27th November 2015
Terve! (Finnish)

The Supreme Court handed down its decision on the pre-entry English language test last week and I am left with the feeling that the current UK family immigration rules resemble one of those monsters in a horror movie - no matter how many times you whack 'em, they find a way to rear their ugly head again.   However I remind you, as I do myself, that in the end good does triumph and thus, so shall our families.

On the ADR front, our application is due to be looked at by a judge over the next few days. We therefore should have a decision on our paper application for permission by the end of the year.  Fingers drumming on desk, together now we wait.

Happy Friday peeps.

The SC did not strike down the ELT rules, so the pre-entry tests remain.  It was considered that in requiring a basic level of English before coming to the UK, the government was pursuing a legitimate aim of integration and community cohesion.  I don't think enough weight was given to the fact that this basic level is too low for any real 'integration', and that English is best learned surrounded by English-speaking people. But hey ho, I'm not one of the judges.

The good news however is that SC seems to have found the guidance may not properly consider exceptional circumstances in cases where tuition or the test centre are not accessible be it for reasons of location or cost for example.  It has therefore requested further submissions from both parties and it's likely Home Office will need to change guidance to properly take into consideration circumstances where the requirement cannot be reasonably met.

Overall, the decision is disappointing, especially seeing as it took nine months to come, and even then asking for further submissions.  It isn't amazing news for how the judges may decide on the MM case either, but the judgment does acknowledge

i) family life in the case of a married couple comprises co-habitation
ii) application of the rules may create Article 8 issues.

Also remember money is not the same as language in terms of their necessity for integration so I am still quietly confident the judges, come MM case, will see things for how they really are.

Read more straight from the SC, or from Tony Muman, one of the barristers involved.

In the previous newsletter, in relation to the new requirement to hold a PRC before applying for citizenship, I said "Generally you need to be a permanent resident for one year before applying for citizenship".  

I should have in fact said that generally, spouses of Brits can actually apply for citizenship as soon as they are holding ILR/PRC.  There are some exceptions to this though, such as where the foreign partner is older and thus obtains a PRC after just one year of working or being self-employed.    They may then have to wait for a bit before applying for citizenship.

More here on becoming a British citizen.

Quite a few of BritCits members have a Turkish partner and hence may find it beneficial to check out the application of the Ankara Agreement on their family. 

In very simple terms, Ankara Agreement allows Turkish nationals who have been working in the UK for four years to apply for ILR.  Upon reading this I couldn't help whether Turkish nationals who are here on a spouse visa, but have been working for four years can also use this to their advantage, rather than waiting the standard five years.

While I couldn't find anything concrete, I asked a barrister for confirmation.  After looking into it for me (much thanks to Rajiv Sharma) it seems that there is indeed scope for Turkish nationals here on a spouse visa to use the Ankara Agreement to accelerate their ILR.

If this is of interest to you, I would suggest you seek legal advice where needed.

 British citizen Alexis was forced to give up her studies in order to get a job paying over £18,600, just to sponsor her husband Miad, from Iran.

Now united with her husband, Alexis remains adamant that rules interfering with the right of a family to simply live together are not fair . She thus continues to campaign for change. 

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