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Indian couple challenge UK immigration law

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An Indian woman living in the UK is unable to bring her husband to live with her in the UK due to a new law which requires spouse immigrants to speak English. The couple is now bringing a legal challenge to this law in the UK courts.

British citizen Rashida Chapti applied for her husband of 34 years, Vali Chapti to come and stay with her permanently in the UK. They have six children together.

Mr. Chapti is an Indian national and does not speak, read or write English. They have gone to court in Birmingham to challenge the requirement that an overseas spouse of a British citizen or resident needs to know English to gain a marriage visa.

According to them, the law "contravenes their rights to a family life, their right to marry and constitutes discrimination".

Mrs. Chapti has been travelling between the UK and India for the last 15 years.

The new rule which came into effect in November of 2010 states that knowledge of English is one of the requirements for overseas spouses to gain a marriage visas in the UK.

Manjit Gill, a solicitor representing the couple, told the Birmingham court that the rule is in breach of their human rights. He stated that it contravenes several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, including the right to marry and the right not to be discriminated against.