Supreme Court rejects challenge to 'speak English' immigration requirement


The Supreme Court has rejected a challenge against an immigration rule requiring people to be able to speak English before coming to the UK to live with their spouse.

Five justices in London were urged to rule that the pre-entry measure is "unreasonable, disproportionate and discriminatory".

Today, the panel of judges, headed by the court's president Lord Neuberger, unanimously dismissed an appeal by two wives who are British citizens.

Their husbands, who cannot speak English, are foreign nationals and wish to join them in the UK.

Mrs Saiqa Bibi and Mrs Saffana Ali both claimed the requirement breaches their right to a private and family life under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

It is said in both cases that it would not be feasible for their husbands to pass a test before coming to the UK.

But the Supreme Court has decided that the rule does not infringe article 8.