Tories would raise foreign spouse age limit
By Philip Johnston, Home Affairs Editor
Last Updated: 12:32am BST 27/05/2007
The Tories would raise the age for non-EU foreign brides and grooms coming to the UK from 18 to 21, the party said last night.
Damian Green, Conservative immigration spokesman, said there would also be an English test for spouses, who would be interviewed by Government officials before being granted entry clearance.
Other measures, on which the Tories want to consult, include Life in the UK citizenship tests for spouses and a time requirement before those who have been previously married to a spouse from overseas are allowed to bring in another.
Mr Green, said: “Too many young women are brought to England to marry when they cannot possibly integrate with our society. They need better protection.
“It is not fair on them, and it is not good their integration into this country.
“Families where English is not spoken are much more likely to have children who struggle at school, and adults who cannot engage in work.”
He added: “For 10 years this Government has done nothing to stop this abuse. We are proposing practical measures which will mean that only adults can come to this country to be married, and only those whose command of English allows them to play a full part in British life will be able to come to stay.”
Earlier this week, the courts ruled unlawful Government attempts to clamp down on sham marriages.
24 May 2007: Rules to stop 'sham' marriages unlawful
23 April 2007: Church acts to stem 'sham marriages'
11 April 2006: Crackdown on fake migrant marriages is ruled illegal