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Home Office announces new language test for family route migrants

Mother and baby

Mother and baby

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a new English language requirement for family route migrants seeking to extend their stay in the UK.

Under the new visa rules, non-EU citizens coming to the UK on a spouse visa will be required to become more fluent in English over time.

They will in fact be expected to pass a speaking and listening test at level A2 in order to qualify, after two-and-a half-years in the UK, for further leave to remain on the five-year partner or parent route to settlement.

“The new A2 requirement delivers the government’s manifesto commitment to ensure that those coming to the UK on a family visa with only basic English will become more fluent over time,” Home Office said.

The new rule will not come into force before October so as to allow migrants time to improve English language skills. This means that it will not affect those required to apply for further leave to remain before then.

The government has confirmed that there are no plans to remove migrants who fail to reach the required level which in any case would be taken into account in any request to extend visas or apply for permanent residence.

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