The return to the old requirement of a foreign spouse being 18 before application of a visa. This was changed to 21 in 2008. This was done due to the problem of forced marriges and a blanket ban was put into force on all british nationals. 

  • This was removed for armed service personel only in april 2010


The current age in many parts of the uk for marrige is 16 (with parental permission) yet the age for for foreign spouses was increased from 18 to 21 due to forced marriges. The arguments for increasing the age show flaws and do not deal with the actual problem of forced marriges yet discriminates people of a younger age getting married.

Why is this idea important?

  • It affects ethinc minorities disproportionately.
  • The removal of armed service personel from the ban shows further discrimination for other british nationals.
  • The increase of the age was based on little evidence which didn't actually support the increase in age.
  • With new requirements such as the recent english tests and interviews (with possibly other precautions and education) they should help in preventing forced marriges.
  • This has not been proven to reduce forced marriges but just targets a higher risk group.

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