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July 22, 2014

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EU court rules against German language tests

Updated Thursday, July 10, 2014 | 1:55 a.m.

BERLIN (AP) — A European Union court has ruled that Germany can't require the spouses of Turkish immigrants to show basic knowledge of the German language as a condition for being granted a visa.

Since 2007, Berlin has required spouses of long-term immigrants from outside the EU wanting to join their partners in Germany to take a language test.

The European Court of Justice ruled Thursday that, in the case of Turkish immigrants, the requirement clashes with an EU-Turkey accord from the early 1970s that prohibited "the introduction of new restrictions on the freedom of establishment."

The court ruled after considering the case of a Turkish woman refused a visa to join her husband, a businessman who has lived in Germany since 1998, because she didn't know the language well enough.