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17.12.2010 International

Migrants marrying UK citizens must now learn English

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December 17, 2010 Accra, Dec. 17, GNA - All non-European migrants to the UK have since November 29 had to demonstrate a basic command of the English language before they are granted a visa.

According to a statement issued in Accra on Friday by the British High Commission, the rules apply to spouses, civil partnerships, unmarried couples, same sex partners and fiancé(e)s, and will be compulsory for those applying from within the UK as well as visa applicants from overseas.

"A spouse coming from outside Europe will therefore need to provide evidence to the UK Border Agency with their visa application that they have passed an English language test with one of the UK Border Agency's approved test providers," it said.

It added that the level of English required was broadly to allow the visa application to cope with everyday situations.

The statement said under the previous rules spousal visa applicants had to meet a range of criteria before being allowed to enter the UK.

For example, all applicants had to show that their marriage or partnership was genuine and that they could support themselves financially.

"Those requirements remain in place, with the addition of this new English-language requirement."

The statement said it also remained the case that regardless of whether the marriage took place in the UK or overseas, the non-UK partner must apply for a two-year settlement visa to come and live in the UK as a spouse.


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