfway through that period.

Please, be aware that if you have to sit an English test, the Home Office only recognises English results from certain examinations centres. Access to the full list to find your nearer accredited centre before sitting the exam.

The government claims that this new requirement seeks to ensure a

“better engage in everyday conversation and thereby better participate and integrate in everyday life in the community.” Cameron further said that this new measure should be seen as “another opportunity to make sure your English is improving.”

However, this requirement would imply that those who fail the English test, may be forced to leave, in breach of Article 8 ECHR, which protect the right to family and private life.

While engagement and participation in the community is a key factor for the integration, policies that seek to promote it should never be against fundamental human rights. Therefore, it seems that the government would need to put in place more proportionate measure to tackle the “issue” of integration.

If you have been affected by  any  UK immigration matter, please contact Solicitor  Tito, a UK immigration and human rights solicitor, for a free initial consultation about your legal options.Call 07544 669131/01163800744 or on Skype: tito.mbariti.