The Supreme Court has overruled the age limit for non-EU spouses imposed by the UK Border Agency rules.
The previous Labour government implemented this legislation in 2008. As a result, non-EU spouses could not apply to join their partners in the UK if they were less than 21 years old.
This age restrictive policy was employed throughout the EU by other member states. This has now been ruled as unlawful. This court ruling may well have knock-on effects around the Europe.
In the case of Amber and Diego Aguilar, four out of five Supreme Court justices found that the Immigration Rules were incompatible with the Human Rights of the couple in question.
The minimum age requirement for non-EU spouses will now be reduced to 18 years old.
The UK Government has called for ‘forced marriages’ to be a criminal offence. Support groups are concerned by the effects that this reduced minimum age may have for non-EU spouses, particularly in relation to forced marriages.
It is important to note that UK Immigration law has not yet been amended to reflect this change. Therefore any new spouse or unmarried partner visa applications (where either person is less than 21 years old) are likely to be refused.