Refugees: Afghanistan

Home Office written question – answered on 16th March 2023.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Labour, Leeds Central

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will waive the requirement for an English language test for refugees from Afghanistan who are in Pakistan seeking to join their spouse in the UK and who are unable to register for such tests because they lack immigration status in Pakistan.

Photo of Robert Jenrick Robert Jenrick The Minister for Immigration

The Government believes those seeking to enter and make a permanent home in the UK should be equipped to integrate successfully in UK society, with an appropriate level of English and an understanding of British life.

There are no plans to waive the requirement for family members from Afghanistan to pass an English language test to enter the UK.

However, under the Immigration Rules an applicant can already be exempted from the English language requirement to enter the UK if a decision maker considers there are exceptional circumstances preventing the applicant from meeting the requirement.

The applicant must demonstrate, as a result of these circumstances, they are unable to learn English before coming to the UK, or it is not practicable or reasonable for them to travel to another country to take an approved English language test.

Each application for an exemption on the basis of exceptional circumstances will be considered on its merits on a case-by-case basis.

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