European court overturns law requiring German-language skills for spouse visas

The European Union’s highest court on Thursday ruled in favor of a Turkish citizen, who was denied a visa to live in Germany with her husband, because she was illiterate and therefore unable to demonstrate basic German-language skills.

According to the court, a lack of language skills shouldn’t automatically lead to the rejection of an entry visa application. Instead, Germany must consider the unique circumstances of each individual case. The court went on to say that quickly granting visas for spouses improves the quality of life and promotes the integration of foreign residents.

Specifically addressing the case of the Turkish plaintiff, the court ruled that the rejection of her visa had violated a bilateral treaty between Turkey and the EU. In 1970, Brussels and Ankara agreed not to tighten their residency laws for each other’s citizens…