Supreme Court rejects challenge to English language requirement for spouse visas in the Immigration Rules

Supreme Court rejects challenge to English language requirement for spouse visas in the Immigration Rules


CategoryNews Author Christopher Staker Date

R (Ali and Bibi) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] UKSC 68 (18 November 2015)

The Supreme Court on 18 November 2015 dismissed appeals seeking to challenge provisions in the Immigration Rules requiring applicants for spouse visas (subject to certain exceptions) to pass an English language test prior to entering the United Kingdom.

This appeals were against the judgment of the Court of Appeal in R (Bibi & Anor) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWCA Civ 322, which in turn had dismissed an appeal against the decision of Beatson J in R (Chapti & Ors) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWHC 3370 (Admin).

The challenge was based primarily on the European Convention on Human Rights, Articles 8 (right to respect for private and family life), 12 (right to marry) and 14 (prohibition of discrimination).

The judgment of the Supreme Court has invited submissions from the parties on whether the Court should make a declaration concerning the guidance as to the application of the challenged provisions.

Christopher Staker was counsel for the Secretary of State for the Home Department (led by James Eadie QC) in the proceedings before the Administrative Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Please click here for the full judgment.


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