News story

Preventing abuse of family route

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The importance of tackling abuse of the family migration route and promoting better community integration for those who come to live permanently in the UK was reaffirmed today by Immigration Minister Damian Green.

In a speech at the Centre for Policy Studies the Minister cited research that showed:

  • only two-thirds of people on a marriage visa had been here before;
  • in 2004 the nationalities of people settling varied, but eight out of ten people from Bangladesh and Pakistan had settled permanently within five years;
  • 20 per cent of sponsors of marriage visa applicants were either unemployed or had an income below the national minimum wage.
    thirty-seven per cent of sponsors from the sample were living with family members or friends; and
  • in 2009-10, the Department for Work and Pensions spent £2.6 million on telephone interpreting services and nearly £400,000 on document translation.

Sensitive issues

‘These are sensitive issues which have been ignored for far too long but ones we are determined to tackle’, said Immigration Minister Damian Green.

In a recorded YouTube interview Tube interview the Minister invited members of the public contribute questions on the consultation proposals via Twitter to @homeoffice using #asktheminister, or by email to

The Minister went on to say:

‘We want a system that lets everyone know where they stand and what their responsibilities are.

‘That is why our focus is on delivering better family migration - better for migrants, for communities and for the UK as a whole.’


Plans in the consultation, which closes on 6 October, include:

  • clearer definition of genuine marriage in order to prevent sham and forced marriages; and
  • requiring spouses, partners and adult dependants to demonstrate they understand everyday English.

Read the full speech.