Via statement of changes to the rules CM 7944 the home secretary has introduced English language tests for spouses from today. This change will affect applications made by spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, same-sex partners, fiancé(e)s and proposed civil partners who are involved with British citizens and those permanently settled in the UK.
From today applicants in the above visa categories will need to demonstrate their English skills to be considered suitable for a UK visa to join their loved ones.
A list of the UKBA’s accepted test providers is available here.
The great tragedy of this new rule is that by placing EU citizens over the law it directly discriminates against British citizens and permanent residents in relation to their family members.
The discrimination has arisen because European citizens exercising their free movements under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 and the Free Movements Directive are wholly able to bypass the new “English language test” requirement produced by the home secretary.
So, under the new “rules”, a French citizen of Moroccan origin will be able to bring his spouse to the UK without fulfilling a English language test requirement whereas a British citizen of Moroccan origin will not be able to do the same for his spouse without an English test! Hmm. From a “home” perspective, the measure seems decidedly undigestible to say the least.