In an embarrassment, Britain’s Home Office today spelt the word “language” wrong while announcing the new English test to be forced on migrants from non-EU countries like India who face deportation if they fail to clear the examination.
Language was misspelled “langauge” in the original press release by the Home Office giving details of the new tests and was corrected only after Twitter users ridiculed the error.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “This was a regrettable typographical error that has now been corrected.”
The new rules apply to family members of British nationals who are citizens of countries outside the European Union, including India.
Partners and parents in the UK on a spousal or family visa will now need to pass a speaking and listening test after two-and-a half-years in the UK in order to qualify for further “leave to remain” en route to their “permanent settlement” in the UK after five years.
“The new A2 requirement delivers the government’s manifesto commitment to ensure that those coming to the UK on a family visa with only basic English will become more fluent over time.
It will mean that the person can better engage in everyday conversation and thereby better participate and integrate in everyday life in the community,” the Home Office release said.
The new requirement will be implemented from October 2016 and therefore not affect those required to apply for further leave to remain before then.
The announcement follows British Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech on Monday announcing new plans to better integrate sections of the British society, especially Muslim women, believed to be marginalised largely due to a gap in language skills.
Cameron launched USD 28.5 million language fund to help women, particularly Muslims, who arrive in Britain after getting married but struggle to speak English.
“We will now say if you don’t improve your fluency, that could affect your ability to stay in the UK. This will help make it clear to those men who stop their partners from integrating that there are consequences,” Cameron had said.
He said women from non-EU countries who fail to pass an English language test after two and a half years in the country could face deportation, drawing criticism from Muslim groups and opposition parties.
Since November 2010, non-EU national partners of British citizens or persons settled in the UK applying for a visa under the family route have been required to demonstrate that they can speak and understand basic English.
This requirement was extended in July 2012 to parents of British citizens and persons settled in the UK applying under the family visa route.
Since October 2013, all adult migrants applying for permanent settlement or “indefinite leave to remain” in the UK have been required to meet English speaking and listening skills and pass the ‘Life in the UK’ test.