Islamabad: UK raises marriage visa age to 21 70

* UKBA allowed to intervene in case of forced marriage

ISLAMABAD: The British government has increased the age of marriage visa seekers from 18 to 21 year as part of a crackdown on forced marriage, the British High Commission (BHC) said in a statement on Thursday.

“On 23 July 2008, the Home Office announced that the age at which someone can apply for a marriage visa would increase from 18 to 21 as part of a crackdown on forced marriage,” BHC statement said.

The five key proposals announced include raising the age of sponsorship for a marriage visa from 18 to 21; asking foreign spouses to enter into an agreement to learn English before they come to the UK; introducing a power to revoke leave to remain where there is evidence that the marriage route has been abused; requiring all sponsors to register their intention to marry overseas before they leave the UK, and ensure through a code of practice that specialist teams can identify people vulnerable to the risks of forced marriage.

UKBA intervention: The statement said that practical guidance was also being introduced so that United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) staff could spot any risk of abuse and prevent them from being coerced into marriage. The new rules would mean that anyone abusing the marriage visa system would be removed from the UK by the UKBA under a new power to revoke a person’s right to stay in the country.

The BHC said that the government believed that those who stay in the UK must have a good grasp of English to ensure integration into British life and before they come to the UK, spouses would need to sign up to an agreement to learn English.

“Soon after their arrival, the UKBA will check they are fulfilling their promise, and if they are not, their leave could be cancelled,” BHC said.

The new guidelines would help ensure that police, teachers and health workers can recognise the signs of a forced marriage, take action and help victims escape.

Source: Daily Times, 25/7/2008

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70 thoughts on “Islamabad: UK raises marriage visa age to 21

  • sam

    hey i came to say the same as samir i have found 1 site which has been posted on here by some1 else which states that the law is only changing for the army not the public it should have come into action now well i wish all u ppl a happy waiting may ur relationships stay strong becuz distant relationships for real couples is a strain at best of times 4geting when it has been forced on you. its just as bad as being forced to marry some1 and it isn’t just pakistani’s it is effecting its every1 other than the armed forces now
    may allah bless u all

  • NAZ

    hey i think the law should change, i gt married the age of 18. i gt married to my own choice in pakstian. i gt married before the law changed, i came bck to uk and than i applyed for my bubby 2 cum over before the law changed,the case gt refused a week after the law cme out, than i talked to my Lawyer, he than talked to home office and islambad embasy but the said we can nt do anything.I really miss my hubby, since i gt married i been to pakistan 3 time. i am 20 years old nw, i gt one year left than i can call him over.I going to have a baby soon, i just want him to cum over and support me. i really love and miss him.I am just praying that the law changes

    • Ansa

      I know exactly how you feel the same thing has happened to most of us!!!!! let me tell you, this age bullshit thing CAUSED ME POSTNATAL DEPRESSION but I guess it does not matter how depress I feel, the law shows no mercy to its casualties!!!

  • henna

    HEY ecerybody as u all no
    the law has only changed for the army
    (i dnt no y?) but for the others its 21
    we can just pray now and c waat happens in april otherwise no chancess.

  • Ansa

    I disagree with this age requirement! I think there should be another way, i am 18, live in the uk and have a baby girl, my husband is in Pakistan. He has not even held his daughter. Its awful I am raising my baby alone, and husband is missing out on everything. It Sucks big time!!
    Its not fair for the people who have genuine reasons! I love my husband and I just want us to be a proper family so why am I being punished?

  • fst2furiouss

    Hi All,

    Just reading all your comments, this 21 age law does sucks!!

    I also got married before the law changed, I am trying to call my wife on a visit visa, but to get that done I will need her Pakistani Nadra Card done, so that I am able to make a passport. But the problem I am having is that the Imam that read the Nikka did not register the Nikkah, even though I had paid him. And now I have tried everything but no one is able to register the Nika for that date. Pakistan ID card office state that my my wife’s ID card should be on my name and they want a registered Nikkah..

    Can Any one Help???


  • Bilal

    Hi Everyone!

    I am sorry to hear what has happend, I wish I could help you in any way, however I am British Citzen 18 and currently at colleged and work for a travel agency (Jilania Travel), and I know everyone probs goes to pakistan or else where 2 or 3 times a year. You can contact me any time of the day 24/7 and I will try my best to get you cheap tickets to where ever your partner is.

    The number to call is 0208 432 6194 (24/7

    Also when you phone please point out that you read my comment on this website so that I can give you the best price.

    If there is anything else I can help with please let me know….


  • Bilal

    Hi All,

    Hope you all are well, I have few offers to Pakistan in Juy and December. Please call if you would like to go!

    0208 432 6194 (24/7


  • i want any job in uk/usa

    Hi Sir,
    My nam is Mr mudassir ali khan.i live in pakistan.i am thirty year length is maximam 5,4; I am handsome.beautiful younger.i am a jentle man .although I am very poor man.and my education is middle.i.other wise i will go to europe,america,canada for any field such as labour job.and I work hard to hard.please help can send me his company job offer and work permanent visa.or you can send me any other company job offer.which basic I received visa easily.i have no problem to com in Canada.although .i am ready to do as job.any work any where also swiper and dish washer although I am ready to wash latrines”if you whish me select any job.although I reseived contact base working visa any is very good for me.i am ready to work in any factiry to sell, can send any working visa.i am very poor and worrid..i hope you you send me work permit visa because you are very are very good and great man .i wait your answer.
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  • love

    i’m 18, and i really really want my husband-to-be to be here. this age requirement is sooo extremely unfair. if it weren’t for this requirement we would get married and be living together by next year. does make alot of difference. i want him here 🙁 it’s going to be a loong and difficult 3 years. Cameron says he supports people getting married…but this rule is stopping lovers getting married and living together the propper way…hypocrits.
    i understand the forced marriages issue,,but i don’t think such a strict rule should be made in which the majority have to compensate for a minority of cases where individuals are forced. perhaps there should rather be a system in which persons between the age of 18-21 have to provide stronger and more evidence,interviews or something.
    this is definitely a law showing age discrimination.its simply not fair.

    and btw Kevin, you’re assuming some things. Yes people should fulfill their education,,but that is possible after marriage also. i think i would be much more focused with my education if he was with me, cause at the moment all i do is miss him and think of these problems about how we can compromise with this law being happy at the same time.. the quicker i get married to him the less insecure my future will appear.
    one last thing about forced marriages..i actually feel insecure being a pakistani girl with this age requirement.if the law was at 18 i would get married to him and have him here with me securing that i don’t go into a relationship that i’m not happy with.

  • khan

    Hi guys iam nearly 21 and igot maried in pak. I aplied for visa
    And its under the process of bhc. May be iget resppnse in a few weeks
    Let see wats hapninig. Pray for me. I can’t wait to go to pak in
    Meet my wife.

  • s ali

    im 20 yrs old and am gona turn 21 in may 2011, i got married last june in pakistan, my wifes 20 yrs old aswell but turning 21 in october and also we are expecting a baby and its due in april 2011 is there any way i can bring my wife over before, so my baby can be born here instead of pakistan, i am willing to go but as you know its hard o find work nowdays and i cant get holidays cuz ive just started this job. i dnt wana go den lose my job cuz i gt my family to support now…….any advice for me plz

  • Maya

    Hii everyone.. Has anyone heard the good news??
    the law may really change 🙂
    This law was taken up in court by some genuine couples and the judye condemned the law and basically declared it as illegal.
    Now the only problem is that the goverment is appealung against this decision in the supreme court. If the decision is still the same then they will either have to scrap this law all together ir re-write it.

  • Maya


    I dont think there is much you can do. You could apply for a visit visa for you wife but it may be refused. I had applied for a visit visa for my husband and it was initially refused and we appealed against it and then he was granted it. You could try, wouldnt be any harm.

  • fouzia

    hi everyone i’m very worrid for aplia vesa for my husband but i can’t do this becouse i’m 18 that’s y but this time i hear a rules r chnged 21 to 18 if u now about this can u send text. this is my e-mail