Can you say that in English? | india | Hindustan Times
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Can you say that in English?

india Updated: Jun 09, 2010 00:37 IST
Dipankar De Sarkar

Remember how some prospective Indian in-laws would ask the demure bride-to-be, ‘Beti, can you please say something in English for us?’ Well, be prepared to be confronted with similar questions… but by British visa officers this time around.

Men and women applying to join their spouses or marry in Britain from now on will be asked to sit a compulsory English language test in their home country.

The British home ministry said on Tuesday that all non-European migrants will have to demonstrate “a basic command of English to cope with everyday life” before they are granted a visa.

Indians top the numbers when it comes to non-European migrants, so prospective bahus as well as bridegrooms — there’s no gender discrimination here — are well advised to brush up on their English-language skills.

The new rule is to be enforced from the Autumn of this year.

Theresa May, the country’s new home minister said, “It is a privilege to come to the UK and that is why I am committed to raising the bar for migrants and ensuring that those who benefit from being in Britain contribute to our society.”

“This is only the first step. We are currently reviewing English language requirements across the visa system with a view to tightening the rules further in the future.”

The spouse or would-be spouse will have to demonstrate a “basic command of conversational English” —the same degree of proficiency that is demanded of some categories of skilled workers.

The British government is identifying a range of English language test providers around the world and the applicant will need to furnish proof to the visa officer that they have passed the test.

A for America anyone?