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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience:  UK Lawyer holding practising certficate for England & Wales.
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Hi, my husband is a citizen of the Dominican Republic, I am

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Hi, my husband is a citizen of the Dominican Republic, I am a British Citizen, we have been together almost 3 years and have been married for a year and a half. He is still living there as he does not speak much English and we have therefore been unable to apply for his visa, but I have just found out that I am pregnant after visiting him last month. Is there any way around the English language requirement for him to come here and help me through my pregnancy and the raising of our child?


Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.

I’m afraid that there probably is not an exception that applies in this case. You can apply to be exempt from the requirements if:
1. If you are younger than 18 or older than 65
2. If you suffer from a disability which makes it difficult for you to learn English
3. If there are other medical reasons why you cannot learn English
4. If there are exceptional compassionate circumstances which apply given the facts of the case.

I assume that 1-3 do not apply.

The exceptional compassionate circumstances are extremely rare. You have to show that as a result of their facts of the case and the conditions in which they live they are unable to access facilities for learning English before applying for a spouse visa. Evidence of an inability to attend, prior/previous attendance or attempts to access learning must be clearly provided

Some people have applied for an exemption and been successful where the sponsor UK spouse has been seriously ill in the UK and there is not enough time for the applicant to pass the test. I’m not too optimistic that your pregnancy would meet this.

It is not sufficient to show that a person is illiterate or of limited education.

If your husband simply finds it difficult to learn English then I’m afraid that it’s not likely that they will consider an exemption if you apply for it. If they were to reject the application then you would have to apply again or appeal and the chances on appeal would not be particularly great.

The difficulty is that although on the face of it a refusal under these circumstances would be contrary to your Article 8 (Human) Right to a Family and Private life, this right is technically a qualified right rather than an absolute one. This means that the government can make certain conditions to these types of visa provided they are for legitimate purposes (ie. the ability of the resident population to adequately communicate with each other).

I consider that the best way forward would probably be for him to apply for a family visitor’s visa if he is not optimistic that he will be able to pass the test and applyfor/obtain a spouse visa in time for the birth. At the same time he can focus on passing the test.

If you were to apply on the basis or arguing an exemption on the basis of your pregnancy then it would be a risk in my opinion and certainly something that would probably be rejected and force you to appeal. Given that there is only 7 months until your pregnancy time for an application and a subsequent appeal would also be tight before the birth.

I am sory.

My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.

Kind regards,

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