English Language Deemed a Necessity, Not a Breach of Human Rights


The Supreme Court has ruled that the existing law concerning spouses coming to the UK having to speak English before they arrive is not a breach of human rights.

International Flags

The law regarding immigration to the UK before 2010 specified that anyone coming to the UK would have 2 years to prove their English language skills. Since 2010, this has not been the case. The current law demands newcomers to the UK to pass an English language proficiency test before entering.

Jeopardising Human Rights?

A recent case brought to the attention of the courts claimed that the existing requirement breached Section 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Whilst Section 8 is broad, the focus of the claim was put on the right to a family life.

The claimants argued that it was not a feasible option for their spouses to enter the UK (both foreign nationals) having already proved their English proficiency, and that this was an infringement on their right to a family life. It was also claimed that there were not enough sufficient, approved test centres in their home countries to allow their spouses to take the required test.

'No Disproportionate Interference'

The supreme court judgment did not agree, and, following on from previous decisions, ruled that there was no disproportionate interference with family life. The English language requirement did not impinge on the right to marry, and was ultimately legitimate in its aim of protecting public services and promoting integration.

What Can We Do?

Here at Simpson Millar, we are committed to providing first-class legal advice regarding any immigration issues that you may have.

Whether you are an individual, a family seeking to extend your stay or make the UK a permanent home, or perhaps an employer checking the immigration status of their employees, we can explain the requirements and rules in a jargon free, straightforward way.

News Archive

Get In Touch