Brown backs off on language tests for migrants

July 24th, 2008 - 12:31 pm ICT by ANI  

Gordon Brown

London, July 24 (ANI): British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has decided to amend a legislation that insists that prospective foreign spouses have to take an English proficiency test before marrying a British citizen.
According to The Sun, the government has said that those intending to marry British citizens and settle here will be required to take language lessons only after they arrive.
The countrys Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said it would be impractical to demand tests beforehand because English lessons are not widely available overseas.
He said the UK Border Agency would carry out checks on spouses to make sure they learn English.
The Home Office warned: Failure to prove this could be grounds for leave to stay in the UK being cancelled.
Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve said last night: It would be unfair to allow someone to come here on the promise that they will learn English, and then remove them if they cant.
He said the Tories would be pitching for spouses to have a basic knowledge of English before they come to the UK.
Ministers also announced a ban on teenage foreign brides as part of a crackdown on forced marriage. The minimum age for a marriage visa will rise from 18 to 21. (ANI)

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