Immigrants from outside the European Union who marry British citizens and move to the UK will need to take a compulsory English language test first, under plans fast-tracked by the government on Wednesday.
The new rules were to have been introduced by the previous Labour government in 2011, but will now come into force in the autumn.
During their election campaign, the Conservatives said immigration is "too high".
The rules will apply to spouses, fiancees and unmarried couples who already live in Britain as well as new applicants.
Home Secretary Theresa May said being able to speak English was a pre-requisite for anyone wanting to settle in Britain.
She said the measures were a first step in tightening up English language requirements across the visa system.
"Today's announcement is one of a wide range of measures the new government is taking to ensure that immigration is properly controlled for the benefit of the UK, alongside a limit on work visas and an effective system for regulating the students who come here."
Officials say the measures are likely to impact the UK's Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities most.
Britain to oblige English tests for only non-EU immigrants
Immigrants from outside the European Union who marry British citizens and move to the UK will need to take a compulsory English language test first.