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

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    1. 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!!!

  3. 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

  4. hello everbody i hope you not going to dispointed because this law its change jsut for servis member amry they will reduce the age from 21 to 18 and for the publice it will be like alwyas 21
    and im one of you who waiting
    and i hope everthing will be ok
    im dispointed its not right this law

  5. @Bilal,

    i disagree totaly
    waht about all the young teenagers from the UK been forecd 2 get married 2 people, they cant say no because they are only 16 20

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