High Court rules immigrant spouses must speak English before moving to UK

The High Court in the UK has dismissed a legal challenge to a new immigration rule requiring people to be able to speak English before coming to the UK to live with their spouse.

The law was implemented back in November 2010 and had recently been challenged by three couples who deemed the rules to be unfair and racist. However the UK High Court dismissed the challenges.

Justice Beatson, presiding judge over the appeals, stated, "The new language test was not a disproportionate interference with the couples' right to family life."

UK Immigration Minister Damian Green commented on the case saying, "We believe it is entirely reasonable that someone intending to live in the UK should understand English, so that they can integrate and participate fully in our society. We are very pleased that the courts agree with us."

Theresa May added that "the policy was designed to improve integration."

The law had primarily been introduced because the Home Office is attempting to reduce the cost of having to hire translators for public services such as the NHS. The cost of covering translator services to deal with a growing population who do not speak the English language has further added to the pressures of tackling UK Immigration issues.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants stated that the ruling "would affect many UK citizens."

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