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English language requirement may very well be for immigration control

May not be for the sole purpose of integration, after all
9th November 2010: The move to introduce English language requirement for spouses and partners coming to the UK may not be for the sole purpose of integration, after all. It may very well be aimed at immigration control.
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According to Migrants’ Rights Network Damian Green himself told Newsnight that new language tests will reduce migration.

MRN Director Don Flynn says: Up until now the Home Office has been desperate to assure everyone that the English language requirements for spouses and partners coming into effect at the end of this month are about integration, and not immigration control….:”

Referring to an interview, Flynn says Newsnight’s Paxman told Green most people who figure in the statistics for net immigration are exempt from controls – Brits, EU citizens and the like, and you can’t stop people bringing in their family members.

Disagreeing, Green asserted: "Well we can. For instances, later this month we are introducing a new policy which means that you can’t come here to get married unless you can speak English at the basic level."

Flynn questions: So is this an admission that the coalition government is expecting to reap a reward from this policy which does come in the form of lower numbers for family migrants? 

`To date it has justified its policy to the public by talking about the role it will play in promoting integrating migrants – which it no doubt hopes will furnish it with some sort of defence when dragged before the courts on human rights charges by our good friends at JCWI and Liberty in due course.

`Mr Green and his colleagues know very well that, as important as the flannel about integration is to the case they will plead when in the dock, there are really very few votes to be got from it. 

`On the other hand, when you are desperately striving to reduce net immigration from its current level of around 200,000 people a year to the tens of thousands, any contribution that can be extracted from hapless families with spouses who haven’t been able to learn the lingo in classroom settings far, far away, will be very gratefully received’.

Even migrants wishing to `remain’ in the UK as partners of British citizens or persons settled here will need to demonstrate their English speaking and understanding skills.

You will not need to take a test, if you are a national of a majority English-speaking country.

Elaborating on new `English language requirement for partners’, the UKBA only recently asserted: Any migrant who wants to enter, or remain in the UK, as the partner of a British citizen or a person settled here will need to show that they can speak and understand English.

You will need to meet the requirement if: You are a national of a country outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland; you are in a relationship with a British citizen or a person settled here; and you want to apply to enter or remain in the UK as that person’s husband, wife, civil partner, fiance(e), proposed civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner.

With this, it is now clear that the requirement to take the English language test is not just for new entrants, or immigrants hoping to marry Brits.

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