Shoot off e-mail to raise concern on English requirement: JCWI

`Contact your MP’
30th November 2010: A day after English language requirement came into force, an organisation working for the welfare of the immigrants has called upon the people to contact their MPs and send a quick e-mail to voice their concern on the measures.
The organisation has also asked immigrants refused on grounds of not satisfy the requirements to immediately seek legal advice from a solicitor or an advisor.

Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigration has asserted has asserted it is a bad idea. “Whilst we agree that speaking English according to one’s needs is a positive and potentially empowering thing, we have consistently opposed these measures”.

For a start, the measures raise clear legal issues and will inevitably be challenged on HRA grounds, and on the basis of the statutory equality duties.

`They’re also likely to be ineffective both in engendering integration and enhancing linguistic skills. Indeed as the National Association for Teaching English and other Community Languages to Adults have pointed out England really is the best place to teach migrants English.

`In any event it is of course already the case that these migrants are required to satisfy language and cultural tests some 24 months or so after arrival when they apply to settle in the UK.

`The position has hitherto been that partners/spouses have not been able to access ESOL at home fees until during the first year of residence in the UK. With a 90 hour course costing in the region of £1000, and visa fees of £750.00, plus settlement fees of £900 (plus £250 for each dependant child) an outlay of some £3000 is likely to have acted as a deterrent.

`Providing free access to classes or even classes at home fees rates within the first year of arrival for the above groups would no doubt have done much to improve linguistic skills. Importantly it would also have avoided the unedifying spectre of indefinite division of families.

`You can contact your MP and send a quick e mail to voice your concern about these measures, whilst also asking them to support the Early Day Motion against these rules.

If you are refused on grounds that you do not satisfy these requirements, you should immediately seek legal advice from a solicitor/advisor.

You 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, fiancé (e), proposed civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner’.

If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country, you need to pass an acceptable English language test with one of the approved test providers.
In the test, you need to demonstrate a basic command of English, speaking and listening, at level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference.

If you are a national of a majority English-speaking country, you meet the English language requirement automatically. You need not take the test.

`The majority English-speaking countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States of America’.

There are a few other exemptions from the testing requirements. These are for: Those aged 65 or over at the time of making their application; Those with physical or mental conditions that the Secretary of State agrees would prevent them from meeting the requirement;

Those who are able to show exceptional or compassionate circumstances; Those providing evidence of academic qualifications as verified by NARIC which meet the recognised standard of a bachelor’s degree (though not a Masters or PhD); and those applicants from countries with no test centre in cases where the application is made there

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