Islamabad: UK raises marriage visa age to 21

* 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


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

  1. @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

  2. @ali

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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