"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Thursday 18 July 2013


“Although I satisfy it, the income threshold is too high; and the best place to learn English should be in the UK..why make our family take very difficult tests other than to encourage us to give up?”

Samantha is a British citizen. She married her husband, an Egyptian citizen, in May 2012.

They were together for four years before tying the knot, and Samantha lived in Egypt for nine months before returning to the UK in September 2012.

She returned home to get a job. She knew the immigration rules had changed and so she thought of herself especially lucky to find a job immediately, paying well over the £18,600 required.

For this couple, the hurdle proving insurmountable, is the English language test. Her husband speaks good English but his reading and writing are not so good. He took a test in February which he failed; July sees his second attempt.

Samantha understands that at the end of the day, it’s up to her husband to pass the exams. But she is bemused by how difficult they make it for candidates..almost as if they want the candidates to give up.

Results for the test are due in August/September; hopefully he passes. If not, he will have to wait till November to re-take. To Samanatha it’s a joke that she can’t be in her home country, with her own husband, without recourse to public funds.

Despite satisfying the income threshold, Samantha believes it’s too high; she doesn’t understand why foreign spouses need to take an English test, which is not remotely basic, with hours of speaking, listening, reading and writing. She doesn’t understand why the test can’t be taken in the UK – surely it would be easier to learn English surrounded by it.

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