A wife challenging the UK Government over a rule which prevents her Indian husband moving to England has vowed never to give up, This is Leicestershire reports.
Rashida Chapti, 54, of Evington, says a new immigration law which states her husband must learn English before he can join her in the UK, is unfair and in breach of her human rights.
The hosiery worker – a British citizen for six years – has launched a High Court Judicial Review in an attempt to allow her husband, Vali, to live with her, in Leicester.
She is arguing the rule breaches their human rights to family life and is discrimination.
“He is a 57-year-old farmer who lives in a tiny village in India – it is impossible for him to learn English,” she said.
“I have my family here who have been supporting me, but it is very difficult to be here without him. I will keep fighting until the law is overturned and he is with me. Even if we fail, I will reapply and reapply again.”
Mrs Chapti has 10 brothers and sisters in Leicester and was granted British citizenship six years ago.
She has only been able to visit her husband once in that time because all her spare cash has been spent on legal fees and visa applications.
She said: “I have spent about £5,000 so far and have applied twice already. That is a lot of money.
“I had to have two jobs to save up the money. Having my husband move here is all I think about.”
The new rule was announced by Home Secretary Theresa May in June last year and came into force in November.
It means migrants have to pass a spoken test in conversational English to be granted access to the UK.
Mrs Chapti was told yesterday at the High Court that a decision will be made in September. She will then appeal her husband’s refused visa application in November.
The couple, who have been married for 37 years, have six children. Most are married in India, but their youngest, 18-year-old Sohel, will be allowed to join his parents in Leicester, if they win the case.
“My dreams for the future is for us all to be here together, and work as hard as we can, and Sohel will study,” Mrs Chapti said.
“If our case fails I will reapply. My one message to the judge would be that I won’t stop until he is here with me.”
Mian Myatt, a Leicester City councillor who is helping Mrs Chapti with the case, said: “This will be a landmark case if they win.
“It is unfair because Mr Chapti has no chance of learning English. He lives in a small village and would have to travel 180 miles to Mumbai to get lessons.”
A Home Office spokesman said the ruling on spoken English was “entirely reasonable”, adding: “Last November, we introduced requirements that those intending to marry in the UK demonstrate a basic knowledge of the language and we are currently consulting on proposals to strengthen requirements and ensure those applying to settle here can readily understand everyday English.”
Earlier this month the government announced a new consultation on better family migration.
The consultation launched this month seeks to ensure that family migrants can integrate into society, and opens up debate on Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the circumstances where the public interest in removing someone from the UK should outweigh the right to respect for family life.
Immigration minister Damian Green said:
‘This consultation is about better family migration – better for migrants, communities, and the UK as a whole.
‘We welcome those who want to make a life here with their family, but too often in the past the family route has been abused as a means to bypass our immigration laws.
‘That includes too many times when we have seen Article 8 used to place the rights of criminals and illegal migrants above the rights of the British public. That balance must be redressed where there is a clear public interest in removing someone from the UK.
‘Our message is clear – we will not tolerate abuses. And if you cannot support your foreign spouse or partner, you cannot expect the taxpayer to do it for you.’ See also:
If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email:
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