Adverse Impact of UK’s

Immigration Rules
Portfolio of divided families of British citizens and
residents due to UK’s family immigration rules.

July 2015

CONTENTS
BritCits .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 5
britcits speak out: .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 7
Policy Recommendations ................................................................................................................................................................................... 8
Useful links .................................................................................................................................................................................................... 252
Index .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 253

ADULT DEPENDANT RELATIVES
Alex H ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 9
Alex S ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 10
Ali L ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 11
Ali N................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 12
Chen ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 14
Debarshi .......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 15
Dev .................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 16
Dina ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 18
Ethan ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 19
Fara ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 20
Gloria & Migdalia ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 21
Jenny................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 22
Katharina......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 23
Mahi ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 26
Manish A.......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 27
Manish G ......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 28
Montu............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 29
Nikunj .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 31
Noman ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 32
Oksana ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 34
Olya ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 35
Puneet .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 36
Ravi.................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 37
Rohit ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 40
Sarwat.............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 42
Saurabh ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 43
Shailendra........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 44
Shaun* ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 46
Sree .................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 47
Tejinder ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 49
Veena ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 50
Yana ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 51
Yulia ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 53
Zack ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 55

NON-EEA PARTNERS
Families with children
Aaron & Kano ................................................................................................................................................................................................. 56
Aisha & Abraham ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 57
Andy & Molly…Dylan & Devon ...................................................................................................................................................................... 58
Anne ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 60
Barry, Francisca…& Millie ............................................................................................................................................................................. 61
Ben................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 62
Colin & XXX .................................................................................................................................................................................................... 63
Dell & Valery................................................................................................................................................................................................... 65
Douglas ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 66
Emma, Driss…& Aymane ................................................................................................................................................................................ 67
Eric & Halima ................................................................................................................................................................................................. 68
Fiona, Nate...& William................................................................................................................................................................................... 69
Hayley & Manuel............................................................................................................................................................................................. 70
Jade & Merouane ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 72
John, Hayley...& Ryan ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 74
Juliet ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 75
Kate, Fune...& Reggie ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 77
Kelly ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 78
Kevin................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 79
Leighsa & Scott ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 80
Liz & Abdullah................................................................................................................................................................................................. 81
Lizzie & Alexander .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 82
Lorraine ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 84
Neil & Emily .................................................................................................................................................................................................... 85
Nick, Courtney...& Elliott ................................................................................................................................................................................ 87
Nikki, Juan…& Jayden .................................................................................................................................................................................... 91

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Sarah ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 92
Sarah (Malaysia) ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 93
Sarah (Thailand).............................................................................................................................................................................................. 94
Sarah & Joe ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 95
Sean & Sherry Ann .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 98
Stella & Ankush ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 99
Stephen & Yilei .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 100
Wayne & Meliana .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 101
William & Noriko .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 102
Xocoa & Vishal .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 103

Home Office bureaucracy
Andrew........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 104
Christian & Marcia ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 106
Christine & Ziad ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 108
Christopher & Christine ................................................................................................................................................................................ 110
Claire ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 112
Dan ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 113
Daniel & Kelsey............................................................................................................................................................................................. 114
Daniel & Rachel ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 115
Darren & Kelly .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 117
David ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 119
David & Bang ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 120
Euan & Megan............................................................................................................................................................................................... 121
Gerard & Vilai............................................................................................................................................................................................... 123
Haje & Ziah ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 125
Hayley & Mehmet .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 127
Janice & Erdogan .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 128
Jessica & Arban............................................................................................................................................................................................. 129
Joanne & Ben ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 130
JoJo & Loïc ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 131
Joyce, Clyde & Xu Dan.................................................................................................................................................................................. 133
Leanne ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 135
Margaret & Mustapha ................................................................................................................................................................................... 136
Maria ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 137
Paula ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 138
Sandra & Ahmed............................................................................................................................................................................................ 139
Shafik & Nesrin ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 140
Sharon & Salah ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 142
Steve & Yoko.................................................................................................................................................................................................. 143
Steve & Yuriko ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 145
Tom & Elizabeth ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 147
Tom & Olya ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 148

English Language Test
Eve & Gustavo ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 150
Lionel & Svetlana .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 151
Lucy & Andres ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 153
Samantha ....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 154
Steve & Galina............................................................................................................................................................................................... 155

Financial requirements
Aimie & David ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 156
Alexis & Miad ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 157
Amanda & Imed ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 160
Amanda & Tony ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 161
Amy & Sean ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 163
Aneela ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 164
Angela............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 165
Anne ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 166
Ashleigh & Orisvel ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 168
Asif & Hafsa .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 169
Bethan & Winston .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 170
Brian .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 171
Chrissie & Supon ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 172
Claire ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 173
Clint ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 174
Craig & Toni ................................................................................................................................................................................................. 175
Damar............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 176
David & Dee .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 177
David & Emelie ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 179
Dee & Ozan ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 180
Ed & Anya ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 182
Emma & Haytham ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 185
Emma ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 186

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Gillian............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 188
Jack & Shah ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 190
Jade & Luis.................................................................................................................................................................................................... 191
Jas.................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 192
Jay & Alberto................................................................................................................................................................................................. 193
Jenny.............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 194
Jessica & Warren .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 195
Joel ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 196
Josh & Edward .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 197
Kathryn & Colin ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 199
Katie & Cliff .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 200
Kev & Barbara .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 201
Kirsty & Karim .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 202
Larissa & Nicolas .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 203
Laura & Mohamed ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 204
Les & Becky ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 206
Lisa ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 208
Louise ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 209
Loz & Josh ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 210
Lucinda & Karim ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 211
Lyndsey & Paul ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 213
Maliha & Bilal ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 214
Mark & Mercy ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 215
Megan & Max ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 216
Mel & Mahmoud ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 217
Michael (Malaysia) ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 218
Michael (Singapore) ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 219
Muhammad .................................................................................................................................................................................................... 220
Naila .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 221
Nick................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 222
Paul ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 223
Paul &Connie ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 224
Phil & Amanda .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 226
Rachel & Ahmed ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 227
Ravi................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 229
Rhys &Natacha .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 230
Richard & Kate .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 231
Rob (Indonesia) ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 232
Rob (USA)...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 233
Rudi ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 234
Ruth ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 235
Sandra & Aftab .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 236
Sandra & Monaam ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 237
Sarah & Angelina .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 238
Sharon & Wade ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 240
Sierra ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 241
Stacey & Yoshi ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 242
Steven............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 243
Suzanne .......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 244
Tracey & Gary .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 245
Wayne & Daisy .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 247
Wes & Erica................................................................................................................................................................................................... 249
Wes & Rebecca .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 251

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BritCits
Immigration rules in the UK in force from 9th July 2012 are believed to be undermining family values
and violating the sanctity of marriage in causing the separation of families, keeping our citizens in exile
and forcing British children unnecessarily into a single-parent upbringing.
British citizens from across the spectrum have become victims of their own country’s immigration rules:
• A British man earning over £100,000 is prevented from looking after his elderly parents because
they are Ukrainian.
• The parent of two British kids is refused a visa, with Home Office stating “At two and three years
old, it’s considered x and y are of an age where they would be able to readjust to life without you.”
• A young British mum with a Prohibited Steps Order in place preventing her children leaving the UK
is refused a spouse visa for her Moroccan husband to join her in the UK.
• A British man is unable to return home to look after his elderly British parents, both diagnosed with
cancer, because his wife is from South East Asia.
• The Syrian husband of a British woman – meeting both financial and language requirements – is
refused a visa for not submitting a statement of entry for the language exam, despite showing the
certificate of passing the exam
• A British pensioner with his mortgage paid off and no debt is forced to sell his home because his
partner is American. The financial requirements not only make no allowance for zero
accommodation costs, but they also require selling off property to show cash proceeds.
For Brits with a foreign spouse, the government has placed a price tag on love, of £62,500 cash or a
salary of over £18,600 p.a. if they want to live in the UK – a financial threshold so high that 47% of
British citizens in employment will not meet it.1 The onus is on the British citizen to meet the financial
requirements – any income earned by the foreign spouse not in the UK is ignored, regardless of their
income or earning potential.
The added hurdle of the English language requirement before entering the UK represents a departure
from earlier policies which required spouses to learn English while they were in the UK. This has led
to some with spouses in remote parts of the world giving up hope of ever returning home because of a
lack of available English classes and centres approved by the Home Office in their region.
If you have an adult dependant from another country, usually elderly parents, the rules are even more
drastic. In parliamentary debate Sarah Teather MP called the new requirements ‘a ban masquerading
as a rule’2 and Chris Bryant MP said ‘to all intents and purposes the adult dependent relative route has
been closed: people have to be able to prove in this country that they have so much money, they can
care for those dependants; in which case, people should care for them in the country in which the
dependants live, unless they are so ill that they cannot stay there, in which case they probably could not
travel anyway.. The criteria are so contradictory and operate just to exclude people.’3
Our government does not care if the sponsor or applicant is a nurse, teacher or engineer with skill sets
our country is crying out for. It doesn’t care if these rules mean we lose British NHS-trained doctors to
1

Migration Observatory, Oxford University http://www.migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/press-releases/women-young-people-and-nonlondoners-are-most-affected-changes-family-migration-polic
2
Hansard 19 June 2013: Column 261WH
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm130619/halltext/130619h0001.htm
3
Hansard 19 Jun 2013 : Column 274WH
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm130619/halltext/130619h0002.htm

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countries with family-friendly immigration rules allowing parents to join their adult children. It doesn’t
even care if there are British babies involved.
In making misleading statements of migrants being welcome here as long as they are not a burden on
taxpayers, the government does not refer to the fact that migrants have no recourse to public funds.
Indeed, family members being allowed to join their British family is actually beneficial to the UK
taxpayer as most benefits are contingent on the household income, which with another income earning
member of the family, is likely to disqualify the British citizen from benefits as well.
Faced with my own family life being threatened, noting a lack of public awareness, and the resounding
silence of the media, on the impact of these rules, I founded BritCits in 2012. Steven Green has been
my BritCits partner and priceless in his contribution to the organisation since day one, using his IT skills
to create and manage our website www.britcits.com.
BritCits is not advocating an open-door policy on immigration. However we think it’s imperative that
immigration rules are fair and clear, in both their intent and application; rules must be such where the
interest of a child prevails whatever the parents’ financial situation.
Ridiculous reasons for refusal – such as denying a British citizen is actually British, or that a couple
married for over 12 years with three children does not in itself prove the existence of a genuine
relationship – are unacceptable. When the only recourse to an error made by the Home Office is the
applicant taking the appeal to court, the path to family reunification often proves to be prohibitive in
terms of time and money. We are also concerned with changes made by the Immigration Act 2014,
which takes away the ability to appeal against Home Office decisions on the basis that the immigration
rules have been wrongly applied.
We demand better from the government of a developed nation, one which has been a pioneer on the UN
convention rights of the child, has benefited from the contribution of migrants to our society and indeed,
a nation which historically and even today, is known for its own people venturing into other countries
around the world, to live, work and reunite with family.

Sonel Mehta
Trustee

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britcits speak out:
"If it’s impossible for us as lawyers to understand the rules, what hope is there
for a layperson?"“UK puts a price tag on love” “I served in British army,

defended British lives & way of life and now kept apart from own wife &
child.” “My parents are much older than my wife's and we wanted to be closer to them, so my wife,
our son & I could see more of them, help them out in their old age. Not too much to ask, is it?”
“Expat in exile.”“As a result he missed the birth of his first-born child.”

“This government will be remembered as attacking most vulnerable
in society”“We're not asking for hand-outs, just the chance to live as a family”
“I am keen for my small family to be near my parents, gain recognition of our family as a legal unit
and be around to look after my parents as they get older.” “All we want is the opportunity to live
together; we are a family”“What married couple wants to spend twelve months,
maybe more, living in separate countries?” “In the Conservative pre-election waffle
Cameron made a great deal about his views on sanctity of marriage & family values.” “This is not
how I expected my married life to be, a fight to be with my husband” “Are these the family

values government wants to promote?”“UKBA is happy to take the visa application
fees, and find spurious reasons to reject visa applications, in order to take yet more
fees.”“The message we’re getting from government is we’re not rich enough to

love” “My wife is eminently employable & would be an asset to UK”“When you
marry for richer or poorer, it should mean just that”“I am being pushed
out by this government because I dared to fall in love, have a baby with and
marry a woman who is Japanese”. “It is ludicrous and unlawful to put a price on
anybody’s marriage and love. We are human and deserve to be together with our loved
ones.” “I have to fulfil my duty to look after my mother in her 70s, and my 12-year-old son, so I

“How do you explain
to kids we don’t make enough money to be together as a
family”“ All visas for non-EU citizens are stamped with a clear ‘no recourse
have no choice but to fight for my partner to come to the UK."

to public funds’” “Despite being in a genuine loving relationship, the government has forced me into
becoming a single mother, juggling work, being a full-time mum and a wife. Family life is supposed to be a
right, not a privilege...but it sure doesn’t feel like it!” “I hope one day I can be with the woman I love,

“I just want to be able to look after my
parents without recourse to public funds in the same way they’ve
looked after me and my child”“We want to raise our baby together, in a country where
without that love having a price tag..”

the culture and language are not going to damage my career as I need to financially support my

“The govt is blind to common sense & averse to doing
the right thing, in interest of massaging numbers.” “I am under

family.”

£18,600 threshold by £6.40 a month. I served 10 years in army, went to Iraq. Yet must spend another
12 months apart from my husband, for £6.40 a month!” “I am desperate to return home to

spend time with my parents in their final years as they are both fighting cancer,
but I can’t leave my wife!” “As a British citizen, my country wants me to earn the right to live
with my family.”

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Policy Recommendations
At an APPG on Migration meeting in March 2013, Lord Teverson asked for suggestions on how
immigration into the UK could be managed better, whilst also ensuring new entrants did not lead to an
increased burden on the taxpayer. The following includes some of the suggestions sent to the panel,
though by no means is this expected to be exhaustive or a solution to all family immigration issues.
Lord Teverson’s response to the letter was “I agree with you absolutely that all UK citizens should be
able to reside in their own country with their own family, most of all their chosen spouse.”
Non EEA Parents
• Bond/guarantee, as in Australia where $10,000 is held for ten years and refunded in full only if the
parent has not claimed any benefits in that period. Interestingly, Australia encourages parents of its
residents to migrate when they are younger/healthier to encourage integration and allow them to
contribute to the Australian community, whether as childminders, volunteers, workers etc.
• Written guarantee or ring fenced assets from the sponsor.
• Income threshold as is in place for spouses. It does not make sense that on an income of £80,000
or so, the government deems it feasible for a British citizen to sponsor a non-EU spouse and 20 of
their children, but not one parent.
• Mandate private healthcare insurance for terminal illnesses to reduce reliance on NHS.
• Reserve the right of sponsoring parents as that of British citizens only. This is similar to what is in
place in USA. Or indeed, those not already in receipt of benefits.
• Long-term visa, as in Australia and Canada allowing parents to live with their children for two
consecutive years
• Quota system, limiting number of non-EU citizens each person can sponsor over specified period.
• Rolling 3-5 year visa so that if the British citizen’s situation changes and they are no longer able
to look after their parents, the visa is not renewed.
Non EEA partners
Income thresholds to reflect minimum wage and regional differences in incomes and cost of living.
Allow for cash and non-cash assets, without excluding the first £16,000 as is the current practice.
Take into consideration the sponsor/applicant’s expenses and debt in assessing funds required.
Prioritise cases involving kids.
Allow for the potential income of the non-EU spouse.
Those with fluctuating incomes should not be penalised by only the month with the lowest income
counting towards the income threshold. This especially affects sponsors who are self-employed, and
those on maternity or sick leave.
• Reduce to 12 months (from 30) the period for which the pre-estimate of financial viability is
assessed.
• English language requirements should be such that they allow for the fact that the best place to learn
English is the UK, rather than remote parts of the world with little or no access to English classes
and English examination centres approved by the Home Office.






Living with your spouse and children is a right, not a privilege.
Living in your country of nationality is also a right, not a privilege.

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Alex H
“My grandma is alone in Kazakhstan.”
Alex is a British citizen who moved to the UK with his mum about ten years ago, as a child. His mother
is a British citizen and lives here with Alex’s stepfather.
Since living here, Alex and his mum have fully integrated into the UK. It’s their home, they both work
full-time, pay their taxes, National Insurance and have revoked their Kazakh citizenships as well.
Their ties with Kazakhstan exist by way of Alex’s grandmother, who at 69 lives alone there. Although
Alex and his mum make regular visits to her, and send her money to pay for her living expenses, it’s
now how they want her to continue the rest of her life.
Like many kids, Alex spent a lot of time with his grandma when in Kazakhstan. His mum, a single
parent worked long hours for the three of them to have a roof over their heads and food on the table.
When they left the country, the grandma was younger, healthier with an active social life.
Recently though, her entire network of friends and family have left Kazakhstan to live with their own
families, or are now deceased. She has no family or friends nearby, and her health is deteriorating every
day, surrounded by loneliness. She has issues with her pancreas and heart, and while Alex and his mum
have been paying for her medication out there, restrictions mean it is not easy to buy food in Kazakhstan
to meet the strict dietary requirements imposed by the doctor, as these are simply not available in the
town she lives in.
She is not physically able to do essentials. Some social services help out with the cleaning of the house
and shopping, there is no provision to help with regular checks to make sure she is okay. To help with
bathing and cooking. There are no private companies who offer that service that Alex has been able to
locate; and is it really prudent to entrust the care of a vulnerable person to a stranger who knows the
only family is in another country? There are horrific stories of abuse in the UK, despite our stringent
standards. What would it be like in another country with fewer regulations?
The family is worried about their elderly relative becoming a target of criminal activity; corruption is
rife in the area and they target the vulnerable, especially elderly who it is known have family around.
The family made a settlement application in 2012 before the new ADR rules were introduced, which
was refused on some confusing grounds; that there was no evidence of the money being given to the
grandma. The grandma has no income of her own and Alex and his mother provided for her by taking
money with them to Kazakhstan on their regular visits. Because this was not documented in the way
the Home Office wanted, the application was refused and unfortunately, the family lost at appeal as
well.
The family learnt their lesson and are now documenting the money transfers, although this means
incurring extra costs and making it harder for their grandma to access the funds. However, given the
nature of the ADR rules, the family is sure they would still not fulfil UK’s requirements for an ADR
visa, deemed as a ban masquerading as a rule.
The family can provide for their grandma, even with private health insurance, without recourse to public
funds. They just want to be able to provide a home for her to live in, with her family. Neither Alex nor
his mum can move to Kazakhstan as that impacts their financial security thus affecting their ability to
pay for the grandma. They are now considering becoming yet another family forced to leave UK to
live in another EU country in the hope of family reunification, outside of the reaches of Home Office.
A drastic measure, but the only alternative to leaving their elderly relative to die alone, with health,
physical and emotional needs not being met.

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Alex S
“The parents issue is the most important thing to me and I will move
countries if I have to rather than abandon them but I shouldn’t have
to leave my home when I can guarantee to look after them with no
recourse to public funds.”
Alex is a British citizen from Kent, Dartford with Oxford University as his alma mater. A property
investor and entrepreneur in the UK for 12 years and financially supporting his parents in Ukraine during
this period as well.
His parents are both 65 years old, living in rented accommodation in Ukraine because they sold their
property with the intention to move to the UK and bring their life savings with them. They have no
relatives other than Alex and his wife. They somewhat know the UK, having stayed here for a month or
two every couple of years, but travelling is proving more and more difficult with age and its unavoidable
symptoms.
Alex has worked hard and is earning over £100,000 a year. He is not on benefits (indeed, he wouldn't
even qualify). He wishes to have his parents with him here, to enjoy and share his success, after years
of hard work and sacrifices made by them all. It's well overdue. His parents would not qualify for
benefits in the UK, with a very clear no recourse to public funds stamped in their passport, but Alex is
willing to sign a waiver, provide a guarantee and take out private healthcare cover to alleviate any such
fears this government might have nonetheless.
However under the current immigration rules this is still impossible. Now Alex is not just going to
shrug his shoulders and say, "oh well" and think by sending money to Ukraine his responsibilities are
fulfilled. No, that’s not how he was brought up and it’s not how he would want his children to treat
him. So Alex is considering moving countries. Going to another EEA country for a year or so where
he can have his parents with him and then using the Surinder Singh route to return to his home, the UK,
with his parents. What is being denied to him by the UK is allowed to him by Europe.
With his excellent credentials, he has already had job offers from Frankfurt and Zurich but does not
want to leave unless forced to. For him though the parents issue is the most important factor at the
moment and one for which he will move if he needs to. The point remains that he should not need to.
With him will go his money for a year, the boost so sorely needed by our economy.
Yes, Alex intends to return. But he might fall in love with his new home and never do so (supporters of
Tories net migration target with hands up in victory are oblivious to the fact that by encouraging exile
of our citizens we are damaging our own future).
Even if Alex does return, he won't forget what this government has done, and what the opposition has
let them do. People never do forget when it’s their own family and family life that is threatened. And
the saddest thing is - unless there's a change pronto, he won't ever trust the system in UK again, because
it will have failed him.

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Ali L
"But Mr. ... who keeps up with modern ideas explained the other
day that compassion is forbidden nowadays by science itself, and
that's what is done now in England, where there is political
economy."-Dostoevsky, Fyodor (1866). Crime and Punishment.
Translated in English by Constance Garnett
Ali is a foreign born British citizen; he is one of the brightest and best students our government competes
with USA, Australia, Canada and Ireland for.
In 2006, Ali, then an Indian citizen, came here for a one-year Masters course in Computer Security ,
subsequent to which he moved to the Points Based Tier 1 - General visa category then open to highly
skilled people in an attempt to encourage them to remain in the UK.
The promise was that applicants would be able to obtain permanent residency after five years, with a
route for elderly parents to settle here as well. So Ali made the choice to live here on that basis rather
than exploring options in other countries which then and even now allow for settlement of parents.
As an only child, Ali finds the ADR rules especially
harsh. His parents are both retired in India and aged over
70; they are more and more dependent on him with the
onset of age and its consequences. They also feel lonely
and left out, with depression taking its toll.
Ali’s dad has vertigo; not just the kind that makes you
dizzy when you look down from high up. It’s so severe
that it impacts his ability to stand and even hear. His world
is slowly turning silent. Ali’s mum is unable to walk for
long due to arthritis. Their son is a much needed crutch.
Ali’s parents are living off their savings. But with medical issues, the pot is dwindling and financial
dependency on Ali is likely to increase. Ali has no qualms about supporting his parents – he is
successful because of their sacrifices and able to look after them with no recourse to public funds.
The family could get by for a while with visits for a few months every year, however Home Office is
known to refuse even visit visas for elderly relatives, whilst making the settlement route impossible.
Ali has an excellent job; he earns a very good salary and has experience in the cancer research area,
writing software to screen new-borns. Every time the government states that elderly relatives would be
a burden on the NHS, Ali feels the irony. The NHS would collapse without migrants.
Most of Ali’s parent’s friends live with their own kids, in USA, Canada, Australia. Ali is ridden with
guilt that his parents are on their own. As much as he loves it here, Ali regrets choosing UK to make as
his home simply because of these rules. It’s not easy to leave now that things are established; career,
finances and other commitments. But UK’s stance on families has impacted his morale and the
perception of, and desire to integrate into, the UK.
The rules clearly target foreign-born British citizens and residents. They scream that no matter how
hard Ali will work, how much he contributes, how much of a home this becomes, he will always be
second-class because he wasn’t born here. Ali is clear these kind of rules will ensure the brightest and
best no longer move to the UK; indeed, many of them will leave. At the detriment of our society,
community, economy and values.

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Ali N
"As a single mum who raised me having already lost a child, my
mum and I share a particularly close bond. I can’t abandon her
when her health is so frail.”
Ali is a British citizen, and has been living and working in the UK for over 10 years.
He is in the higher-rate tax bracket, having worked hard since coming to the UK and is a net
contributor to the Exchequer. He has never claimed any benefits from the UK government.
Ali’s mum is from Pakistan. She raised Ali as a single parent following separation from Ali’s
dad (and subsequently, the couple divorced). When Ali’s brother died at the age of two, Ali’s
mum naturally became even more protective with the bond between mother and son particularly
strong as a result of the hardship they have faced. Ali is now her only child.
Ali’s three aunts – his mum’s sisters - are also all British citizens. Therefore she has been
visiting the UK regularly since around 1986. Since Ali’s move to the UK in 2005, his Auntie
Perveen aunt, a widow, has lived with his mother practically every single day. Every year they
would spend six months in the UK as per the restrictions of Ali's mothers UK visit visa and the
rest of the time in Pakistan.
However, on his mum’s last visit in June 2014, Ali found her suffering from rheumatoid
arthritis, depression and other medical complications which largely went undiagnosed in
Pakistan. His mum therefore remained here for treatment, as being unfit to travel, she was
unable to fly back. Ali instructed private consultants in the UK to help get her back to a noncritical state, having to date spent thousands of pounds on his mum’s treatment. Ali wishes to
stress that this was privately funded, and did not therefore cause any strain on the NHS,
cementing his claim that the underlying motive for wanting his mum here is simply to be able
to look after her day to day needs, not for ‘free’ NHS care.
Ali has also moved out of his own flat, where his girlfriend still lives, and primarily stays with
Auntie Perveen and his mum, so as to be able to help with the daily chores and assisting her as
she battles her medical issues. Ali’s other two aunts live just five minutes away, so the family
see each other on a daily basis and are a very close-knit unit.
Ali’s mum remains very ill and struggles to perform basic chores independently. Ali’s aunt
Perveen, mainly due to old age is struggling with her own health problems and therefore is
unable to accompany Ali’s mum to Pakistan this time. As a British citizen, there is no
restriction on Ali’s aunt’s stay in the UK.
Ali’s mum holds a visitor’s visa valid till 2020, however, due to ill-health she is not fit to travel
long-haul, especially not on a regular basis.
Ali has thus considered moving back to Pakistan. However, a couple of years ago he bought a
property in London so financial commitments make it difficult – though yes a property can be
sold. However, leaving the UK would also mean leaving his German girlfriend of over 4 years
who is not prepared to relocate to Pakistan because of the terrorist concerns as advised by the
FCO. It would mean starting from scratch, wiping the board clean of the last ten years of his
life, saying goodbye to his home, his aunts, his partner, his career.

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Whilst carers are available in Pakistan, their services are typically only employed with a close
and able family member overseeing the operations; the carer is supervised. This is not an option
available to Ali as there is no family in Pakistan able to perform even a supervisory role.
Moreover, it’s important to Ali that his mum has the affection and companionship of
family. Ali’s mum also needs coaxing to engage in exercise and to take her medication. It’s
unlikely therefore that she would listen to a stranger.
Ali and his aunt therefore decided to make an application for settlement. They were as
expected, refused by the Home Office and have appealed on human rights grounds, with their
hearing scheduled for 16th July 2015.
Ali has to date spent thousands of pounds in legal and application fees.
Ali feels very dejected that the UK government has bolted the doors shut to even the elderly
and disabled relatives of British citizens. While he believes this is as a result of the pressure
Theresa May has found herself under to bring down net immigration further to the Tory
‘promise’, violating the basic human right to private and family life is unlikely to earn them
any favours from the British public in the long run.
If Ali’s mum is forced to return to Pakistan, Ali believes this will violate the FCO’s travel
advice, given the threat to his security as his family belongs to a sect which is currently being
persecuted in Pakistan. It will mean his mum is forced to leave her three sisters, who contribute
to her well-being. Ali and his girlfriend will break up, and Ali would lose his job, earnings,
friends and aunts too.
Ali refers to the government’s own advice for travel to Pakistan for British nationals:
“There is a high threat from terrorism, kidnap and sectarian violence throughout Pakistan. In
the aftermath of an attack on a school in Peshawar in December 2014, there is a heightened
threat of terrorist attacks, and kidnapping against western nationals in Pakistan. You should
be particularly vigilant at this time and take appropriate security precautions.”
Source: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/pakistan
“British nationals of Pakistani origin are at particular risk of kidnap for ransom. British and
other foreign national kidnap victims have faced extended periods of detention. While some
were ultimately released by their captors, others have been killed.”
Source: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/pakistan/terrorism

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Chen
“My mother would not be a burden on the state. She has enough
financial savings of her own to buy a property and pay for private
medical cover in the UK. She just wants to not be alone.”
Chen is a British citizen. He moved to the UK in 2000 from Beijing as a student. His family
supported him by paying for his tuition fees and living expenses for the entirety of his student
years.
Chen is one of the crème de le crème international students the government is keen to ensure
continue coming to the UK – after graduating from university, Chen received a job offer which
he accepted. After several years of working, paying taxes and NI contributions, Chen became
a naturalised British citizen.
Chen’s mother is alone in China. She is retired and wishes to join her son. An accident has left
her disabled and unable to walk unhindered. Her ex-husband, Chen’s stepfather was abusive
leading to their divorce. Chen’s mother has recently decided she’d like to no longer be alone
and would prefer to live with her son – her only child.
Chen understands people's concerns on the ever increasing public burden on NHS and other
public sector facilities. However, this will not be the case for his family. His mum was a
bookkeeper for a large state-owned company in China, with a great salary and fantastic benefits.
As she never lived outside her means, she managed to have good savings. She even owns a
property outright, without any outstanding mortgage. She's quite happy to sell her place and
use the money to buy a property here. She is also more than capable of using her savings to
sign up for private health care.
She would not be a burden on the society as some people perceive.
Chen is frustrated that it’s because he is a British citizen he is being denied the right to have his
mother join him in the country of his nationality. Non-EU elderly immigrants took up a
miniscule portion of the total immigration number even under the previous rules and so denying
people the right to look after their parents is not going to solve any of the perceived immigration
‘problems’ either.
It’s clear to Chen that this is just yet another political manoeuvre that will serve to help no one,
least of all Brits and our country.

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Debarshi
“I am a net contributor to the UK economy and wish now to also
contribute to my parents’ life.”
Debarshi and his wife are both British citizens, having lived in the UK since 2005. He came to
the UK on a work transfer, and met his now wife Radha who was then here as an international
student.
Now Debarshi work as an IT manager in a bank, and his wife is a Tax Compliance Officer at
HMRC.
The current ADR rules are of concern to Debarshi, as the only child of parents living alone in
India. Whilst Debarshi is able to arrange for a carer, this would only ensure provision of
physical care. Only family can provide the emotional care, especially that needed during old
age when parents needs so often resemble that of children’s. No paid help can replace that.

Debarshi and his wife have made
good progress in their careers, having
invested a decade of their lives here
and to date, not having claimed any
benefits. They are very clear net
contributors, but wish to be able to
also contribute to the lives of
Debarshi’s parents by living with and
looking after them in the UK.
Debarshi and his wife show his parents their home city, on a recent visit..

If the current rules, effectively a ban on parents like Debarshi’s, remain in place, Debarshi and
his wife will have no choice but to move to a country where his parents can stay with them.
Not an easy decision given the efforts which they have gone to in order to build a life here, but
an easy one when balancing the need and responsibilities to those who gave him life.

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Dev
“My mother was refused a visit visa, and now the Home Office,
despite the Judge ruling in favour of granting a settlement visa,
continues to refuse my mother entry, by appealing this decision.”
Dev is a UK resident. He has been living here for years, and since then been diligently working
as a higher-rate tax payer, claiming no benefits.
Dev, his wife and child have all satisfied the requirements for British citizenship. However,
despite being a net contributor, Dev is being forced to re-assess his future in the UK, because
of his experience with the immigration rules which mean not only has his mother been refused
a visa to settle in the UK, but also prevented from visiting them.
When Dev was 12, his father passed away. As the eldest of four children, Dev was a huge
support to his mother, prematurely becoming the man of the house, and his mother’s crutch and
confidant. As soon as he was old enough, Dev worked to help provide financially for the
family, ensuring his siblings got access to an excellent education and as per Indian culture also
paying for his sisters’ weddings. Dev shouldered the responsibility of a father and in doing so,
there naturally developed a special bond between mother and her eldest child. There is no
doubt that his mother is entirely dependent on Dev.
As time passed, and the other kids flew the nest, including one younger sibling also now based
in the UK, Dev’s mother found herself alone. She has trouble with things that the younger
generation takes for granted – mobile phones, going out shopping, using an ATM. With two
of her children in the UK, including a grandchild, Dev was keen for his mother to come visit
them. There was no intention that his mother would live here. At her age, to adjust to a new
life, culture and indeed, British winter, would be very difficult. However, when a visa to visit
the UK was refused, Dev decided to apply for a settlement visa for his mum - before 9th July
2012 - as this would allow her to stay in the UK for as long as she wanted and whenever she
wished, without further visa hassles.
To his surprise, UKBA refused the visa, despite all the evidence showing Dev’s mum:
• lives alone in India.
• is unable to leave her apartment complex on her own
• doesn’t have any close family to help with everyday tasks; running errands, going to the
temple, seeing the doctor.
• is entirely financially dependent on Dev
• is unable to use modern technology like ATMs or mobile phones
• doesn’t have many friends where she lives having lived there for a short time
• when unwell and in pain, was forced to phone Dev in the UK who then arranged for a
neighbour to take his mum to the hospital
As part of the settlement visa application, Dev’s mum was required to travel hundreds of miles
for a face to face interview at the UK embassy in Chennai. Luckily, a distant cousin happened
to be around at the time and Dev called in some favours to arrange for his mother to be
accompanied – Dev paying for all the necessary travel and accommodation costs of both his
mother and the cousin.

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Little did he know that by being able to arrange this, the Home Office would use this as an
excuse to refuse the visa by saying his mother was not alone. That the cousin is distant, and
not living in the same city as his mother – or even more importantly, that the responsibility for
his mother’s welfare falls on Dev, not a distant cousin, seems to have been conveniently
ignored.
Indeed, if Dev hadn’t been able to arrange for his mother to be accompanied, the application
would have also been refused as Home Office would say that the applicant did not attend the
interview as required!
The Home Office refused the visa; Dev appealed and the Judge ruled in favour of the family,
citing that there is a close tie beyond those of only an emotional nature between Dev and his
mother, what with Dev having, to all intents and purposes, provided a roof over not only his
mother’s head, but the younger siblings as well. The Judge ruled that Dev’s mother is entirely
dependent on her son and therefore maintained that his mother should be granted a visa to settle
in the UK.
Unfortunately, despite what should have been a delayed happy ending, the Home Office has
appealed and for this family the battle continues.
According to the Home Office, the Judge has not taken into account the immigration rules (even
though he has).
According to the Home Office, the Judge failed to give reasons as to why Dev’s mother is
dependent on her (even though this is in fact very clearly indicated).
However Dev will fight the battle for the right of a son to look after his mother. For a son to
not abandon a mother who raised four children on her own. For the bond to develop between
grandchild and grandmother.
The result and nature of the battle will determine the future of this family in the UK. Whether
we retain the valued skills of Dev, or lose them to another country willing to afford family
rights to its migrants, time will tell.
Update: The Upper Tribunal too allowed the appeal, and Dev’s mother is now in receipt of her
settlement visa.
Dev has bought a larger house and is glad to finally be able to live with and look after his
mother.

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Dina
“Since my dad and brother passed away, my mum has no one but me.
I cannot leave her by herself in another country so far away.”
Dina is a British citizen. She has lived in UK since 2004, the year she met her husband, also a
British citizen. The couple married in 2005 and now are proud parents to a three year old girl.
Dina moved here after graduating from a university in Russia as a teacher of English and
German. She pursued further teacher training in the UK including obtaining the Cambridge
Certificate in teaching English. Dina now teaches English at Kent Adult Education Service.
Her husband is a visual effects artist in the film industry in London. They own a three bedroom
home, have never claimed benefits - nor would they be entitled to given their financial situation.
When Dina and her husband decided to
start a family, Dina did not really worry
about her parents, as her brother, a doctor
by profession, was there to support them.
However, the last six years have been
very tough for the family; Dina’s father
died from cancer in 2009; her brother died
four years later of a heart failure in what
was a shock and devastating loss for both,
Dina and her mum.

Dina with her mum and daughter, Christmas 2014

Dina’s mum has not recovered from the ordeal of losing her young son, her health has suffered
and all alone in Russia, all she now lives for are her visits to Dina and beloved granddaughter.
The family has not applied for settlement as Dina’s mum is currently aged 64. However it does
not seem worthwhile applying under the current rules even when she turns 65.
Dina is the sole surviving child. Dina’s daughter, the only grandchild. Other family in Russia
consists of Dina’s two aunts, both older than her mum, living a 12-hour train journey away and
unable to support their younger sister.
Dina has no relatives in the UK from her side of the family; she misses her mum and longs for
her to be able to have a presence in their family unit. But as this is not permitted, Dina finds
herself experiencing feelings of guilt, confusion and sadness that she cannot provide a peaceful
family life for her mum, much deserved at this stage in life, and after all she’s been through.
It is beyond comprehension that British citizens in their own country cannot have a single
elderly mum living with them!
Dina’s husband is now on the lookout for jobs in Europe, so that they may move elsewhere
where they can be a family. Not letting in one person who would have no recourse to public
funds anyway, may see the departure of three British citizens who are no burden on the taxpayer
and net contributors. A boon for the net migration target, but at what cost for three British
citizens and the family, friends and employers they leave behind?

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Ethan
“My parents are living in the most appalling conditions, when I could
easily provide them with a better life, living with me.”
Ethan is a British citizen living in the constituency of Redbridge. He has lived in the UK for
over 10 years, never having claimed any benefits. His brother incidentally is also a British
citizen. He does however have two loving, if elderly and frail parents in Guyana. His only other
sibling is a sister who lives in USA but does not have the means to support their parents.
His parents are wholly, including financially, dependent on their two sons – sons they worked
hard all their life in the hope of their having a better life than their own. Unfortunately, his
parents also suffer from ill-health. Ethan’s dad is diabetic, and his mum has been diagnosed
with rheumatoid arthritis and high cholesterol. She recently suffered a stroke, luckily a mild
one.
Ethan is saddened that due to work and financial commitments, neither he, nor his brother can
spend long periods away from the UK. And so he is being deprived from spending valuable
time with his parents, who he is otherwise able to fully support in the UK from his own income.
He does not need to claim benefits for himself, nor will he need to with them here.
His parents are not alone in Guyana. They are living with Ethan’s aunt in a one-bedroom
property. While his aunt is nice, she isn’t able to provide the care for his parents the way he
could, would and should. Third party care in Guyana is extremely expensive and anything
affordable would deem that without immediate family that is able to keep an eye on things,
they won't be treated well. (Often enough we hear of our elderly in homes being
mistreated…imagine that a long flight away!)
How can you justify to your parents, let alone yourself, why when you are able to look after
them in the UK, have them living with you while they still have time, you fob the responsibility
for their well-being to someone else. It’s not just about sending money overseas. It’s about
being able to sit and talk about your day. Have a laugh together. Hold their hand. Smaller things
make the bigger differences.

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Fara
“My parents need us but all three of their kids are British citizens
living in the UK and so we don’t qualify to look after them when they
need us most.”
Fara is a British citizen living here since 2001. Her husband is also British. Her parents are,
aged 60 and 70 and live in India.
Due to a death in the family, her parents’ home must be sold (as per the terms of her uncle’s
will who owned their apartment). Her parents don’t have enough money to buy their own home,
and because of their ages, are unable to obtain a mortgage. They get by, with the pension her
dad receives, and help from their three children. Children all of whom are British citizens, yet
unable to bring over their parents to live with them, and care for them.
There is no financial clause Fara or her siblings can satisfy to show they have the means to look
after their parents. The rules just don’t allow this, no matter how well off you are; no matter if
all your children are British citizens living in the UK.
Fara is considering going down the EEA route – the only route left open to her. However with
two kids under the age of six, one of whom is physically disabled, it’s not going to be easy.
Fara is feeling the weight of the burden of having a child requiring surgery and parents due to
become homeless.
Three British siblings, British spouses and British kids - being denied the right to look after
their parents without recourse to public funds.

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Gloria & Migdalia
“Abandoning our 81 year old mum is not an option.”
Migdalia and Gloria are both British citizens who have been living in the UK for years.
Migdalia has been here for over 30 years, married to Keith, a Scotsman and together they are
parents to a strapping 22 year old, born and brought up in England.
Gloria has been here for many years too and also considers the UK her home.
Their mum however is in Peru. She is 81 years old, lives alone and as a divorcee, raised her
two daughters as a single parents – hard at the best of times, but particularly a few decades ago
in South America, with minimal support.
As both Migdalia and Gloria live in England, they wish for her to be able to move here so they
can look after her personally. 81 years old is no age to be all alone.
However, when they applied for a settlement visa in June 2013 they were refused on the
grounds of their being able to pay a stranger to provide long-term care for their mum. This is
not an option given the quality of care afforded, especially when the care worker knows there
is no family to keep an eye on the level of care.
So now Migdalia and Gloria are being forced to consider their options. Do they move to Peru?
Exercise their treaty rights and move elsewhere in Europe?
Either option involves separation from family or uprooting their spouse and children. However,
as abandoning their mother is not an option, these British citizens are forced to leave their home
because of the treatment afforded to British citizens by its own government.

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Jenny
“I just want to be able to look after my parents (without recourse to
public funds) in the same way they’ve looked after me and my child.”
Jenny from Kingston & Surbiton is a British citizen with South African parents. She works for a very
reputable regulator with a secure, stable job.
She has also been supporting her parents for several years, which she doesn’t have an issue with. After
all, she’s in a position to do so only because they made sacrifices for her to be where she is.
Jenny also now has a child, a British child. As she cannot afford to pay £1000 in childcare every month,
on top of her living expenses - rent, bills, while also sending money to her parents, her parents have
been visiting her regularly to help with the childcare.
This may sound fine and dandy, but it's when you delve further you realise that parental sacrifices don't
end even in old age.
Jenny's parents take it in turns to visit the UK for 6 months at a time so they can help her with childcare
all year round, and so that she can afford to pay their living expenses back in their home country. Jenny
could, and will, never turn her back on her parents and stop supporting them as they are, due to
unfortunate circumstances, unable to support themselves.
So her parents are forced to take it in turns to visit their daughter and grandchild because they can only
stay here for 6 months in a year.
This raises several issues:
1) The parent who is in South Africa is alone, lonely and miserable for half of their life
2) The parent who is leaving the UK after 6 months has to regularly go through the heart-wrenching
process of saying goodbye to their own family, knowing they're going back to an empty existence.
3) Jenny's parents barely see their own spouse because of their own financial obligations deeming
dependency on their daughter necessary.
4) UKBA could at any point cease allowing the parent in even for 6 months. At any point. It has
happened to other parents, with UKBA denying them entry and saying they need to apply for a
settlement visa if they wish to visit their family in the UK regularly.
Like others in this position, Jenny has considered applying for a settlement visa. She knows it will be
rejected, but maybe then she could appeal.
While this takes time and money, her biggest concern is that by applying for a settlement visa she runs
the risk of her parents never ever being allowed back in the UK, because their having expressed the
desire to settle here will be interpreted by UKBA as an intention to live here, with a possible slapping
of a 10 year ban on even re-applying. It is grossly unfair that Jenny is not able to allow her parents to
make their home with her in the UK, without recourse to public funds.
Update: Jenny exercised her treaty rights by living and working in Ireland. She is now happily back in
the UK with her parents.

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Katharina
“Not allowing my mum to live with us in the UK would mean I would move to
Russia. My husband would follow and 50 jobs in the UK would be affected.”
Katharina is a British citizen, living in the UK with her husband, Richard, and teenage daughter, also
British citizens. Katharina and Richard met in Finland, when she was working there as a trader and
export secretary and he offered her a job. The two fell in love and the rest as they say is history, with
the couple married now for about eighteen years.
Katharina’s mum, Tatiana, is 77 years old and from Russia. Since her retirement as an artwork valuer,
she has been a frequent visitor to Katharina’s home for nearly six months every year, only sometimes
with Katharina’s father as he was still working in the Russian Art Museum in St Petersburg. Their close
relationship has been further facilitated by holidays with Katharina and her daughter, in other parts of
the world (Katharina’s husband could not take time off work because of their business interests).

Katharina’s dad passed away in 2011, following which Katharina plays a more significant role in her
mother’s life. Indeed, Tatiana is also like a second mum to Katharina’s husband.
Tatiana is a heart patient, having suffered from a heart attack and her being on medication to thin her
blood. Continuous monitoring is required as the dosage varies depending on results of blood tests which
Katharina helps her mother with. Furthermore, such medication in Russia is usually bought over the
counter rather than on a prescription basis, and statistics showing 70% of all medicines are not
conforming to the required standards, and sometimes are even fake. Tatiana also suffers from arthritis
in her knee and spine, fainting spells, forgetfulness, fear, confusion and panic attacks when alone.
There is also concern for the level of medical attention in Russia; ambulance crew may need to be bribed
to take you and hospitals will not admit patients if they are full. It would be difficult for a heart patient
in her 70s to navigate the process. Particularly poignant for Katharina is that her father was the victim
of a fatal heart attack; he was in hospital when it occurred but it was misdiagnosed as anaemia. So
although in a private room, no one came to help him. The thought of losing her mum in the same way
is untenable.

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Furthermore, Tatiana has a history of collapsing relating to episodes of confusion and the building her
apartment is in is in dire need of structural repairs – a 7-storey block built in 1969. Its condition and
poor management result in a regular need for internal maintenance work with which this 77 year old is
unable to cope, especially now without her husband.
Tatiana does have another child – a son. However he is estranged from the family, having left home
ten years ago and subsequent to his leaving his wife and two children, his whereabouts too are unknown
– his most recent known location was Monaco. Tatiana’s two three siblings have also all passed away
and those of her friends who are alive are immobile and being looked after by their own family. So
Katharina is her mother’s only crutch.
It is difficult for Katharina to leave the UK, even for frequent visits. Her husband runs a factory in
Welshpool while she manages the administration. The factor is the largest producer of Ferro Titanium
in Europe. The couple also own a farm in Snowdonia with a herd of 80 highland cattle. Their business
interests make leaving for protracted periods impossible. Katharina’s husband would also not be legally
able to carry out his business in Russia as a ferro-titanium producer, as in Russia this is considered
strategic material and thus strictly under the government’s control. However, he feels that sending his
mother-in-law back to Russia alone ‘would be like sentencing her with the death penalty’.
So Tatiana’s removal would cause the family as a whole to contemplate leaving their way of life in the
UK in order to keep the unit together and Tatiana cared for.
What is bizarre to this family is that there would be no burden on the taxpayer if Tatiana were able to
live in the UK – in fact, were she forced to go, it’s likely to be worse because of the potential job losses.
Accommodation is not an issue; the family live in a large property consisting of two houses and 14 acres
of land. There is a dedicated area for Tatiana in their family home – she has her own bedroom, bathroom
and dressing room.
Initially, Katharina took her mum to a UK cardiologist working privately. However it was suggested
by the doctor and a staff member from NHS administration in Wales that Tatiana uses NHS services
even after Katharina explained that she did not mind paying for private cover. However they said that
because of a bilateral agreement between UK and Russia, the costs would be passed onto the Russian
government anyway.
Katharina is also well able to look after her mum; several years ago an account was opened for Tatiana
with a deposit of £10,000 with the funds used for Tatiana’s personal expenses, supplementing cash gifts.
This is definitely not someone who would ever need to rely on public funds as the family’s resources
are significant and more than sufficient to cover Tatiana’s needs.
Tatiana not being allowed to live in the UK would also mean that the relationship enjoyed with her
granddaughter could not be maintained in its current form either.
The other issue faced by Katharina is the rules not permitting in-country applications. Surely where a
relative is suffering from ill-health, to expect them to leave the UK in order to make an entry clearance
application is nonsensical?
Katharina is adamant that were UK to refuse her mother the right to reside in the UK, she too would
need to follow her mum to Russia. Katharina’s husband has indicated he too would thus feel compelled
to move to be with his wife and her mother. However the impact from such a move not only on this
family unit but the approximately 50 people whose employment their businesses are responsible for,
will be felt for a very long time. The impact on Katharina’s daughter would be especially
disproportionate, given she is approaching sitting for her GCSE’s.
Update:

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1) On 6th July 2015, the family received information that their application for permission to have a
hearing at the Upper Tribunal was once again refused. The family will make a new application next
week with a change of circumstances due to her new diagnosis; they are just astounded that it has
been three years since their first application, with no end in sight!
2) Katharina’s husband is now planning to apply for Polish citizenship so that if despite all attempts
they are unable to satisfy the UK rules, he may be able to renounce his British citizenship in order
to make use of EEA regulations for Tatiana to reside in the UK as a family member of an EEA, albeit
no longer British, citizen.
3) In October 2015, Tatiana was diagnosed with dementia, and has been treated at Welshpool Medical
Centre ever since. It is well known that this condition is not treatable and though its progress is
inevitable, Tatiana has been prescribed memory pills to slow down the deterioration.
Now more than ever, Tatiana relies on Katharina for daily tasks. She suffers from psychological
problems which Katharina is able to provide assistance with 24/7 as her job allows her to work from
home. Although symptoms of the memory loss and confusions were prevalent a lot earlier, an
assessment carried out before the settlement application was disregarded by the Home Office who
argued the condition may never develop into a disease.

4) In more bad news, Katharina’s husband has been recently diagnosed with a serious heart
condition requiring open heart surgery within the next 12 months to replace a failing valve. He
cannot travel abroad at the moment, even were he to leave his business here. To expect him also
to move to Russia would now be impossible on medical grounds as well as loss of livelihood.

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Mahi
“We just want to look after our mother and have the means to do so,
yet we’re being told we can’t.”
Mahi is a permanent resident in the UK. This means she has earned the right to live here for
the rest of her life, without any conditions attached. Mahi’s sister is a British citizen, also living
in the UK. They are both married and well settled here.
Mahi earns a decent salary, certainly enough to look after her family without recourse to public
funds.
Their mum is aged 54 and a widow. Two of her daughters – Mahi and her sister – live in the
UK with their husbands and children. Her third daughter lives in USA. Mahi’s mum is
completely alone in India.
Yes she is relatively young and no, she doesn’t need help being fed, bathed and dressed. She is
haunted by a loneliness. As she has always been a housewife, her life revolved around looking
after her husband, her children and her home. Her children and grandchildren – her family –
are all overseas. Her husband is no longer alive. She is completely alone.
She is lucky though. Mahi has been supporting her financially. Mahi and her sister have had
their mum visit them on three occasions now. Mahi’s mum liked being surrounded by her kids,
grandkids...it made her feel younger, more alive, less lonely certainly and less depressed.
Mahi and her sister want their mum to live with them permanently. They have the means to
ensure she can live here without ever having to fall back on public funds.
Yet they are being denied this and understandably bemused. They are not wanting to take their
mother away from her home country, to dump her in an old people’s home. They want to look
after her themselves, to ensure that they can return the favours that this mother bestowed on
them…the favours that have allowed Mahi and her sister to make a better life for themselves,
in the UK, providing services that we all benefit from.

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Manish A
“If my parents are not able to move to the UK, I would have to leave
to leave, no ifs, no buts.”
Manish is a British citizen, living in the UK along with his older brother, also a British citizen.
Their kids are all British citizens by birth.
Manish’s parents live alone in India; their daughter does live in the same country, but because
of social and cultural norms, it is not possible for them to live with her as she resides with her
in-laws. The responsibility for looking after their parents falls on Manish and his brother.
A key concern for Manish is being able to look after his parents as they get older; currently
reasonably healthy, the situation is not time-critical at this point in time, but Manish is aware
that their health will deteriorate, and the current rules still make no allowance for that.
Regardless though, Manish wishes for them to be able to enjoy their life in the UK rather than
simply coming here only when they need help with everyday tasks like bathing, dressing,
cooking – though even being in this position under the current rules would not suffice as they
would also need to prove that there was no (affordable) care available from a stranger.
When asked what he would do if his parents’ health does worsen, Manish’s reply was “I would
have to leave the UK in order to live with and look after them. No ifs, no buts.”
No doubt being forced to take such a step would have serious repercussions for several other
British citizens, like Manish’s wife and children.

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Manish G
“All I want is to be able to look after my parents when they need me
most.”
Manish is a British citizen of Indian origin, living in the UK for over 8 years.
He made an informed decision to become a British citizen and make UK his primary
residence; the people he met here and our multi-cultural environment were what convinced
him this was the right decision.
He is now concerned however that this decision is now taking him away from his parents in
India – parents whose well-being is his responsibility. Parents who have sacrificed their
happiness to raise Manish to be the decent upstanding citizen he is today.
His parents have been through a lot of hardships and now Manish feels it is his turn to take
the weight of their shoulders; to take care of them. Yet he feels helpless because of UK’s
immigration rules.
Manish is the sole earner in his family and has been helping them financially for the last few
years while trying his best to visit them every year or invite them over to the UK for a visit.
However the last few years has seen his dad’s health deteriorating. As a cancer survivor since
2010, things were going well, until 2013 when Manish’s dad suffered from severe cardiac
arrest where he narrowly escaped death. Although recovered now, Manish is haunted by a
fear that this could happen again to him.
All Manish wants is to be able to look after his parents in their old age – to have them living
here with him so he can look after them. He is prepared to take our fully comprehensive
private healthcare cover to ease the burden on NHS if that’s the concern. However the door
has been slammed shut even for those who would not be a burden on taxpayers; even where it
means we lose skilled British citizens to other countries that allow family unity.
Manish is a higher-rate tax payer and has never used any benefits or exercised recourse to
public funds. He earns enough to support his family, including parents – yet is being denied
the right to do so. He is not alone in finding UK’s immigration rules for adult dependant
relatives vague and ambiguous.
He just wants to be able to look after those that gave him life, when they need him most. It’s
not too much to ask.

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Montu
“My mum is all alone and needs us for financial and emotional
support.”
Montu is a British Citizen. He lives in London with his wife and two daughters, both of whom are
British citizens by birth.
As a Chartered Accountant, Montu has had a successful career, working with global organisations. He
is a higher-rate taxpayer, and contributed a six figure sum in taxes to HMRC over the past few years
alone.
Montu was brought up in Kenya, by loving parents, who taught him to be good to and respect the rights
of others, care for the elderly, work hard and live within ones means. These are the very values the
British government is making it difficult for families to adhere to, whilst simultaneously promoting
them and families as the bedrock of our society!
Montu’s father was the sole breadwinner and took care of the day to day running of the house. However,
his dad recently passed away after over 40 years in a happy marriage, leaving Montu’s mother
devastated and alone.
She has started to become depressed and her health deteriorating. As anyone who has been through
such an episode would appreciate, it is vital for the surviving spouse to have long term family support
after such an event. As the only son, this responsibility falls to Montu, whose mother is now completely
dependent on him for financial and emotional support.
UK’s immigration rules however make it impossible for elderly surviving parents to stay with their
children in the UK, even without recourse to public funds.
Montu is therefore being forced to consider returning to Kenya (where security remains a major
concern) or to move elsewhere in the EU – he is being forced into exile just to be able to look after his
widowed mum.
Either option will result in the cessation of Montu's employment in the UK and severe disruption of
family life for Montu’s wife and daughters, who as British citizens have the right to a British upbringing
and education.
Update: In September 2014, Montu moved to Ireland with his wife and children after obtaining a job
there. His daughters were 6 and 10 at the time. The family plan to relocate back to the UK by the end
of 2015.
When asked how he found the move to Ireland, the response given was ‘highly stressful’ as the family
had to move abroad in a short space of time. With the move to Ireland Montu took a 45% cut in his
salary, because he had to accept a role which was two levels below his capability, simply because of
lack of demand for senior staff and the timing necessitating he take the first job he get to reunify his
family as soon as possible. This which cut particularly deep what with:
• Ireland generally has a higher cost of living
• Being unable to find a place in a good state school, Montu’s children went to private school, at a
cost of over £10,000.

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Despite paying for private school, the family’s experience is that the quality and level of education
in Ireland is inferior to that in the UK, with the kids finding that much of what they are being taught
in Ireland, they already know from lessons received at their UK school. Montu and his wife worry
that the kids on return to the UK will lag behind the other kids who in this past year will have covered
subjects at a more advanced level.
• Higher accommodation costs, with rent in Ireland – even though the family went from a 4 bedroom
house with a garden in the UK to a flat in Ireland – higher than Montu’s mortgage in the UK.
The change in accommodation did not affect Montu’s younger daughter very much, however the
older notices the difference, having to now share a room with her sister and grandma.
• Maintaining costs for the UK property including council tax
Education aside, the adjustment on the part of the kids has also not been easy, especially for Montu’s
elder daughter who was ‘really looking forward’ to the final year at her primary school. The little girl
occasionally laments over missing this experience and losing her friends.
The move has also meant that savings Montu has built up over time – security for his family to ensure
that even in the face of any future adversity, the family would not need to rely on the state - have
depleted. With only enough savings to cover the family’s expenses for another 3-4 months, if Montu
does not find a new job in the UK soon after arrival, he will need to claim benefits.
Montu is concerned about finding another job as ageism can be an issue in the City and having taken a
9 month career break before the move to Ireland (not knowing the move was in the pipeline) his CV has
taken a bit of a bashing since the role in Ireland is lower-skilled and thus hard to explain in job
interviews.
His previous employer – a multi-national – had agreed to hold Montu’s job only till December 2014.
As company since has been through a tough period resulting in restructuring and hundreds of
redundancies, it is unlikely they will be in any position to take Montu back on.
While with his skills Montu will eventually get a job in the UK, he doesn’t think it will be an immediate
return to the salary he enjoyed before the initial move abroad.
However, despite the high price paid in terms of the children’s education, Montu’s career and the
family’s financial security, Montu is grateful for being able to once again live with and look after his
mum. In his words, “there is more to life than money and a job.”

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Nikunj
“The reverse discrimination we suffer from as British citizens in the
UK compared with fellow EU citizens, makes British citizenship
second-class”
Nikunj is a British citizen, born in Birmingham. He works for an investment bank, while his
wife, Tanya, is a journalist.
The couple wishes to sponsor Tanya’s parents, from India, to join them in the UK at some point
in the future, so their kids can grow up with access to both sets of grandparents. However under
the current ADR rules, this is not possible, even though Tanya’s mum has suffered from a
stroke.
Tanya’s parents have visited the UK several times, and to date, never been refused a visa.
However she wishes for them to settle here once they retire – currently both are aged under 60
and working in Finland.
Their only other child, Tanya’s brother, lives in the USA.
Nikunj and Tanya are worried at the barriers put up for even British citizens to sponsor their
non-EU relatives, even where the family has sufficient means to look after themselves, with no
recourse to public funds.
They feel that the UK is no longer for the British people; that despite paying exorbitant
application fees, it is only for the Home Office to treat their family as guilty until proven
innocent; that even visit visas are so frequently refused with the Home Office indicating that
the applicant intends to settle in the UK even though the intention in reality is a visit.
The couple is dejected at the reverse discrimination which British citizens in the UK are subject
to, given the ease of using EEA regulations for family reunification for other EU citizens, with
nil or trivial application fees, recourse to public funds and none of the barriers we see under the
UK rules.
Nikunj feels like a second class citizen of the country he was born in.

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Noman
“My mum has no one in Pakistan as my brother and I live in the
UK. With a cyst causing bouts of unconsciousness, she cannot live
alone.”
Noman is a British citizen who lived in Birmingham with his British wife, and three British
kids, currently aged 6 years, 4 years and 8 months. The family now lives in Ireland, exercising
free movement rights as the only means to family reunification.
Noman is a chartered accountant; his wife is a medical doctor who used to work for the NHS
when they lived in the UK. Her departure from the UK was also a loss to the NHS.
The decision to leave the UK was not made lightly, but was an easy one in light of the situation
of Noman’s mum who lived alone in Pakistan, aged 60. Noman’s dad passed away 14 years
ago and both her other children, Noman’s brothers live outside Pakistan too – one in the UK,
the other USA. Even Noman’s aunt – his mum’s sister – lives in USA.
Noman’s mum suffers from some health issues; osteo-arthritis, stress, high blood pressure and
in the last year alone, fell unconscious multiple times. CT scans revealed the development of
a cyst close to the brain likely triggering these episodes. The questions around when the next
episode will be, how long it will last, how the mum will cope if she falls unconscious whilst
something is on the cooker or the bath is running, causes fear and panic….and for Noman,
guilt. His mum struggles to stay standing for long, even prays seated in a chair. Doing the
washing and cooking are troublesome given arthritis.
The medical emergency system in Pakistan is virtually nonexistent and there are no registered care homes either, likely
because delegating the care of parents is unheard of in most Asian
cultures, and not something Noman could in good conscience do
anyway.
He was his mum’s responsibility as a minor; now ageing and in
frail health, she is Noman’s responsibility. Noman is the most
financially secure amongst his siblings and thus pays for all his
mum’s living, travel and medical expenses. It’s also important to
him that his own kids be afforded the opportunity to bond with their
grandma.

Noman’s mum cradling her
grandaughter on the day of her birth in
2014.

Prior to their move to Ireland, the family managed to spend time
together, and minimise the time the mum was alone in Pakistan,
through visit visas to the UK and USA.

As is it difficult for the mum to travel alone and with no-one in Pakistan, Noman often took
take time off work to accompany her to or from the UK, or co-ordinated her journey with that
of other family members where possible.

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However, given the health issues would only worsen over time, Noman feared for when his
mum would not be able to travel frequently, or at all. Regular long-haul travel is not good for
her health. So whilst in the UK, Noman looking at sponsoring his mum’s settlement in the UK.
Advice obtained from several solicitors was all the same. It is nigh on impossible to
successfully sponsor a relative under the ADR rules in effect since 9th July 2012. Whilst there
was a glimmer of hope because of the mum’s health, legal advice warned it would be an
expensive battle – money and time wise. However more alarming was being told that a
settlement application is likely to terminate the visit visa route too. Whilst the family does not
baulk at the time and money investment needed to allow the mum to live in UK, the inability
to even have her here for shorter periods in the meantime was too big a risk.
With the mum’s health deteriorating further, Noman could not let her live alone; there was no
scope for the family to live in Pakistan –moving to a country with, relatively inferior education
and medical systems, deteriorating law & order situation, would not be doing his UK-born kids
justice. So Noman and his family did leave the UK after all, moving to Ireland in January 2015.
Noman found a job in his field there, although the pay is half of what he was earning in the
UK, thus not leaving any savings when expenses are allowed for.
The move has also been very stressful for the whole family. Initially it divided the unit, with
Noman’s wife and kids remaining in the UK while he relocated to Ireland first, arranging
schools and accommodation, incurring expenses in effectively running homes in two countries.
As the relocation was mid-year, it particularly affected his children’s studies and this along
with Noman’s wife having to give up her career, created some friction between the spouses.
Noman felt bad asking the rest of the family to make sacrifices so that he could make suitable
arrangements for his mum, but then that he says is what family is about, making sacrifices for
each other as happens at various points in our lives. Noman just never thought sacrifices would
be needed in a direct impact of the government’s policies.
The family currently lives in rented accommodation and are looking at purchasing a property.
Despite the upheaval, Noman points out, “At least, we are living together and my mother is
with us and being cared for. On a different soil maybe, but at least my mother is with me!”

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Oksana
“I am my mother’s only child, my children her only grandkids. Yet
a government official tells us she cannot even come for a visit.”
Oksana is a British citizen who moved to the UK about 15 years ago, after meeting her husband,
with whom she now has two kids. She lives near Edinburgh, in Scotland. Oksana is a fulltime mum. She doesn’t work – her husband works full time, earning enough to maintain the
family and ensure they have no need to claim any benefits.
Oksana's mum, then 64 years old, lived
alone in Russia. Oksana is the only child.
This is a family very close to each other.
Oksana’s mum has visited the UK in the
past, allowing for the much valued
bonding between grandparent and
grandkids.
However, it had been over six years since
she was last here, as the travelling and visa
process have become too difficult what
with a nine hour flight to Moscow (Russia
Oksana, with her mum and kids on holiday in Turkey after
is huge!) for the visa application.
her UK family visit visa was refused.
This made the visit visa refusal the family had in 2013 particularly painful, on grounds of
insufficient documentation on finances.
The family was bemused and dismayed. A simple family visit visa was refused after an
extremely onerous process, yet six years ago it was issued in one day! It is heart wrenching
when a government official has the power to decide close family is not even allowed to visit.
So the family decided they would prefer to apply for a settlement visa to avoid any future visa
hassles, alleviating issues likely to arise in the future given Oksana will need to be there to look
after her mum on a daily basis, and travelling becomes more difficult with the process of ageing.
Oksana lives in a large home where her mum would have her own bedroom. Her mum’s
pension from Russia could be transferred to the UK. The family is happy to purchase private
health insurance and also sign a guarantee that there will not be any need to access benefits.
Her mum speaks decent English and has made lots of friends on her earlier visits, so integration
is not a problem either. Yet the settlement visa was also not suited given the incredibly
restrictive immigration rules for adult dependant relatives.
Oksana could not abandon her mum - so her family relocated to Malta. They lived and worked
there, enjoying being together. Several months later, circumstances changed but luckily the
family were able to continue to use their free movement rights to move to the UK, this time
with Oksana's mum in tow. The family is extremely happy that despite the Home Office rules
that otherwise would have separated the family, despite the stress of integration in a new
country, relocation not once but twice and consequent financial implications, love prevailed.

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Olya
“I am the only child of my mum who is 69 years old. I cannot leave
her alone nor deprive my son of access to his grandma.”
Olya has been a British citizen since 2002. She came to the UK as an international student, and
has been working for the NHS since 2008, as an IT engineer.
Olya owns her own house but with no family in the UK other than her
one-year old son, who is British by birth and to whom she is a single
parent. Olya’s mum is widowed and now 69 years old, lives alone in
Russia.
For Olya’s son, his family entirely consists of Olya and his grandma.

Olya’s mum and son engage in
some grandma-grandson
bonding.

It is therefore imperative to Olya that the three of them live together, so
they can be a family in practice as well as name, and look after each
other; providing Olya’s mum with support needed as she ages, Olya
having her mum’s support in raising her son, and Olya’s son having
daily access to his much adored grandma.

If the ADR rules don’t change, Olya will leave the UK to settle in another country, taking her
NHS training and experience with her. Having made the UK her home though, and it being the
country of her son’s birth, this is something Olya is hoping she does not have to do though.

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Puneet
“It is my turn to do the looking after now.”
Puneet is a British citizen who lives in London with his British wife, and British son.
He came to the UK in early 2006, for a company assignment on a work permit, subsequently
choosing to naturalise as a British citizen, and thus renounced his Indian citizenship.
Having devoted the last nine years to the UK, helping businesses like Vodafone, Ladbrokes,
TUI achieve significant milestones and contribute to our economy, Puneet has been rewarded
with regular promotions and is now a Senior Architect in a digital consulting company, also in
London. Puneet is a law-abiding citizen, duly paying his taxes and NI, a regular donor to UK
charities and places no burden on taxpayers.
With his career going from strength to strength, Puneet wishes to see his family as a complete
unit, thereby wants to sponsor his parents (both now aged 63 and living in India). He feels it
is also his duty to take care of their well-being in their old age, ensure his son has sufficient
time to spend with the grandparents, and vice-versa, in order to enable a strong bond to develop
between them. Puneet strongly feels that the current rules for sponsoring adult dependant
relatives means he, his wife, their son and his parents are all missing out on each other’s
company and love from being able to live together as the one unit they are.
Underlying feelings of missing out on
something, is a strong sense of guilt and
resentment.
Puneet is disheartened that though British,
with no right of abode anywhere else, he isn’t
allowed to exercise the very basic human right
to live with family, to take care of his parents
when they need him most.

Puneet with his parents and son (his wife is behind the camera)

If the rules are not changed, Puneet has indicated that he will with almost complete certainty
need to leave the UK in order to be somewhere he can look after them, as taking care of them
in their old age, is a top priority. It is also an important lesson in life that Puneet wants to teach
his son – that looking after ones parents is a must.
However, what this means for these other two British citizens in the family – Puneet’s wife and
son, remains uncertain. Will the family break up with Puneet forced to stay away from his wife
and son to take care of his parents or will a British child miss out on a British upbringing and
education? Puneet is torn between taking care of his parents and ensuring a bright future for his
son.
The irony is that with Puneet forced out of the UK it is likely his employer would replace him,
a British citizen, with a foreign national! Surely this lays false to the government’s claims that
the rules encourage integration?

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Ravi
“My parents are alone in India as both my sister and I live here. Aged
70 and 80, they should not have to fend for themselves when we are
willing and able to look after them.”
Ravi lives in the UK with his wife and daughter. Having arrived here in 2009, Ravi is now an ILR
holder and eligible for citizenship in March 2016.
An IT professional and entrepreneur – one of the brightest and best UK politicians go to India to woo –
Ravi provides his services to clients across the UK, mainly in the engineering and banking sectors, often
thought to be the backbone of the UK economy.
Ravi chose the UK as much as UK chose him, as he was offered a very good career opportunity, because
he believed that UK respected family life and certainly afforded its citizens and residents with fair
opportunities to live with immediate family, especially when with no recourse to public funds!
Ravi’s wife, also an ILR holder is a highly skilled professional working in the R&D department of a
multinational company, which has its development centre in the UK.
The couple has worked very hard – with no recourse to public funds – to build their life and career in
the UK, returning to the country in multiples by way of taxes and contributions to society, for the
opportunities they have been given.
Ravi’s mum and dad are aged around 70 and 80
years respectively; they live in India by
themselves, in an apartment belonging to Ravi, on
whom they are dependent – financially and
otherwise. Both parents have mobility issues;
neither can drive and there is only so much even
good-hearted neighbours will do.
Ravi is very close to his parents; prior to moving
to the UK he lived in the same household as his
parents. There is no other immediate family
around as Ravi’s only other sibling, Veena, also Ravi with his mum and dad, on holiday
lives in the UK where she is a doctor working for
the NHS. As Veena tends to the needs of those already in the UK, her own parents are left to fend for
themselves, even in times of ill health.
Ravi’s daughter is also very close to her grandparents; even when Ravi and his wife lived in India, she
was looked after by her grandparents who provided the day to day care she needed as both Ravi and his
wife worked.
When Ravi’s wife joined him in the UK in February 2010, the little girl stayed alone with her
grandparents, who then became her primary carers until September 2010, allowing Ravi and his wife to
establish a life for themselves without worrying about entrusting their child’s care to strangers in a
foreign country. When in December 2011 the grandparents indicated they were lonely and missed their
granddaughter, Ravi and his wife agreed she could spend an extended period living with them in India
again, where once again the grandparents became primary carers until April 2012.
The little girl is therefore especially close to her grandparents, and for them, she has been the focal point
in their lives when they otherwise would have been alone. The three miss each other very much; the
cuddles and affection so often a part of the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren.

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Contrary to the impression many have, that domestic help in India is cheap, the cost is increasing at a
dramatic pace, but the real problem is that it’s unreliable, disorganised and requires placing a lot of trust
in complete strangers – the concept of criminal checks equivalent to UK’s CRB checks, doesn’t really
exist. Elderly known to have their only family overseas are likely to be vulnerable to scamsters.
Earlier in 2015, Ravi’s dad was hospitalised. His mum neglected to inform Ravi, not wanting him to
worry from afar. She thus tended to her husband alone whilst also battling her own diabetes and severe
arthritis. Later when Ravi discovered this, he indicated this ‘pained me a lot, I cursed myself for the
helplessness’.
The guilt invoked at being unable to be there for those who gave us life is difficult to explain in words;
not only can he not be there physically for his parents, or have them join him in the UK, but that they
feel as if they can’t even tell him when one of them is ill, lest it cause him more stress, is hard to accept,
especially when Ravi is only in the UK because of sacrifices his parents made. Ravi curses himself for
being unable to be there during both the hard and happy times.
Ravi indicates that because of work commitments, it’s not possible for either him or his sister to leave
their work and take a long-haul flight to India every time they are sick of need medical attention. But
this means that despite having raised two caring, financially-independent children, his parents are now
in fact forced to be all alone.
With his mum suffering from depression, Ravi’s father also looks after her even while having health
issues himself. Its symbiotic relationship as families so often involve.
But it’s not just about providing care for
physical ailments. It’s about being there for
each other. Having a cup of ‘chai’ with your
dad, watching sitcoms with your mum,
playing with the drapes of your grandma’s sari
for the little girl – it’s the small things that end
up being memorable and thus missed.
Ravi’s sister, Veena, did consider sponsoring
their parents citizenship back in 2010, under
the old rules. However they did not want to
move then. They had a good social life in
India, in familiar surroundings. Moving to a
new country at this age, did not really appeal.
Ravi, his wife, face-painted daughter and grandparents.

However, now their friends in India all live with their own children and grandchildren; at social events,
they are the only ones alone while others come with their complete family – there is a clear void in their
lives.
This elderly couple is lonely, understandably pining for what they see around them on a daily basis.
However, as parents who do not even let their children know when they are hospitalised, lest it cause
worry, the couple is keen to not disrupt the lives Ravi and Veena have worked hard to establish here
and have indicated that they want to move to the UK ‘if it is not too much trouble’ for Ravi and Veena.
Ravi is bemused as to why his parents can’t live with him. A hard-working, law-abiding, net contributor,
he just wants to be able to spend some time looking after his own parents in their old age.

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His parents would have no recourse to public funds, but Ravi is willing to also sign a bond that as their
sponsors, the rest of his family, even when British citizens, will not avail of any benefits for whatever
number of years is required. He is also ready to take out private health insurance to address the NHS
concerns.
Ravi and his sister are perfectly capable of taking care of their parents, and ensuring they won’t be a
burden on the state. Yet they are made to feel like second class citizens denied the basic human right
and responsibility to take care of family.
There is also concern for the impact of the absence of grandparents in Ravi’s daughters life as
grandparents so often are the ones who teach their grandchildren about their language, heritage and
culture; it’s a very special bond.
If the rules are not changed to allow sponsorship of his parents, Ravi will leave his adopted country and
live where he can look after his parents.

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Rohit
“My parents are dependent on me. While I can tend to their financial
needs from afar, emotional support can only be provided living as a
family.”
Rohit is a British citizen who came to the UK from India in 2007 on a company sponsored visa
to support IT projects and finance processes for a UK based company. Since then he has
contributed to UK’s economy by paying hundreds of thousands in income taxes, helping grow
several businesses with his contribution as an individual. With professional success has also
come a personal dream to have a similarly rewarding family life.
Currently working as an IT Project Manager/Business Analyst for UK’s leading pharmaceutical
company, Rohit supports critical IT projects for the greater good of patients.
His wife is a Slovakian national, who also works full time. The couple own their 4 bedroom
house in London, and don’t see any challenges in financially supporting their family currently
in India, once they move to the UK. The family there consists of Rohit’s parents, aged 63 and
72 years, and his sister, also dependent on Rohit.
The family made use of EEA
regulations (on the basis of Rohit’s wife
being an EU citizen) and applied for a
UK family permit for the mum, dad and
sister.
However, despite application of EEA
regulations
being
reasonably
straightforward, especially when the
sponsor is a non-British EEA citizen,
the application was refused.
Rohit hugging his wife, his parents are seated, and his sister in the striped top,
on a visit to India.

Rohit is certain the caseworker did not even read the applications or supporting documentation
properly based on the reasons for refusal – instead he feels the caseworker from the outset
intended to refuse.
The reasons for refusal are bizarre; evidence of money transfers was provided going as far back
as 8 years (coinciding with the period Rohit has been in the UK) yet the letter indicates wanting
to see evidence of dependency for 19 years! Rohit’s parents and sister’s only source of income
is that which they receive from Rohit, but because the funds for 8 years have been transferred
to a joint account, the Home Office claims that perhaps Rohit was transferring the funds on a
monthly basis to India for his own use there, without explaining how Rohit could have been
withdrawing funds from a bank or ATM in India, whilst being physically present in the UK!
The application made referred to Rohit’s parents health deteriorating; his father had a heart
attack in 2013 with ongoing difficulties with arthritis and his eyesight, whilst his mum suffers
from continuous cervical pain, high blood pressure and asthma.

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Receipts for the medical treatment were also provided to further show the dependency on Rohit
of his parents. However, this was also considered a reason for refusal by way of Home Office
saying that clearly because the medical
treatment had been sought and received, it
indicated this treatment was available in
India and thus the parents did not need to be
in the UK! The mind boggles as under EEA
regulations, where financial dependency
exists, especially at the level in this case, poor
health is not a requirement!
Rohit wants his parents and sister here in
order to be able to look after them personally;
to provide much needed emotional support
which may well alleviate some of the Bittersweet goodbye as Rohit is on his way back to the UK
physical symptoms. He also hopes that with a baby due in October 2015, his family has a
chance to be a complete unit, with the grandparents playing a part in the baby’s upbringing.
If his family were not able to be in the UK, the only option for Rohit would be to leave the UK
for a country which does respect family life. Accepting the change in home, jobs, salary is
unlikely to be easy. UK would also lose two taxpaying talented individuals, along with their
contribution to society.
Despite the refusal, Rohit is aware he can more easily avail of EEA regulations, but is astounded
by the reverse discrimination for British citizens by way of the ADR rules as compared with
the more family-friendly EEA regulations, and that even which the Home Office is not applying
lawfully (he is in the process of appealing).
Rohit simply wants the UK government to allow his family to live as just that, to live the Great
British Dream.

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Sarwat
“As a doctor, I spend my life looking after other people’s parents and
grandparents, yet I’m being told I can’t look after my own mother.”
Dr Sarwat is a British citizen and a doctor working on a geriatrics ward in an NHS hospital.
She looks after old people…providing her patients with the best care possible at a time when
they need support the most. As she helps other people’s elderly parents and grandparents, the
one person she is unable to help is her own mother.
The one person she regrets not being able to look after, hold the hand of, have a cup of tea with,
support and see on a daily basis, is her own mother living alone in Pakistan.
Here is someone who spends her life looking after our aged, and we are denying her the right
to look after the one person who gave her life.
Dr Sarwat is intelligent. She understands the rules now make it impossible for her to have her
mother live with her…to have her mother live with her in the UK.
She is intelligent. She understands the rules are forcing her to choose between her home
country, albeit adopted, and her parent.
She is intelligent. She will in all likelihood make the right choice. But at what cost to our
country, our people, our patients and our beloved NHS?

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Saurabh
“Why is the policy in the UK so inhumane in comparison to even
countries like China which promote looking after elderly parents?”
Saurabh is a British citizen living here with his wife and son, also British. His parents live alone
in India. He is appalled that changes to the immigration rules mean an effective ban on elderly
parents being allowed to live with their children in UK, despite no recourse to public funds.
Saurabh and his wife both work and earn a decent salary, paying their fair share of taxes. They
own their house and fail to understand why if they are willing to accommodate and look after
their parents, at their own expense, the government interferes in their family life. His parents
are not scroungers, nor will they take someone’s job. They are not entitled to benefits. They
simply want to spend the remaining years with their son, daughter-in-law and grandson.
Saurabh’s son turned four in July 2015 has been fortunate to spend some time in the company
of his grandparents. Saurabh is keen for this bond to continue and strengthen; to cultivate the
sense of family values in his son which can only come by what his son will see and experience.
When his son sees other children with their grandparents, he asks Saurabh, ‘where is my
granny?’ Saurabh has no answer; how do you explain to a child the politics involved in
immigration rules designed to drive out British citizens?
Saurabh is having trouble reconciling the policy in the UK now, with that even in communist
states like China, where the government actively promotes family bonding, integration and
looking after elderly parents – to the extent of passing a law to mandate this.4 This is a stark
contrast with UK practice, where the government promotes elderly to spend old age in solitude.
For Saurabh, if the rules don’t change soon, he will be forced to uproot his whole family – all
British citizens – and move to a country where he can fulfil his duty and desire to be there for
his parents. He understands this is what the government wants – increasing emigration whilst
reducing immigration is the only way they will satisfy their net migration target. However it
is not right that British citizens are forced out of their own country. That a British child is
denied a British education and upbringing.
The rules to date have already seen professionals leaving the UK, moving to countries which
allow elderly parents to join them. Saurabh believes this trend will continue, as more and more
British professionals find themselves impacted by rules preventing looking after those who
gave us life.
If the concern is a burden on the NHS, a more humane solution is to mandate private healthcare
cover. Why did the government not just do that?
Saurabh questions whether it is right to raise his son in a society which prevents elderly
dependent parent from living with their children – what kind of example will this set for his
son?

4

"China orders children to visit their elderly parents" - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-20860264

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Shailendra
“Poor immigration rules which lead to breaking up of families, will
only keep away highly skilled migrants and economic contributors.”
Shailendra is a British citizen living with his wife and children, now aged five and one, who
are also British citizens. Shailendra is an Associate Director at an investment bank and both
he and his wife are high earners; they pay their taxes and contribute to National Insurance.
Shailendra came here on a Highly Skilled Visa (Tier 1) and has been working hard ever since,
yes to earn a decent salary to better his own quality of life, but also contributing to the British
economy – all without claiming any benefits.
Shailendra is looking forward to spending the rest of his life here, having already established
himself here.
However, he wants his dependent and ageing parents, currently in India, to live with them, in
order to be able to take care of them, whilst also living as complete a family life as possible.
Culturally, it is the norm for children to look after ageing parents personally, rather than
outsource the care.
While Shailendra’s parents currently manage on visit visas, with the onset of the difficulties
which come with age, it is difficult for them to travel regularly. They are not jumping over
themselves to move to the UK. Leaving India and all that is familiar to them is not an easy
decision. However they are willing to relocate just so Shailendra does not have to sacrifice his
family, career, friends and home in the UK. However, the settlement visa regulations for
parents is making Shailendra re-consider his future.
Shailendra’s roots are in India, a country known for its rich culture and close ties with UK.
However, what the ADR rules do not make any allowance for is the close relationship that
Indian children share with their parents who are an integral part of the family anywhere, but
especially in Asia where the definition of family includes "parents, spouse and children".
Shailendra misses having a ‘complete family’. His older child especially, just like Shailendra
himself, shares a very strong bond with the grandparents, both over 60 and financially
dependent on Shailendra.
They need care due to their age related health issues and just sending money is not enough as
it defies the purpose of living together as a family, which is "to support each other in every
stage of life".
Most importantly, Shailendra wants to spend his life with his parents, care for them, and provide
them the same opportunity to live and develop closer bonds with his kids as they would have
got in India or anywhere else. Indeed, the same opportunity which Shailendra himself had with
his own grandparents.
Shailendra is bemused. He is self-sufficient, does not require any public funds and has the
means to look after his parents without any help. He is willing to sign a waiver for his own
access to state funds, provide a guarantee or deposit or bonds, and take private healthcare cover
for his parents to alleviate any such fears this government might have nonetheless.

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But it seems that the government has completely overlooked a very important aspect of
immigration, thus forcing him to consider leaving the UK just to be able to reunite with his
parents.
With Shailendra will go his taxes, disposable income and skills. Indeed, he is being sought by
agencies for roles in Germany and Ireland. With Shailendra will also go his wife and children,
and their right to a British education and upbringing.
However, he doesn’t want to leave his home, however lucrative other offers. He cannot believe
that he has to go into exile just because the UK government cannot understand the value of a
very simple family relationship and definition of "family member".
Shailendra is aware that by exercising treaty rights he may be able to return to the UK with his
parents using the Surinder Singh route. The nature of UK’s rules taking into account free
movement rights strikes him as particularly bizarre.
Several months of unsettling his life in UK, uprooting his wife and children, leaving his job
(thereby jeopardising his family’s financial security) – all so as to by the end live in the UK
with his parents, without recourse to public funds. What a convoluted process to achieve the
same aim of family reunification in the UK!
Rather than denying people their basic rights, Shailendra feels the government should make it
fairer and possible to reunite family members – the value this brings to the community is cannot
be quantified.
Else, poor immigration rules will only keep away highly skilled migrants and economic
contributors, which UK desperately needs if we are to compete in the global environment for
quality resource with countries like USA, Australia, India, China, Germany and Russia.

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Shaun*
“I earn over £100,000 - enough to look after my ageing & ill mum
without recourse to public funds. Yet I’m told she doesn’t qualify. So
who does?”
Shaun is a British citizen, earning over £100,000 in the financial sector specialising in pharmaceuticals.
He doesn’t normally show off his level of income. But it’s necessary to now to show his ability to
support his mother in the UK; provide the care, attention and love she needs, without recourse to public
funds. Something he is being told he is not allowed to do.
Shaun’s mother is around 70 years old, living in Sri Lanka. Shaun has dutifully visited her, helping her
receive medical attention for her worsening memory loss. Unfortunately, mental health issues are
under-diagnosed in Sri Lanka, as they often are in developing countries; things we take for granted the
early diagnosis of, are usually put down simply to old age, without any therapy, treatment or care.
Shaun however knew these symptoms were not usual. He persisted and found a doctor willing to
conduct a detailed testing. Results and an MRI scan indicate Shaun’s mother’s condition is likely due
to Alzheimer’s disease, compounded by depression and a silent stroke.
His mother also has a history of high sugar & cholesterol - having had one stroke, she’s at a higher risk
of another. But memory loss means she often forgets to take medicines, increasing the risk of heart
failure and another stroke. She cannot be left alone. She cannot cook as she often forgets the stove is
on. The doctor has recommended she not drive, as even familiar roads are often forgotten. Other
cognitive functions are fine, but are expected to deteriorate.
Shaun’s mother does not live alone. She is not a single parent, nor is she a widow. She lives with her
husband. But a husband who is verbally abusive and unsympathetic of her medical conditions or needs.
The situation has been escalating over the last 10 years; with both the parents residing in different rooms
of a house…somehow feeling lucky if they have managed to avoid each other all day.
It isn’t easy for Shaun to admit his parents are only together because of cultural and social stigmas
preventing them from getting a divorce. It’s no doubt difficult for any child to face, however much of
an ‘adult’ you become.
However Shaun is facing it. He is an only child and while he calls his mother on a daily basis, he knows
she is lonely. She needs Shaun in the same way Shaun needed her years ago. Roles are reversed and
Shaun won’t turn his back on the person who nurtured, provided for, looked after and loved, him.
Shaun has looked into finding home-help as a temporary albeit not ideal solution. Home help is paid
help. It is people coming in to do a job, one that can only really be carried out by family, a role which
Shaun feels should be carried out by family. The situation with his parents also means home-help is
difficult to find, because of the constant tension between the parents and the fear that outsiders will find
out the details of what is an extremely private and delicate situation.
Other than his daily phone call, Shaun’s mother doesn’t get the opportunity to converse or interact with
anyone. This lack of stimulation exacerbates her depression and mental deterioration. Shaun feels
helpless as his mother slowly deteriorates into a semi-vegetative state – a mother who he so badly wants
to have return to her happy, active and vivacious self.
Update: Shaun has left the UK and is now living in a country which does allow for the sponsorship of
parents.

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Sree
“I have paid over £100,000 in taxes and NI contributions in five years.
All I want is for my mother to stay with us – and have the means to
look after her without recourse to public funds.”
Sree is a British citizen from Middlesex. Her mother is 70 years old and prior to Sree exercising free
movement rights, lived alone in India. Sree’s dad died in 1993 and her only other child lives in USA.
Sree’s mum is not highly educated, relying on Sree for financial and emotional support since becoming
a widow. Dependency which has only increased with age. Sree’s mum chose not to re-marry to ensure
Sree remained her priority. An incredibly unselfish choice. It is now Sree’s turn to respond in kind for
the sacrifices made.
Sree’s mum has visited UK regularly; although more recently travelling long-haul proves more difficult.
In order to facilitate visit visas it was necessary for Sree’s mum to be self-sufficient, so Sree transferred
properties and money into her mother’s name. As Sree’s mum does not yet have any major physical
care needs, the appearance of her as the applicant being financially sound presented yet another barrier
in the already insurmountable ADR rules.
To Sree, her mother is a vital, integral, member of the family
unit – she is not extended family. Her mother has seen Sree
get married, helped her during the early days of motherhood
and then been there for the break-up of her marriage.
Sree’s two sons have also spent a vast amount of time with
their grandmother, having been raised by her from 2008, when
they were aged 6 and 12, until their move to the UK to join
Sree, in 2012. The boys initially stayed back in India because
of UK visa restrictions.
The bond between grandmother and grandchildren is very strong
because of the primary (sole) parent role played by Sree’s mum since
2008. Indeed, Sree admits that even now, to the kids, their
grandmother is more of a mother to them than she herself is.
To have left her mother alone in India would be akin to casting her
aside now that she has fulfilled her purpose in raising Sree and the
two boys. There is also an underlying sense of duty - to look after
her mother and not tear apart grandchildren from their grandmother.
Though reasonably physically able, the natural process of ageing and stress from being apart from all
family for protracted periods since 2012 has broken her a bit, with management of daily chores also
difficult. The children are emotionally bonded to her and it broke their hearts as well to see someone
they love so much suffering alone.
Sree is self-employed, with extensive experience working in the IT department of a major life science
company. During her entire life in the UK, Sree has worked and paid her taxes promptly, never availing
of any state benefits. She is a higher-rate tax payer, and in the five years to April 2013 alone, paid over
£100,000 in taxes and National Insurance contributions.

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Sree is financially secure enough to support her mum without recourse to public funds and if UK allowed
for sponsoring elderly relatives, would have been willing to take out private health insurance, provide a
monetary bond and guarantees.
Sree has paid a huge amount in taxes without ever claiming anything in return. All she wanted was for
the chance to stay with her mum, so UK’s rules left Sree feeling gutted. Her mother has always been
there for them, and now they were being denied the right to provide a safe and secure life for her in
return.
The rules left Sree reconsidering the decision to live in the UK, as horror at the rules and sadness and
guilt for what they meant ate her alive.
Finding that she could do as an EU citizen what she couldn’t as a British citizen – have her mum live
with her – felt very much like a lifeline.

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Tejinder
“I am being forced to choose between my wife & kids, and my elderly
parents.”
Tejinder is a British citizen living in Birmingham with his British wife and two British children.
He had arrived in the UK in 2005 to gain international experience in his domain. He grew to
like the country, bought a house and naturalised in 2011.
Tejinder is one of three children. His younger brother lives in Switzerland, and his parents and
sister in India. His sister graduated from Leicester University with an MSc in bio-informatics,
before returning to India to look after their parents.
Tejinder’s mum is over 65 years old and his dad 70. He is a retired senior class one officer
who used to work for the Indian government. A dad who did all he could for his son.
They have visited Tejinder and their grandchildren many times on a family visit visa. However
travelling back and forth is not very easy anymore and Tejinder’s sister can’t cope looking after
them on her own.
So in May 2012, Tejinder sold his house, uprooted his wife and children and moved to India to
fulfil his responsibility to look after his parents – the old rules he felt were not easy to satisfy
either, although the current rules are impossible. When his wife and kids couldn’t adjust to life
in India, finding it too foreign, too different, too un-British, Tejinder had no choice but for the
four of them to return to the UK in 2013.
Tejinder remains racked with guilt at having abandoned his parents but also feels that he cannot
abandon his wife and kids, or expect them to live in a country that is alien to them.
UK’s immigration rules have slammed the door shut on Tejinder being able to look after his
parents, with no recourse to public funds. This man is at a loss as to what to do next and the
only option seems to be to go move to another EEA country, exercising the treaty rights
afforded to him by the EU for family reunification – a right so clearly denied by his own
government.

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Veena
“If my parents cannot move to the UK, my husband and I, an
anaesthetist and microbiologist, may need to take our skills and NHS
training to another country.”
See also: Ravi (above)
Veena is a British citizen, living in the UK since 2004, with her husband and two sons, who
also are British citizens.
Both Veena and her husband are doctors in the NHS, serving our country in a much valued
profession for a much revered institution. Veena is a microbiologist, and her husband an
anaesthetist.
The couple has worked very hard to build their lives and career in UK.
Grateful for the opportunity they have found in the UK, they have made it their home, paying
taxes and looking after our sick and elderly.
Veena’s mum and dad are around 70 and 80 years old respectively; they live alone in India
with no other family there. Veena’s only sibling, Ravi, a software engineer, lives in the UK
too. Veena concurs with Ravi’s account of the impact of the rules on their family – being
unable to be there for their mum and dad is painful, looking after others in the UK, seeing them
accompanied by their children strikes a chord at the realisation that her parents remain alone
on such visits to the doctor.
With her son now 13 years old, Veena also wishes to have her parents here for him. Her son
spent his early years in India, and is thus especially attached to Veena’s parents.
If Veena’s parents are not allowed to be in the UK, her family faces a very difficult choice,
between leaving all they have worked to build in the UK, interrupting their son’s education to
uproot and move countries again, to abandoning her parents.
The family feels this is not right – they have the means to look after their parents in the UK
without any burden on taxpayers. They just want the opportunity to do so.

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Yana
“As British citizens we have fewer rights in Britain than our EU
friends and even their non-EU partners.”
Yana is a British citizen and lives in Edinburgh with John, her British husband and her two
British children.
Yana has a wide and varied circle of international friends - Patrick from Ireland married to Jing
from China, Andy a Scot married to Katarina from Poland, José from Spain married to Lisa
from Argentina, and Mike from Netherlands married to Olga from Russia. Then there are Yana
and John, both Brits. Indeed, Yana recognises, through her friends circle, that what makes
Britain great is how multicultural we are. This is what makes our country rich.
They come in all different shapes and sizes; José prefers coffee to tea and Jing goes for rice
over potatoes. But when this group meets up, they have a good time together, comparing stories
about families and experiences from around the world. Yana is reminded how small the world
is and how we all share the same common wishes and experiences: the desire to give our
children the best possible start in life, the longing to be together as a family and the heartache
from being apart from your loved ones.
There’s not much to tell Yana apart from her friends –until it comes to UK’s immigration rules.
This is where Yana and John, both as British citizens are the odd ones out and therefore
disadvantaged.
Yana’s mum is a Russian citizen, living in Russia on her own since Yana’s dad died in a car
crash two and a half years ago. Yana has no other siblings to help look after her mum.
After many years of waiting, in 2012, Yana
and John were fortunate to be blessed with
twin girls. Yana’s mum retired from her job
to come to the UK for six months on a visitor
visa to help with the babies. Following the
difficult years after Yana’s dad’s tragic and
unexpected death, it was good to see her mum
happy again and engaging with her
granddaughters.
Yana is therefore keen to have her mum live
with them, with no burden on the State.
John, Yana, her mum and the twins (spot the tartan!)

Under the previous immigration rules this would have been possible and they were planning to
apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain; however, following the introduction of the new
immigration rules in July this year, Yana is in total despair as the route has effectively been
completely closed off.
The situation is causing severe distress; instead of enjoying motherhood Yana spends most of
her day desperately trying to find a solution.

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The new rules have set the proof of dependency so high that it is actually impossible to foresee
any circumstances whereby a visa would be granted to a parent of a British citizen. Should the
sponsor earn a reasonable salary, it’s deemed they can afford to pay for care in the parent’s
home country; if the sponsor doesn’t earn a reasonable salary, they can’t prove they can support
their parent without recourse to public funds. So with money or without it, elderly parents are
blocked from the country.
As these rules apply only to UK citizens, within Yana’s circle of friends they are the only ones
affected, because both her and husband are British.
Even a non-EU citizen living in the UK with their EEA or Swiss spouse or civil partner can
bring their family members (children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters
and cousins) into the UK so long as their EU partner can show a family member is dependent
on them. So, for example, a Russian citizen married to a citizen of France, Germany, Poland,
Hungary, etc. can bring their Russian mother to live permanently with them in the UK, but
Yana and John, as British citizens, are denied that same right, in their own country.
Yana is being penalised because she has a mother who is not British, and thus is deprived of
the right to live comfortably with her family in the country of which she herself is a citizen.
Why? Since coming to the UK, Yana has studied at her own expense, volunteered with
charities, worked hard, paid taxes. She has never claimed benefits.
As parents, Yana and John want to stay in their own country and raise their kids to be British,
but if they do this, then they are being told by the current government that they must abandon
Yana’s mother and that she has to be vegetating before her entry to the UK can even be
considered (and even then it would be rejected under the current rules). They do have the
option of exercising free movement rights in order to unite their family, but feel it is unfair that
families are forced to make such choices, just because they’re British.
Update: Yana, John, their twins and Yana’s mum moved to Ireland, exercising their EU treaty
rights to live together as a family. About a year later the family relocated to the UK, extending
their use of treaty rights under what is commonly known as the ‘Surinder Singh route”.
The couple were able to make the move to Ireland only because of Yana’s redundancy payment
and John’s Scottish employer allowing him to take voluntary severance. They feel the longterm costs while hard to calculate are significant in terms of lost earnings and reduced pension.
Yana found a part-time job in Ireland, but with John unable to find suitable work, the family
lived mainly on their savings. It was particularly hard financially and with the twins to be
living in B&Bs for the first few weeks while they sought permanent accommodation.
The couple were able to rent out their home in Edinburgh which helped ease the burden
somewhat, though living in Ireland cut into their savings because of expenditure on things
like healthcare mainly for the twins, and around £2500 incurred in relocation costs to and
from Ireland; moving possessions from Cork to Edinburgh cost £800 just on its own.
John moved back to Scotland a few months before the rest of the family as he was successful in
getting a job there. This meant the family was living apart from each other from March till
May, creating additional stress and expense with his trips back to see the family on weekends,
at £120 each time.

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Yulia
“It is essential that my baby grows up knowing my side of the family.”
Yulia is a British citizen, born in Ukraine where she lived with her mother, Tatyana and brother
Sergey. At the age of six, the family moved to Uzbekistan, following Tatyana’s job as Manager
of Quality Control and Laboratory at a card and paper factory.
Yulia came to the UK on a work visa three times between the ages of 19 and 23, working at a
telecommunications company. She returned to the UK in 2001, at the age of 24 and naturalised
as a British citizen in 2005. From the year 2001 to 2014, Yulia worked full-time, paying into
the system by way of taxes.
Whilst Yulia was building a life in the UK, her brother moved to Russia and her mum to USA
because of the lack of jobs suited to her qualifications in Uzbekistan and Russia. Tatyana
continued to help support both Yulia and her brother.
In 2010, Yulia’s brother Sergey passed away. A devastating loss to Yulia and Tatyana, the
resulting grief bringing them even closer. It was at this point, having lost a loved one, they
realised the fragility of life, deciding they make the most of life by spending it together.
So Tatyana started the process for Yulia’s visa for America, where the processing time is eight
years for a non-married child over 21 years of age, but it is automatic in the end, so just a matter
of waiting. However, whilst this application was being processed, Yulia met Mike. They met
in 2012, married in 2014 and chose to reside in Liverpool, where Mike was born.
When Yulia fell pregnant, she gave up her job to be a stay-at-home mum. Were Yulia’s mum
able to live in the UK, she would stay in their spare room, or in a second property Yulia
owns. Even disregarding the no recourse to public funds, Tatyana would not be a burden on
the taxpayer.
Aged 60, Tatyana is physically able and the family wants to be together to share their lives even
while Tatyana is able to do things for herself. Tatyana has worked all her life, she wants to
come here and work too, to pay into the system; as someone who speaks English, Russian,
Ukrainian and even some Polish, Tatyana would be an asset in the Liverpool community with
a large Russian/Polish community, so finding a job wouldn’t be a hardship.

Tatyana, Yulia, Nadia and Mike in March 2015

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Tatyana, Yulia, Nadia & Mike’s mum, Anne, in March 2015

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Tatyana devoted her own youth to making choices solely for the betterment of her children, it
thus pains Yulia to see her mum all alone now.
Baby Nadia – full name Nadia Anne Tatyana, Anne being Mike’s mum’s name, reflects the
importance of both grandmothers in the lives of this family - was born in February
2015. Tatyana visited for two weeks in March where she got to hold her only grandchild and
it is important to Yulia that Tatyana does play an active role in Nadia’s life.
It is essential that the family unit is complete, so that Nadia can grow up knowing her grandma
– her only living relative on Yulia’s side of the family. Yulia meanwhile misses having her
mum here, while her little baby girl is growing every day.
As the current ADR rules would not even allow for Yulia’s mum to live in the UK once she
were 65 years old, the family is due to restart their American visa application, this time
including Mike and Nadia on it.
As Yulia is married, the original application - still in place - will need to be adjusted, and again
the family waits.
However, the dilemma faced by this family is that Mike doesn’t wish to leave his family behind
– something Yulia empathises with, having lived apart from her own mum for a very long time.
Relocating would thus break up this family - Yulia and Mike would have to leave Mike’s
parents, sister, niece, uncles and aunties behind, not to mention the friends made over the years.
It would make so much more sense both financial and emotionally for Tatyana to move here,
so a British man doesn’t have to leave his country and family, the British-based family doesn’t
have to lose Mike and his little unit, a British child can grow up in the UK with all of her
immediate family, and a British wife and mum, albeit naturalised, doesn’t have to choose
between her adopted home and her mum.

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Zack
“As an openly gay man, I cannot move to Pakistan to look after my
72 year old mother.”
Zack is a 41-year old British citizen, born and raised in Pakistan. He moved to the UK when he was 21
years of age and has not been back to Pakistan since 1996. As an openly gay man, Zack does not feel
safe there.
Zack’s mother is also from Pakistan. She lives in Karachi on her own, after her husband, Zack’s dad,
died 16 years ago. There is no family in Pakistan who can help look after her, as only family around is
her 78 year old sister who is disabled and an 82 year old brother who is in the process of moving to
United Arab Emirates to live with his son.
Her other siblings live in the UK – a younger sister who is a retired teacher living in London (residing
in the UK for 40 years) and two brothers who are very well established, having lived in the UK for 47
years. She is very close to them and with Zack, her only child, living here too, she has very strong ties
to the UK, coming every year on a visit visa.
However, now 72 years old, the process of applying for a visa every couple of years is too onerous.
Zack is also very concerned for her well-being, as there is no one physically around to support and help
her when symptoms of her severe arthritis and high blood pressure flair up. He worries about her safety
too, living alone there.
Zack has been in a relationship with a fellow Brit for the past 16 years, now his civil partner. They both
work full-time; Zack for a prison charity and his partner a barrister/academic.
While they cannot leave everything to move to Pakistan, if nothing else for reasons of safety, the couple
is financially in a position to take full responsibility for Zack’s mum’s expenses if she were to be allowed
to come and stay with them. Zack is the only family she has who can look after her and Zack feels very
sad that the current immigration rules prevent him from doing just that, unless he gives up his home,
husband and career. Unless he gives up his life to go live on a false one in Pakistan, pretending to be a
straight man.
It doesn’t seem fair that Zack, a British citizen be told by his own government through rules such as
these, that if he wants to look after his mum, he risk his life, sacrificing everything he has worked so
hard for over the last 20 years.

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Aaron & Kano
“I am being pushed out of my own country by this government
because I dared to fall in love, have a baby with and marry a woman
who is Japanese.”
A British citizen, Aaron met his partner, Kano, in Bristol when she was there on a two-year
working holiday visa. Kano is from Japan.
They fell in love, she fell pregnant and they decided to get married. Aaron has invested all his
time and energy in Bristol and is keen to make a life with his wife and child there. Bristol is
where all his friends and family live. He wants a stable place to mark the height of his child as
the years pass; he doesn’t don’t want to live in Britain to claim any sort of welfare benefits.
However, under the new rules, he is unable to give his child the upbringing he so desires in his
own country, something which we all as British citizens have and should continue to have the
right to.
Aaron’s child is also British. Therefore, in fact, two British citizens have had their basic rights
eroded by this government.
-

The right to live with your partner without interference from the State for Aaron;
The right to have both your parents looking after you, for their child.

Aaron earns just under the £18,600 mark. Combining his income with that which Kano could
earn, they easily satisfy £18,600. But Kano’s income cannot be included, thus highlighting a
huge oversight in the rules.
Not only is £18,600 too high, it does not allow for geographical differences and is much higher
than the income criteria required to be excluded from qualifying for welfare benefits. It also
shows a complete disregard for the potential value of the spouse’s income.
In practice, both Aaron and Kano would work, each earning a salary that would be taxed and
relied upon for their living expenses. Why then is the criterion restricted only to Aaron’s
income?
Aaron is being pushed out of his own country, by his own government, for no reason other than
that its mission is to achieve a poorly selected and arbitrary net immigration target in the 'tens
of thousands'.

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Aisha & Abraham
“I am so worried my husband will be killed by the Taliban in a place
that’s too dangerous for British citizens, but apparently acceptable
for the husband and father of British citizens.”
Aisha is a British citizen who in August 2005 met her partner, Abraham, in Birmingham. They were in
their early 20s and fell head over heels in love. Eight and a half years and a son together later, they’re
still having to battle for the right to remain together.
Aisha worked as a full-time carer. She doesn’t know her mother well but is grateful to her grandparents
for looking after and raising her.
When this young couple met, Abraham lived in Birmingham, Aisha in Nottingham. They would visit
each other often. He came from proud Afghan stock, from the Wardak region – a dangerous area with
a strong Taliban presence. Abraham was seeking refugee status and Aisha was aware of this position.
She however had faith in our system. While they were waiting for his case to be assessed, he moved to
Manchester to live with his cousin, and then around to the homes of other extended family. Their love
survived all the hurdles and they were married.
Aisha fell pregnant and they had a son. Abraham is an incredibly proud Afghan man and believes it to
be his duty to look after his wife and child. “I’m a man and it should be that way. I’m Afghan”.
However, in 2010, when his mother fell seriously ill, in Afghanistan, Abraham applied to return to
Afghanistan. Aisha begged him not to go, because it is so dangerous. But knowing how close he is to
his mum, and how sad he felt about her relationship with her own mum, she relented. She let him
volunteer to go to Afghanistan. He left the day after Eid in 2011.
Aisha visited him in January 2012. They met in Pakistan. Abraham had lost weight and was very
depressed. Aisha was desperate to make an application for him, but before she knew it the rules had
changed. All of a sudden. An income of £18,600 is not something Aisha can hope to fulfil.
A lot has happened since then though. The Taliban overhead Abraham speaking in English – though
he was conversing with Aisha and so believed he is working for the soldiers, and therefore have shot at
him. So Abraham hides in Kabul and Pakistan. However, with no Pakistani id, it’s difficult to find
accommodation. And Aisha has experienced corruption at every step as the police assume she is rich
just because she is from England when she visited him in Pakistan with their son.
Given the Foreign Office has advised British citizens to refrain from going to Afghanistan, Aisha
doesn’t understand how it’s acceptable that the husband and father of British citizens be faced with this
danger.

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Andy & Molly…Dylan & Devon
“My poor boys. First their mummy leaves them and now their daddy.
They don't deserve this.”
Situation: Married for 6 years, has 2 children with his wife, Molly. Doesn’t meet the income criteria, so
having to be a single parent. A new job which would satisfy the income criteria means he is travelling
a lot and therefore unable to live with his kids. What does this mean? A British husband apart from his
wife and children. British children forced to live apart from their mummy and daddy...
British citizen, Andy, has been happily married for six years, and he and his wife, from China, have
been patiently waiting for him to find the golden job paying £18,600 so that they can once again be
reunited as a family.
This has proven to be extremely difficult, despite his qualifications and experience, and so this law
abiding and devoted couple have been forced to separate, leaving Andy to act as a single parent to their
two infant children in Somerset. There are no words to fully convey the stress this family has been
under, with Andy trying to find a well-paid job that will, hopefully, reunite his family.
During Molly’s last visit Andy wrote to MP David Laws
asking if there was any way he could help extend Molly’s
stay, because Andy stood more chance of finding a highpaying job if she were here looking after the children.
David did not reply and so Molly returned to China, rather
than overstay her visa.
Two weeks later Andy received a letter from Mark Harper,
Minister for Immigration, claiming Molly attempted to
deceive UKBA by visiting her husband & children:
Andy’s family: wife Molly, and their sons, Dylan and Devon, the night before Molly left UK.

‘If the immigration officer at port of entry had known this, she would have been refused entry on this
basis’.
This is because apparently she should have applied for a spouse visa rather than a visitor visa; however,
at that time, they were genuinely only intending to visit for a family reunion as Andy’s brother was
visiting the UK at that time with his Canadian wife and their newborn daughter.
Despite leaving UK within the six months allowed under a visitor visa, by applying as a visitor rather
than a spouse, according to Mark Harper, Molly ‘deceived’ the UK Border Agency, and this alleged
deception means that she cannot visit UK for ten years, even though she has proved she is not an 'overstayer'. David Laws confirmed that Harper's stamp of deception would remain in Molly’s file, leaving
this poor couple to face the reality that they would remain separated unless and until Andy could find a
high paying job.
They all miss each other so much and while there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel, with Andy
receiving a job offer paying over the threshold (which should in theory qualify him to sponsor Molly
six months down the line), it raises location and their children as major issues. So, the family faces
further heartbreak over the next six months.

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The job is in Cornwall, 3 hours away from home in Somerset where the boys are settled in school and
playgroup. As his job involves travelling, Andy would need a live-in child-carer. He can’t cope with the
thought of another person taking the place of his sweetheart and the children's mummy – another woman
the kids would be looking up to as a mum.
Taking everything into account they have decided that the boys should stay with their grandparents
temporarily, while Andy is working and until a better solution can be found. Andy will see them as
many weekends as possible, but he won't be able to spend the school holidays with them, read them a
bedtime story, tuck them into bed or be there to soothe away any nightmares.
Andy’s job began in late October and so, exactly six months later, on his eldest child’s sixth birthday,
the couple believes they should qualify to begin the application process for a spouse visa. By this time
the family will have spent nearly 8 months apart; including Christmas, and all their birthdays.
The children have already stopped attempting to speak Chinese and it breaks Andy’s heart that his kids
are losing their heritage and that memories are being created without their mother being a part of them.
If Molly was here, they’d be moving to Cornwall together, as a strong happy family, but instead they’re
being split up in a scenario reminiscent of Australia’s Stolen Generation – a disastrous episode in that
country's history. Have we learnt nothing from past mistakes?
Andy is tired and desperately sad, yet somehow finding the energy to stay strong.
“I miss my wife so much and feel so heartbroken for her having to explain to friends, family,
neighbours and colleagues, why she cannot be with her loving husband and sweet little boys. She’s
so brave, so patient and trusting that someday we’ll be reunited. I’m so very proud of her.”
Who with a modicum of decency could break up this family? British MPs could and therefore do.

With the 8 hour time difference the boys only get to Skype their mummy at weekends. A clearly demoralised Andy says:
“Devon (3) now calls us ‘Computer Mummy and Daddy’”.

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Anne
“Are these the family values the government wants to promote? Keeping
parents and children/grandchildren apart, breaking up husbands and wives?”
Anne is the British mother of a British son who, by this government’s account, should not have fallen
in love, married and had a child with a lovely woman, because she happens to be from the USA. Anne
is also the British wife and main carer of a British man who is disabled.
Anne recognises that, as she gets older, she will need
assistance from her son, for herself and her husband. The
rules in place mean her son is forced to live apart from his
wife and daughter. They also mean she’s not permitted to
be with her son and daughter-in-law and is prevented from
spending time with her granddaughter. NOTHING is right
about this situation.
This is a proud, if not rich, family.
Anne’s daughter-in-law, her son and the grandchild she has never met.

They missed the wedding of their son to a woman who is now a much loved member of the family.
While it was painful missing her son’s wedding, the financial and practical constraints of Anne’s
husband’s disability meant they couldn’t travel. They do, however, expect their son to be able to live in
his home country, with his family.
£18,600 is a lot of money for him and Anne, on top of the daily expenses of living and substantial visa
application fees (not all have parliamentary salaries, generous expense accounts and cushy pensions).
Anne’s son has been saving money for a spouse visa and paying rent in the UK while also maintaining
and paying for accommodation for his wife and child. Babies are expensive, as anyone with a child will
tell you. Yet he managed for a long time. Until these rules came in.
The stress of being apart from his wife and child is, in itself, difficult; but the impact of the rules, which
suggest to him that he may never be with them, were he also to be here for his parents, caused a
meltdown, leading to the loss of his job. So, overall, this is now a worse situation for everyone, her son,
his wife, their granddaughter, Anne’s husband, Anne and the entire extended family and community.
They now can’t even afford to fly to America to see the child unless friends and family help. This
family can’t help but wonder if these are the family values the UK government wants them to adopt.
Meanwhile the situation is taking a toll on everyone's health. Anne is on anti-depressants and blood
pressure tablets. Their fifteen-year-old daughter is feeling the stress of the situation – she can't
understand why she can't see her little niece and sister-in-law. Their other daughter has their son living
with her as he has now also lost his home, so has no choice but to move in with family.
The government needs to realise there are real people affected by these changes, not just government
statistics. The rules were already hard to meet in the first place, the fees of hundreds of pounds were a
lot for the majority of mainly working people.
British people, in their own country, are being torn apart from their families!!! What has this government
done to the country and why? Who will look after us as we grow old? Who will look after us when we
have breakdowns? And who will answer the questions the next generation asks about why
discriminatory and racist policies were allowed to be put in place, policies preventing Anne's son's
children getting to know their father and grandparents?

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Barry, Francisca…& Millie
“Our family is on the verge of being separated due to UKBA rules”.
Barry is a British citizen, engaged to Francisca from Chile. They live in Scotland and have been in a loving
relationship for four years. They were planning their wedding when UKBA sent Francisca a letter telling her
and Millie, Francisca’s daughter, to leave– following which they took Francisca’s passport. They’ve since
postponed the wedding.
Francisca’s daughter, Millie, was born in UK. Francisca’s relationship with Millie’s
biological dad – a Spaniard - broke down due to violence. She’s grateful that in Barry
she found the love of her life and a loving stepdad for Millie. Millie is a complete
stranger to her mum’s home country. Yet UKBA states she be deported to Chile too.
They are bemused. Francisca studied & worked here, paid her taxes and never claimed
any benefits – for long enough that she qualifies for the right of settlement. Her finances
remain transparent and she was loyal to the UK. Although she had secured a well-paying
job in an insurance company, UKBA refused to provide the right documentation to her now ex-employer
(UKBA still had her passport) - so she lost not only her income but also maternity pay.
Barry and Francisca are expecting a baby – a baby who will be British. This has made their resolve to stay
together as a family in the UK even stronger. So they appealed the decision, now waiting for the appeal
hearing to take place at the Tier 1 tribunals in Glasgow, when she will be 7 months pregnant.
Millie cries constantly and is undergoing therapy with Stirling Women’s Aid.
She doesn’t want to leave the circle of her family union in Stirling – she is very
attached to Barry and his family – they’re the only grandparents, aunties,
cousins she has known, and she adores her school friends.
How is it right that this little girl is denied access to her family...that she is forced into a strange country,
unknown culture – away from everything she knows?
Barry has no knowledge of Francisca’s mother tongue. He’s never been to Chile and it’s as
unknown to him as it is to Millie. His family in Scotland are all looking forward to
welcoming the baby. Deporting Francisca and Millie will mean Barry stays behind in UK
to provide for them, or they move to Chile where Barry is unlikely to find work. With
Francisca will go their baby. Their British baby.
UKBA is responsible for taking away Francisca’s income, the health and sanity of this
family. They are imploring for UKBA to consider their situation with common sense and
assess the impact the rules have on families, especially children.
Update:
The tribunal hearing scheduled for 3rd June 2013 was cancelled at the last minute by UKBA who informed the
family’s legal representative that they wish to withdraw the original decision for reconsideration. This isn’t the
end, especially with no timescales provided, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Barry and Francisca welcomed their son on 15th August, and he has brought a lot of smiles to their faces.
October 2013 however has seen no progress with their dealings with the Home Office. They were under the
impression that as the UKBA Presenting Officer withdrew from the hearing, a decision on their case would be
made promptly. However, a month later, in July their case was sent to the European section for it to be revised
– a month which saw no progress for this family. Since then, the family has chased the European section several
times.
They are still waiting on a decision.

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Ben
“I hope common sense prevails and my family does not have to be
broken up.”
Ben is a British citizen from North Wales. He has two British children with his wife from Indonesia.
It is his choice of partner which has led to his current predicament.
Ben’s wife’s application for a UK settlement visa has been put on hold as they don’t meet the current
income requirement. This is despite the fact that Ben, as her sponsor, has £40,000 in cash savings and
has stated his intention to secure employment upon return to the UK.
Ben has spent the last nine years teaching English in Indonesia, promoting the virtues of the UK and
British society, including our laws, customs, diversity and sense of decency and fair play. Now that
he wishes to return to his homeland to spend more time with his parents, and for his own British
children, he is faced with an unenviable decision.
His Indonesian working visa is due to end, following which he will have to return to the UK. His
eldest child, a daughter aged six, will have to return with him as she is already enrolled in a local
primary school. His wife whose visa application is on hold due to the legal case and appeal currently
in the High Court will not be able to join them. His youngest child, a son aged two, will stay with his
mother. Therefore not only will husband and wife be separated also brother and sister, mother and
daughter, father and son.
Ben started part-time work at the age of 13 and since starting full time employment in 1995 he has
never received or requested any help from the state in regards to unemployment or housing benefit.
He has always paid his own way without recourse to public funds.
He left the UK in 2005 to teach in Indonesia, a country he knew very little about and didn’t know the
language. In the eight years there, he has risen from the position of Teacher to Head Teacher and then
to Director of Studies in a busy and successful private language school. He fell in love and got
married, to be blessed with two lovely children. He has always supported his wife and kids without
any help from the government.
He has no intention to now seek unemployment or housing benefit upon return to the UK as this goes
against the ethos he was brought up with as a child, that one must work hard and pay one’s own way
in life. He is willing to sign a document waiving his right to claim benefits if this would placate the
Home Office and enable his family to be united.
He is bemused. Surely, someone who can make a successful life in a foreign country requiring the
learning of customs and language from scratch, would be able to replicate that in his home country
where he is familiar with all and has support from family? Indeed, his parents live in a property which
is fully paid for and is willing for Ben and his family to live there for as long as they need to.

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Colin & XXX
“I’m left with a stark choice. My 80 year-old mother or my wife and
two-year old son.”
Colin is a British citizen from Wales, married to XXX, from Seattle, USA. They were brought
together by XXX’s interest in genealogy, particular her own ancestry in North Wales.
They were first introduced to each other a decade ago, by
a mutual friend, who Colin met when he was working in a
Bala coaching inn that had belonged to his wife’s family
in the 19th century, and in which her great grandfather had
been born and raised before leaving for the USA. This
mutual friend mentioned XXX pal back in Seattle, and her
links to Bala, and thought she would like a pen-pal in the
town.
So for several years they were pen-pals, progressing with
technology to being Facebook friends. As time went on, they became confidantes and the friendship
increasingly affectionate. When XXX made plans to travel to Bala to research more of her family
history, the couple felt there was a possibility of something more. After a decade of letters, e-mails,
phone-calls and online chats, those feelings were proved right the moment they set eyes on each other.
XXX stayed for six weeks that first visit, making breakthroughs in her family history. By the time she
left Colin was in no doubt they were meant to be together. After three thoroughly miserable months
apart she returned to Wales that Christmas, when they got engaged and resolved to get together "for
keeps" as soon as possible.
After some research they discovered it would be much quicker to get married in the US than the UK.
Though by no means an easy option - it was expensive and exhausting navigating the US Immigration
Service - the route via the UK Border Agency was even worse, so tortuous and bureaucratic (a taste of
things to come) that the choice to marry in the US was, in the end, an easy one to make. They tied the
knot in 2011, and their son Owain Llŷr was born that Christmas.
The couple planned on remaining in the US until Owain reached school age. It is important to them
that Owain grows up as a native Welsh speaker and with the support of Colin’s large and close-knit
family in Bala and Llanuwchllyn, and the sense of community there - something that is lacking in the
US. This not merely a preference – to them it is a necessity for the well-being of their son. At the
most fundamental level, they desperately want him to get to know the grandma that so far he has never
even met.
Colin’s mother, Owain’s grandmother and XXX’s mother-in-law, celebrated her 80th birthday this
year, an event that this trio were only able to attend virtually via Skype, leaving the family with the
urgent notion that the move home should come sooner rather than later. Colin contacted friends in
and around Bala with a view to setting up a job, and several family members stepped forward with
offers to sponsor XXX wife if Colin couldn't find work before moving back.
It was only then, when Colin was looking into the income requirements and third party sponsorship
that he third party sponsorships were no longer accepted by the Home Office.
This was just first of many shocks that lay in store for Colin as he researched the 2012 family
migration rules. The income requirement of £18,600 was the next blow, but even as that was sinking
in came the discovery that even if Colin were able to find such an income (in Bala!) he would, under

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these new rules, be required to work for six months before he could even apply for his wife to join
him (adding another six months or so for the application process).
This requirement – that a 2 year-old boy be separated from his mother or father for a year or more, is
completely devoid of heart or reason.
So now Colin is left with a stark choice – his 80 year-old mother or his 2 year-old son and wife.
As a British citizen, he has been put in this position by the British government, and finds himself
alternating between despair and fury. These feelings are intensified when Colin compares his
situation with that of his younger brother, who in 2011 married a Polish woman and in 2012 became
the proud father of twin girls.
Colin’s brother, sister-in-law and nieces are able to live together in Bala as a family under the EU’s
freedom of movement laws. No visas required, no minimum income or savings needed, no forced
separation demanded. In the past 12 months his sister-in-law’s brother and wife have also migrated
from Poland to live and work in Bala.
Colin is clear. He by no means objects to their freedom to move there – but as a British Citizen who
cannot even bring his wife to the UK, the knowledge that EU nationals can come and go at will, and
seem to have more right to a family life in the UK than he does, finds the British government’s
treatment of British citizens a very bitter pill to swallow.
Everything about these rules is wrong – that they’re designed purely to reduce numbers to an arbitrary
election promise and thus damning families seems to be ignored. The barring of third-party sponsors
is particularly infuriating, what with Colin’s brother willing and able to help them out.
Colin and XXX keep going by in their more fanciful moments, talking about writing their story as an
epic tale of emigration, spanning a century (her great grandfather left Bala in 1907), an ocean and a
continent, and coming full circle with the original emigrant's great-great-grandson returning to and
settling in the town he left 100 years earlier.
They find it helps, in the face of the indifference, arrogance and hypocrisy of the Home Secretary, to
cling to dreams of romance, love and destiny, in the hope that they will eventually triumph.
Sometimes it feels like they're all they have left.

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Dell & Valery
“The government is separating me from my wife and stepchildren,
just because I don’t earn more than £24,800”
British citizen Dell is aged 50. Dell’s biggest regret until he married Valery was that he was unable to
have children. When his only niece died, he felt choked by emotion and unspent fatherhood.
Dell and Valery met at the beginning of 2012. And they fell in love. With Valery, Dell finally got to be
the father he had so longed for, and finally got to hear the word ‘Daddy’. Both Dell and Valery are
joyful that the kids have accepted Dell so readily, further strengthening their own bond.
Valery is from Russia and has two children, aged fifteen and three.
The biological father of her children died when her youngest was
just one. The hurt was multiplied as Valery, an orphan herself, was
seeing her own children in the same state.
Valery is a lawyer and does not have any financial concerns.
But after a change in immigration law, this family is at a loss.
Dell owns his own home. He also has some savings and works as
a manager of a large department store. His income is less than £24,800, but above average when
compared to the earnings of other similar roles in Bristol. They therefore are surprised at the statement
made by their MP that the average salary in Bristol is £33,000, showing how out of touch he is.
Dell’s sister is extremely glad that her brother has finally found happiness. She owns real estate and is
willing to help Dell in forming his own family.
But all this is not sufficient for the Home Office to allow this family to live together.
The treatment of the UK government violates the most basic Christian ethics - as Theresa May is so
fond of stating, we are after all a Christian country, so why not apply Christian principles and afford
compassion to children and respect the state of marriage. Indeed, the rules in place breach Article 16
and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Perhaps politicians in the UK need a reminder:
Men and women of full age, without limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to
marry and found a family. They are entitled to equal rights to marriage, during marriage and at its
dissolution.
Family is the natural and fundamental unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and State.
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Article 10
“..applications by a child or his or her parents to enter or leave a State Party for the purpose of family
reunification shall be dealt with by States Parties in a positive, humane and expeditious manner. States
Parties shall further ensure that the submission of such a request shall entail no adverse consequences
for the applicants and for the members of their family.
Dell and Valery can’t help but wonder why the income and assets of the foreign spouse are not taking
into account? Why not allow for the fact that the foreign spouse will be working, paying taxes and
participating in providing for the family?

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Douglas
“My wife and children are in Nigeria, denied entry because I am selfemployed. The requirements are so onerous I am in constant battle
with UKBA.”
Douglas is a British citizen living in Kent. He was brought up in England and has worked and paid
taxes for the last thirty years. His time now is being spent battling UKBA to obtain a visa for his wife
and two children, currently residing in Lagos, Nigeria. In his son’s first two months, Douglas has only
seen him for 10 days.
The application process for Douglas’s family is even more complex because of UKBA’s requirements
for those who are self-employed, which is the case for Douglas, even though his wife has passed the
language test and satisfied UKBA that their relationship is genuine.
Items which Douglas has been allowed to deduct for tax purposes for his income, have been excluded
from the income allowed towards the income threshold of £18,600
Douglas regrets missing out so much on his newborn son’s life: “I will never be able to get these
moments back, such as missing his first smile.” This separation affects the wider family, not just
Douglas. His parents are elderly and therefore incapable of making the journey to Lagos – so they are
yet to meet their new grandson.
Valuable savings are also being spent on travelling to Nigeria to
spend time with his family..so Douglas is suffering from a
financial strain as well. Having family overseas also means he is
working less, because he has to take time off to go see
them..which means his income and
savings situation become more dire. It’s
a downwards spiral he has found himself
in, made all the more worse by Douglas
having to support another household in Nigeria as his wife cannot work with a
newborn and an infant child, Nigerian visa fees and private healthcare cover
for his wife and kids.
Douglas is being forced to support two households rather than the one, if his wife and children were
allowed to be with him in the UK.
Douglas is roughing it himself to make ends meet, renting out the bedrooms in his home and sleeping
on the sofa bed in the living room. If Douglas were allowed to have his family here, he wouldn’t need
to live like this, he’d have his family with him and his income would be spent in the UK, thereby
making a greater contribution to the economy.
The Entry Clearance Officer denied his wife entry into the, stating that there was “nothing stopping
Douglas from living and working in Lagos”. However the officer neglected to consider Douglas's
situation, as he also has a son from a previous marriage, which means he cannot relocate to another
country else it would mean abandoning his first born.

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Emma, Driss…& Aymane
“I don’t know how anyone could expect me to be separated from my baby’s
daddy.”
“My son deserves the best in life I can give him ... I hope I can give him his
daddy as his first ever Christmas present.”
British citizen Emma is 24 years old, with a beautiful son with her husband Driss, a Moroccan citizen. Emma
met Driss while working as a store manager in the international departures terminal at Eurostar. Emma signed
up to a language course to improve her French, which is where she met Driss.
Driss helped Emma with French and she helped him with English. Over time, they became friends and a year
later, fell in love in Marrakech. Driss makes Emma feel secure and she recalls the night she realised she was
in love with him, “ ..the night I fell in love was the world cup final. We were in a restaurant watching the
match, when I fell ill. Driss took me home, staying with me until the pain passed. I knew then that any man
who loves football yet would give up the final for me is special."
They met regularly after that and finally, on Valentine's Day 2011, Driss proposed. In July 2011, Emma
moved to Morocco and got married, with her family attending their wedding; they moved into a traditional
house, without electricity or running water, sharing it with Driss’s family. Not speaking Arabic, Emma found
it difficult to adjust. Driss bought Emma a puppy so she’d have some company while he was at work.
Emma missed her family and returned home in January to visit her mum, and found out she was pregnant.
Emma was advised against travel by the doctor during pregnancy because of the risk to her and her unborn
baby’s health for various reasons (including the conditions in Morocco and Emma’s medical history).
Emma accepted the medical advice and remained in the UK, trying to find a job so Driss could join them.
However, she discovered that jobs were few and far between for a pregnant woman, especially in roles for
which she had experience, i.e. store management positions. The pregnancy started to affect her health and
Emma, terrified at the prospect of having the baby without her husband, had Driss come over for the birth.
A few weeks later, they were blessed with a beautiful son, Aymane Ben. As any parent will confirm, on
holding her son, Emma knew she’d give her life for her son
in order to offer him the best upbringing she could. How
could she raise her first baby in an environment she wasn’t
happy in – wasn’t it her responsibility as a parent to give the
baby the best of everything she could, to protect him?
Emma isn’t sure she can quickly leave her baby to find a job
paying £18,600 – at a time when a baby needs his mum all
the time. Realistically therefore, this family is looking at a
separation of at least 12 months; in his first year, baby
Aymane is forced to be part of a single parent family because
of this government.
Weight gain during pregnancy put a lot of pressure on Emma’s legs; now, she can’t climb the stairs of her
property without a helper and is dependent on him. Emma has also seen mental health workers who believe
splitting up this family puts Emma at grave risk of post-natal depression.
Emma and Driss are applying for compassionate leave to remain, for Driss to be here with the family. The
solicitor they have hired believes they will be refused, despite the family staying together being what is in
the best interest of the child and Emma’s health.

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Eric & Halima
“We are £800 short of the £24,800 threshold and therefore not
allowed to be together as a family.”
Eric is a British resident. He has been living here for 25 years. He met his wife, Halima, whilst on
holiday in Kenya. They hit it off immediately, and about a year later welcomed their beautiful
daughter into the world. They got married and were blessed with a second child, a son. Their family
is complete.

Eric works as a Head Chef. When he applied for a settlement visa for his wife and two children, both
born in Kenya, he earned £23,124. With overtime and bonuses included, he earned £24,000. The visa
was still however refused because this is £800 short of the £24,800 needed to sponsor a spouse and
two children.
Despite Eric not claiming benefits – indeed, by the government’s own account, earns so much he is
disqualified from claiming benefits, this family is told they can’t be together because of £800.
A married couple with two children. A father who has not even seen or held his son. A father who
knows his son through Skype. A father not able to be there for his wife and daughter either.
Eric has tried living in Kenya. However he was unable to find a suitable job. With a family to
support, they decided it made financial sense for Eric to return to the UK, his home and have his
family move here.
But because of £800 they are not allowed to be together.
The family made a video of their plight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KrMqtuvcck

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Fiona, Nate...& William
“They said it is not unreasonable that my British son leave the UK.”
Fiona is a British citizen. Her husband, Nate, is from USA. Their son, William is a British citizen
too. The family believe living in the UK rather than USA is in the best interest of their son. This
decision is their right to make, as parents and a family where two of three members is British.
The Home Office is trying to deport Nate. In doing so, not only are they deemed to be in violation of
article 8, but they jeopardise the rights of British citizens Fiona and William.
Nate has a job offer paying over £18,600. However he is not allowed to work, nor would his income
count towards the income threshold anyway. Fiona works 70 hours a week to make ends meet.
Fiona and Nate met when he came to the UK on a work visa. They fell in love and got married in
2008. Before his work permit expired, Nat applied for and was granted a spouse visa to 2011.
In 2010 the family relocated to USA where Fiona was given a green card for two years. Once their
son was born in 2011, the family realised it would be in his best interest to be raised in UK. So Fiona
and William returned here in August 2012, joined by Nate a month or so later as he finished his work
obligations in USA.
Nate entered the UK as a tourist to ensure the family would celebrate William’s birthday in October
together. He had his return flight to USA booked for a few days later. However, they soon found out
the immigration rules had changed. They realised if as they had intended, Nate returned to the USA
and applied for a spouse visa, they would be refused.
A solicitor advised them to apply whilst Nate was still in the UK, on grounds of the best interest of
their son. Advice they took.
However, whilst waiting for the decision from the Home Office, they were issued a letter by the Home
Office requesting a meeting in Portsmouth. The purpose of the meeting was to determine if Nate had
entered the UK illegally – whether he had been deceitful and to discuss his intentions. At the centre in
Portsmouth, Nate was escorted to a room where he was told he was under caution and questioned.
The officer carrying out the meeting told him normally these kind of meetings would be conducted at
a police station – whether this is genuine or an attempt to intimidate Nate, the family doesn’t know.
The officer concluded that Nate had not been deceitful and that he had entered the UK legally.
Two weeks later, they received a response on their application. It had been refused for several reasons
which they listed as:
• Fiona did not meet the financial requirements
• Nate was in the UK as a tourist
• Nate and Fiona’s relationship is subsiding therefore he doesn’t have sole parental responsibility
• It would not be unreasonable for William to return to the USA to be with his dad. Fiona could
return with them if she so choose.
• Nate had failed to obtain the correct entry level clearance prior to travelling to the UK, especially
given his experience with other applications on previous stays in the UK.
The refusal letter also stated Nate should be removed from the UK and returned to the USA. There
doesn’t appear to be any consideration to the best interest of the child – the British child. The family
has filed an appeal with the First Tier Tribunal and are awaiting a decision on whether their appeal
will be allowed.

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Hayley & Manuel
“I will give this country my all. In return I hope it gives me back my
husband.”
Hayley is a British citizen. Between the ages 10 and 17, Hayley lived in Spain.
She is now 19 years old and is mother to 4-year old Byron. Even though she was only 14 when she fell
pregnant, despite being so young she decided to keep the baby. Even at that age Hayley knew all she
wanted was a family.
When the father of her baby turned abusive – emotionally, mentally and sexually - Hayley suffered for
three years. She was alone in Spain without financial independence and only her son as family – she
felt like she had nowhere to turn. There were times she considered committing suicide, but obtained
strength and hope from her son, who also was her impetus to find the courage to escape. She decided
she did not want her son to witness the abuse; to see his mother being beaten and raped.
Hayley returned home, to England, believing here she would be safe. She had many dreams. She would
continue her education and provide her son with a good life. She felt free and ready for a fresh start.
However, the abuse had left its scars and Hayley sought therapy for the resulting depression, nightmares,
flashbacks and general negativity. Nothing seemed to bring about closure to allow her to truly move
on.
It was then that Hayley met Manuel. A police officer from Colombia who had been sent to England to
learn English. They immediately became great friends and then the relationship developed into more.
Seven years older than her, Manuel provides Hayley with the stability and maturity she needs. He is
intelligent, kind and wonderful with children, including Byron.
Manuel understood Hayley’s pain. He encouraged her to accept the past and love herself. He would
playfight with her, give her a reason to smile every time he walked into the room.
For Hayley and Byron, their lives changed with Manuel’s presence. He provided the happiness that
had been missing and hope that their future could be bright after all. They planned to marry in August
2012, before Hayley started university in October.
Just when everything was going well, it happened. The rules changed.
Hayley was devastated. Here she was about to embark on university, with her husband by her side.
And now she was being told employment not education should be her priority. However at the age of
18, without a university degree, Hayley did not see how she would be able to get a job that paid over
£18,600 anyway.
So Manuel left England. Hayley felt the effects of depression again, was referred to a mental health
department and then diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
Everything suddenly made sense. She wasn't crazy. She had just been affected by many things and
finding happiness just to lose it again, felt worse than ever.
Hayley’s doctor recommended she defer university until she was better. So Hayley decided to go to
Colombia to be with Manuel instead.
Hayley and Byron joined Manuel in December 2012, though she immediately realised that Colombia
wasn't where she wanted to be as it was dangerous and didn't offer good education for her son, let
alone any future children she and Manuel may have.

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She cried and cried; thinking about England night after night. Manuel would simply tell her that one
day she’ll be able to come home again.
The stress caused further health problems, with Hayley suffering from chronic gastritis and IBS. The
doctors recommended she relax and return home where it would be safer.
Hayley ignored the medical advice - she did not want to leave Manuel. In May 2013, the couple got
married – not only making them feel like the happiest couple on earth, but providing Byron with his
wish to have a daddy who would love and raise him. Hayley feels every day that she and Byron are
lucky to have found such a wonderful man.
When Manuel however was posted in an even more dangerous part of
Colombia, they agreed it would be safer for Hayley and Byron to
return home.
Hayley has since been in London seeking employment paying over
£18,600. She is spending a lot of money on babysitters just so she can
attend interviews. She has given up on her dream of going to
university. She is heartbroken and at a loss as to what to tell Byron
when he asks why his daddy is not with them. How can she explain to
a 4-year old that mummy doesn’t earn enough for the government to
let daddy in.
Manuel is a good hardworking man. He isn’t a criminal nor someone
who will sponge off the system or other people. He is willing to leave
his home and career to ensure a better life for his wife and stepson. Manuel is now not only Hayley’s
husband, he is also Byron’s daddy.
Out of the first four months of their marriage, they have only been able to live together for one. Hayley
feels that she hasn’t even had the chance to yet learn what it feels like to be a wife.
She feels betrayed and cheated by her own government. How is it they expect her to find a job paying
£18,600 while having a child to look after, being forced once again into single parenthood? She needs
time to heal and excessive stress is more likely to play havoc with her health.
Hayley is determined to help other people and has written a book about her experience. She hopes to
prevent teenage pregnancies and raise awareness of rape and domestic violence. She is now an author
having self-published her first book through Kindle, “Lead towards the unknown”.
She has dreams and is prepared to give the UK her all. In return she hopes the UK would just allow her
to live with her husband.

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Jade & Merouane
“£18,600...the price of family life”
Jade is a 21 year old British citizen. She has lived abroad for over three years with her parents. So after
moving to Spain in 2007, she met Merouane, from Morocco. In August 2013, they celebrated six years
together.
Due to the deteriorating health of her parents, and the recession that affected
her parents, they were forced to return to the UK in October 2010. Jade
intended for Merouane to follow soon, once she had found a job in the UK,
which she did. However, a short time later, she received the news she was
pregnant with their first child.
While the news was received with delight, there was some trepidation as
Merouane was not with Jade...making his visa application even more urgent.
Jade and Merouane got in touch with an immigration advisor; gathered all the
paperwork and relevant documentation which proved to be very onerous. Jade
continued to battle pregnancy alone as her mum was spending more and more time in hospital...and
when Jade was seven months pregnant, her mother passed away. Merouane was not even able to attend
the funeral at a time when Jade needed him most.
Merouane eventually was granted a visit visa and met their son when he was
two months old. In March 2012, Jade and Merouane got married in a lovely,
intimate ceremony. Jade was delighted to be able to have the same surname as
her son...be a proper family. However, the time for goodbye wasn’t far away.
Merouane had been granted a visa for six months...even though he didn’t want
to go, Jade didn’t want him to leave, they knew they had to follow the rules. So
Merouane returned within the terms of his visa in April 2012, to Spain.
He submitted an application for a spouse visa, to make known their intention to
settle permanently together as a family in the UK. In his application he included
his English exam results. The process was a lengthy one and finally Merouane received a letter. His
application had been refused! The couple appealed, asking the embassy in Madrid to overturn the
decision. This too was refused.
So they paid another fee, to have the appeal sent to court. Jade attended this as Merouane’s
representative in October 2012. The man representing the Home Office made Jade feel very
uncomfortable; spoke to her in an unacceptable manner. She didn’t understand. She was in a court room
on her own, standing up for her and her son’s right to a family...after all, it was her life the court was
deciding on.
Unfortunately, the appeal was also refused because they said that the
right to a family life had not been interfered with, as Jade could move
to Spain with her son..indeed, that her dad could move to Spain as
well...that they would be better off there! The Home Office’s argument
was that as Jade had lived abroad before, what was to stop her now?

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The difference of course, is her son and her dad. The education, upbringing, culture she wants her
nearly two year old son to have. He is a British child who deserves to grow up in Britain. Her dad is 66
years old and not in good health. Jade also needs to be here for him.
The spouse visa application took six months since the date of submitting it, until the final decision came
through during which time the new rules had come into force requiring Jade as a young mum forced
into becoming a single parent to earn over £18,600.
Jade is clear that it’s impossible for her to earn this amount as a single parent.
It screams of rules where only a child with high-earning parents is allowed a
two-parent family. She is also clear that the Home Office is just worried
about statistics and therefore are trying to force British citizens to leave.
Jade is currently juggling two jobs; yet she is unable to earn £18,600 while
also being a single parent. Non-EEA nationals have NO RECOURSE TO
PUBLIC FUNDS, so how is it that her partner will be a drain on the system?
Indeed, if Merouane were able to join Jade, it would actually mean Jade was
less reliant on other taxpayers. He would help ease the burden of parenthood;
the juggling of two jobs, childcare, managing household duties, as well as caring for her dad.
If Jade had her husband by her side, they could work in shifts to ensure someone was always around for
their son and her dad.
It’s clear to her they’d be much better off as a team, bringing in two incomes.
In the meantime, her son is missing out on his dad; she is missing out on having the support of her
husband and her husband is missing out on everything.
Jade will not give up. She refuses to rollover and leave her home country...make her son leave his
home..make her dad leave his home or abandon him. It’s clear to her the fight is not to just be with a
family member, but to ensure children have access to two parents; that our parents have us to look after
us when they need us most, in their old age.
Jade will keep fighting until her family is all together again.

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John, Hayley...& Ryan
“As a British citizen, my country wants me to earn the right to live
with my family”
John is a British citizen born & raised in Edgware, now residing in Texas, USA. John has been living
with Hayley, an American, since June 2009. They both agreed that their long term plans involved
moving to England and raising their children here.
They married in August 2011 and welcomed their beautiful son, Ryan, a year later. Now they thought
the time was right to move to England, wishing Ryan to be close to his 17 year old half sister, cousins,
aunt and uncle who all live here. They want their son to have as good an education as possible, with
English schools consistently ranked higher than their American counterparts. Indeed, they perceive
English schools to be safer as well.
Hayley has been working for four years for the investment bank
JPMorganChase & Co, as an associate level supervisor. It is possible she
could obtain a transfer to the corporate office in London if there were no
visa issues.
John is a labourer. He has 10 years experience working for Royal Mail in
a job he enjoyed and hopes to return to it but positions that meet the
minimum wage requirements for a partner visa do not come easily. Neither
Hayley nor John are eyeing our streets paved with gold.
Hayley is the higher wage earner in their family, earning about $10,000
more per year than John. They are aware it will likely be the same in
England. She enjoys her work, and is very good at it. She is confident that
she will be able to support the family if she were allowed to become a
member of our community.
Ryan is 6 months old. Right now John works evenings and Hayley works during the day. They share
childminding duties around their jobs. Neither can imagine the pain it would cause John to miss Ryan’s
first steps and first words because the land where John was born, the only place he has ever called home,
wants him to earn the right to raise his family there.
The way the rules currently stand this couple faces three options:
a) Raise Ryan in America, while saving to meet the financial criteria - a process that will take years.
b) Risk everything and enter England on a visitor visa while John applies for a job satisfying the income
criteria, then leave the country in order to apply for a spouse visa. Risky and costly.
c) Break up the family up for at least 15 months - Hayley remains in Texas working and raising Ryan
on her own. John works 2 jobs to meet the wage requirements, after a year they would again be in
the position of hoping and praying our application would be approved.

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Juliet
“I am keen for my small family to be near my parents, to gain
recognition of our family as a legal unit and be around to look after
my parents as they get older.”
Juliet, a British citizen and a qualified teacher, lives in Thailand. She is hoping to sponsor her civil partner, a
qualified chef, to return to live in UK with her and their twins. The couple, who met in 2009, planned to live with
Juliet’s parents in West Sussex, but are unlikely to be able to secure work in the area prior to arriving here..
Her family’s local MP is Peter Bottomley.
“We had the most amazing year –success in our attempt to
become pregnant, the wedding in Hanoi. We had no idea about
the new visa rules as we’d been tied up starting our new life
together and supporting Great Britain in the Olympics. We
never planned to raise our family in Bangkok – we were
conscious that we couldn’t be a legal and protected family here.
I feel very strongly that I want the twins to bond closely with my
own parents. We discovered the impact of the new rules and felt
like we’d been hit in the face with a sledgehammer. Absolutely
devastating.”
Juliet and her partner, with their newborn twins

Juliet feels people – including politicians – simply don’t understand the implications of these new rules. She
realises she is one of the lucky BritCits, in the sense that she is currently living with her spouse and employed
abroad; but, despite her earning over the £18,600 threshold, it is unlikely they will be able to move to the UK as
planned. This is especially problematic for them because, as a same-sex couple, they cannot stay together
indefinitely in Thailand where their civil partnership is not recognised; with kids in the picture this is especially
important – UK law allows for Juliet’s partner to register legally as the second parent of their children at birth, but
not to live where these laws apply!
For ex-pats, returning from abroad is a period of great adjustment and the arrangements can be time-consuming.
Juliet was aware that, under the previous rules, she could return to the UK and allow herself some time to adjust
to family life. Juliet and her partner would have been able to look for work with her parents offering support in
the form of childcare and living costs. They would have been able to demonstrate no need to access public funds
as the couple have modest savings of their own and a property in the UK.
Juliet’s parents were more than happy to provide third party support if required and were delighted Juliet wanted
to raise her children close by. They will also need Juliet close by to look after them, as they get older.
All these plans were thrown out the window, however, with the changes on 9 July 2012. The new rules require a
job offer to be signed and sealed in the UK before allowing a successful spouse visa application. As a primary
school teacher with 9 years’ experience, in theory this poses no problem and just a slight change in the couple’s
approach. But getting a job offer as a teacher from abroad is not easy – most schools will require lesson
observations as part of the interview and give preference to those applying from within the UK.
If Juliet wants to move to the UK with her family, her options are now:
a) Find a teaching job in advance, not easy;
b) Move with their children and look for a teaching job, facing at least six months apart from her partner during
the twins’ formative years;
c) Stump up £62,500 in cash and demonstrate she wouldn’t need access to it over the next few years.
In the case of (a) or (b) this would mean a probable move to London, without support from her family; (b) would
mean being a single parent trying to meet the £18,600 income criterion while looking after two children.
London makes proving secure accommodation problematic. Are the couple expected to take out a rental contract
on a London property they have never seen while they await the visa result, throwing money down the drain?
Would they be penalised for applying while using the homes of friends with a spare room, or a couch for Juliet to
sleep on, while she is job hunting?

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The 1985 Overcrowding Act states that living rooms DO count as bedrooms, but the rules’ qualification of ‘for
their exclusive use’ may rule this out. Another example of the measures put in place for no reason other than to
present an obstacle and prevent decent hardworking Brits from exercising their right to live in their own country.
In London, Juliet would also lose the family support she moved home for and her parents would lose the support
they will increasingly need from her. Additionally, she would have to spend half her salary on expenses such as
childcare. In this case, she would qualify for working tax credits – benefits she would not be in need of if she were
just allowed to be here with her partner!! How is breaking this family apart better for the British economy?
As Juliet’s brother is in the same position – working in Tanzania, with a Tanzanian partner – the future is quite
grim for Juliet’ parents, both British, both getting old, and both alone in the UK. For now, they can handle the
long-haul flights to Asia and Africa, but this will become an increasing burden. They are being denied the right to
see their grandchildren and being denied to have, in their old age, their own children around them. Juliet’s parents
were tax-paying public sector workers throughout the whole of their working lives, until retirement. Why should
they too be denied such basic rights by our politicians, who are being paid to look out for British people's interests?
Juliet has been employed without a break since she qualified as a teacher in 2004, is a graduate with not one but
two postgraduate qualifications, and worked in UK state schools for five years. Like many others, she is now being
prevented from returning to her home just because she fell in love with a foreigner.
Juliet’s partner is also a graduate and has also been gainfully employed or managing her own business for ten
years without a break. Juliet says that if the rule changes had come with fair warning, discussion and publicity,
she could have planned her life around them. She never imagined when she left on a two-year work contract in
2009 that she would be prevented from returning to her own country.
The very core of fairness for all applications has been removed: assessment on a case-by-case basis of couples’
demonstration that they won’t need state help. Whatever the government says, people’s whole circumstances
demand proper consideration. By their very definition, the new ‘Fixed Requirements’ are utterly unfair. Juliet
suspects removing the use of discretion and assessment of individual cases results in a reduction in processing
times, thus giving the impression of improved efficiency. Better for Britain? Better for MPs' propaganda!
Tearing apart families causes untold suffering at the most personal level, and the welfare of innocent children
should be properly prioritised. For children, the security and love of their family is of vital importance and
destroying or interrupting them can cause irreparable damage. The Conservatives said this themselves in their profamily pre-election spiel … but is it a qualified importance that can be disregarded on the most arbitrary
technicality? What hypocrisy! What damage they will do!
This isn’t a couple coming to the UK to sponge off benefits. This is
a couple coming to the UK to give
their kids – British kids – a better life, and to provide support and
care for ageing British parents, to allow kids to bond with their
grandparents.
They are not asking for anything more than British citizens have a
basic right to already.

Juliet’s parents with their grandchildren and her partner, in Thailand

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Kate, Fune...& Reggie
“I had my baby without my husband...it was awful!”
Kate is a British citizen who in December 2011, after three years together with the man of her dreams,
married him in Chiang Mai, Thailand. They have been living together, in Thailand, since 2007.
The couple often spoke about moving to the UK and knew that once they had children they would want
to be close to Kate’s family back home. Fune has been to the UK; he likes it here and gets on brilliantly
with his in-laws. Kate’s parents have been out to visit them every year as well. On such a visit in July
2011, the family looked into getting a visa ready for Fune to move to the UK.
They decided it was the right time, what with trying for a baby and a new nephew Kate really wanted
to be there for. Their plan was to spend Christmas in the UK. To their utter shock and horror just as
they were looking at the rules, the rules were being changed in just a matter of days, leaving them with
little hope as EFL teachers, as is Kate’s profession, just don’t earn £18,600 in Thailand.
Kate and her dad scrutinised the rules; the only option seemed to be for her to leave her husband, return
to UK, find a job earning over £18,600. Then after six months, sponsor her husband, endure a further
separation process during the application processing. The couple came to terms with the idea that they’d
have to be apart for quite a long time, when Kate received the news that she was pregnant.
Being in the UK was even more important now, with Kate needing her family’s support. They applied
for a visa for Fune with the help of a lawyer, on human rights grounds. While in process, Kate returned
home with their three dogs, as you can’t fly after the six month mark of pregnancy.
In January 2013, four months after application, they received the refusal letter.
Kate had her baby in the UK without her husband. They also appealed the decision...after all, how is
Kate supposed to go and get a job paying over £18,600 when she has a baby to look after.
They are awaiting the appeal decision while Kate visited Thailand
to be with her husband for two months; to allow father and baby to
bond. However being back in the UK, she is facing single
parenthood again. Savings are spent fighting visa refusals, making
trips halfway round the world to keep the family together as much
as possible.
Kate doesn’t understand why the government doesn’t consider that
cost of living & salary levels overseas are not the same as those in
the UK. How is it in the best interests of the child to be separated from Daddy? Why is the government
forcing women to be single parents??!
Kate and Fune don’t want to raise their child in Thailand; healthcare, safety, education are all issues.
The main reason though is they want their child growing up with grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles.
He deserves that!!
Theresa May is keeping this family apart for no good reason. Kate’s parents are in a position to help
out this family. Fune is an artist and tattooist who could easily find work here. With not letting Fune
in, Kate is forced to claim benefits – how does that make sense? If they allowed Fune here, he’d work
and Kate wouldn’t need government support.
Clearly, their argument of "burden on the tax payer" is a farce when Fune is ineligible from claiming
benefits anyway.

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Kelly
“All I have left is the hope that, one day, these rules will be made
fairer, so I have a chance at the family life we so desperately want.”
Kelly is a 27-year-old British woman married to an Egyptian man, with whom she has a son (British).
They met in December 2009 while she was holidaying in Egypt, following which she spent a year
travelling to Egypt for weeks at a time to see, meet and spend time with his family. They married in
October 2010 and have just celebrated their second wedding anniversary albeit, sadly, not together.
After they got married, they lived in Egypt, but it was a huge culture shock for Kelly; despite her
numerous visits there is a big difference between visiting and living there. While they tried their best to
make it a home for her, she just couldn’t fit in with the lifestyle and the culture there.
Soon after moving to Egypt she fell pregnant; although she was extremely happy and excited about
becoming a mum for the first time, she couldn’t enjoy the pregnancy as she would have liked.
Thus Kelly and her husband decided she would go back to England to have the baby and her husband
applied for a visit visa to be there for the birth. Unfortunately the visa was refused. At that point Kelly
decided to stay in Egypt for the birth, as she wanted her husband with her for the birth of their first child.
But in her seventh month of pregnancy she developed DVT and was hospitalised in Egypt. For reasons
of safety, Kelly and her husband decided it would be better if she went to the UK, without him, for the
birth to ensure she received proper treatment in case there were any further complications.
Their son is now three and half months old and has yet to meet his father. It's a very hard situation to be
in, knowing that not only is her husband missing out on their son’s life, but that their son is missing out
on getting to know his father.
Kelly would like to be reunited with her husband but is undergoing medical treatment and is cautious
about raising her son in a place that she hasn’t been able to adjust to herself.
Under the current immigration rules though, she’s finding it impossible to envisage a situation where
she, her husband and their baby could live together. For her, a salary of £18,600 for her might as well
be £186,000 it is so difficult to attain.
It’s sad this family is torn apart because our government puts a price on being a family and Kelly dared
to fall in love with someone from outside the EU; so now she is being forced either to live as a single
mother, without her husband, or to move to Egypt where she doesn’t want to live, despite the fact that
both Kelly and her son are British and thus, effectively, being kicked out of their own home and their
own country.
Kelly spends all day thinking of ways of being the happy family she always wanted to have, but options
are running thin. All she has left is hope that one day the rules will be made fairer, so she’ll have a
chance at the family life she so desperately wants and should have the right to.
Update: Kelly’s husband received a visit visa in December 2012 after winning
the appeal, returning to Egypt in May 2013 as per his visa conditions. Kelly and
their son went to Egypt in June to see the family there in June. While it was great
at the beginning, because of the political situation, they are now stuck in an
apartment, which given Kelly’s history of DVT is not healthy. Kelly intends to
return to the UK and find work paying over the threshold, which won’t be easy
being forced into single parenthood.

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Kevin
“I haven’t seen my wife and son in nearly a year and my family in
Britain hasn’t met or held my son.”
Kevin is a British citizen who met his wife while travelling and they have been together for five years,
though they were in no hurry to move to the UK.
After being made redundant by his insurance-company employer, they decided to live in Asia for a
couple of years. While in Hong Kong, they were blessed with a beautiful son.
As Kevin does not have a degree, finding a suitable job in Asia proved to be near impossible, but with
a child to look after it was imperative that Kevin have a good job and provide for his family.
So Kevin decided to return to the UK and six months later he obtained a permanent job with a basic
salary of £16,000. Two months into this job, however, the government brought in the minimum
threshold, meaning that his target earnings would keep him way below the threshold.
With bonuses the £18,600 may be achievable, but given the volatile nature of sales, there might be the
odd month where he cannot maintain the annual average required, which means that his wife’s visa
application would be rejected.
Kevin has been living apart from his wife and near-one-year-old son for almost a year. He has already
missed his son’s first Christmas; he will miss his first birthday, and he will only see his son’s first steps
on Skype, rather than in person.
Kevin is close to a nervous breakdown; whenever he sees a family together with a toddler his heart sinks
and he is unable to put aside everything he is missing out on.
Kevin’s wife’s family think Kevin has chosen to leave his wife and son in their home country rather
than bring her to the UK. This has brought shame on his wife's family as well as embarrassment.
Kevin’s immediate British family have neither met nor held his son. His son does not know his British
family. The new rules are a prison sentence for Kevin and his family.
Even if Kevin were to find a job paying £18,600, the visa process requires that he wait six months before
applying for a spouse visa. This is far too long, especially when you have been living apart for a year
already. This Tory government is demonstrating how out of touch it is with the people of Britain today.
For the sake of everybody’s sanity, welfare, physical and mental health, these rules must be scrapped
sooner rather than later.

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Leighsa & Scott
“We don’t want public funds, we just want a chance to be a family.”
Leighsa is a British citizen who met her husband Scott, in the UK more than 21 years ago when he was
stationed here with the US Air Force. They spent 14 years together and had a beautiful son, Alex, in
2002.
The couple got married in 2005 and their marriage survived the pressures of modern life relating to
juggling parenthood, work, relationships and even a period of separation when Leighsa and Alex
returned to the UK from USA. UK is the only home Alex has ever really known.

However when Scott applied for a visit visa in 2010, he was refused as he didn’t have a job in the US.
The couple went into battle against the Home Office in the appeals court and won a 2-week visit. When
Scott applied for a visit visa again a year or so later, he was once again refused, so Leighsa and Alex
have not seen Scott for over a year.
Leighsa is working. But she doesn’t earn anywhere near £18,600. She does however earn enough to
support her husband. However the immigration rules take no consideration of that.
Leighsa and Scott don’t have the money to fight the Home Office yet again. Alex needs to see his dad,
his dad needs to see his son. A son who is 11 years old and in need of his father. A son who is going to
start at a new school, on the verge of his teenage years when a father’s mere presence, let alone support,
can make so much difference.
Leighsa and Scott are both experiencing issues by the enforced separation. Leighsa suffers from anxiety
for which she is seeking medical help and little Alex is just depressed and crying a lot. This is yet
another family resorting to Skype to ensure parent-child are able to ‘see’ each other, but it’s a route
which doesn’t allow for hugs and kisses...the daily support. Maintaining a marriage with 3500 miles is
also not a picnic. Being a single mother, especially when it’s not out of choice, is stressful.
Scott is a qualified computer technician - his earning capacity is huge. Leighsa is in university hoping
to extend her own earning capabilities also – this is a family that does NOT want public funds. All they
want is a chance to be a family, to raise their son in his country of nationality – UK - and do the right
thing by him.

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Liz & Abdullah
“I have seen a very ugly side to the UK immigration system.”
Liz is a British citizen who lives in London. She is married to Abdullah, originally from Yemen.
Abdullah moved to Jordan to try and learn English. However, he failed the test twice.
Liz speaks fluent Arabic and is able to communicate with her husband. The English language
requirements meant that Liz went through her pregnancy completely alone.
She gave birth to twins alone and has since been recovering from a horrendous pregnancy where she
had to be hospitalised, due to having given birth via Caesarean section where she could have died due
to severe blood loss.
Liz went through all this alone; she was left to recover without her husband whilst also raising twins
with minimal help, but none from her husband because the Home Office would not allow it.
The couple went from application to application; appeal to appeal (fighting for compassionate
exemption from the English language exam due to circumstances).
Liz is devastated; she has seen a very ugly eviI side to the UK immigration system. Her family has
been through so much, and paid thousands of pounds down the drain in solicitor, barrister and
application fees.
The conclusion she has reached is that the welfare of our citizens and our citizen children amounts to
nothing in this country. She is convinced that animals would be treated better than any British citizen
and their British children, unless you are really rich.
Both Liz and Abdullah had suicidal thoughts before they had twins. With the babies they have found
a will to fight the system.
Liz has undergone therapy for the anguish the separation and the battle have caused – mental, physical
and emotional.
It sure feels to Liz that she is being treated as a criminal simply for marrying a non-EU citizen.

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Lizzie & Alexander
“I’m angry, hurt and upset. I meet the financial requirements yet they
rejected my husband’s application. This is clearly discrimination
against women.”
Lizzie is a British citizen living in Devon. Her husband Alexander, is a doctor from Ecuador. They lived
together for four and a half years in Chile, two years of which they were married for.
They married in June 2011 in UK, in Lizzie’s local church, before returning to Chile where Lizzie worked
as a financial consultant and Alexander eventually as a consulting doctor. Their daughter was born in
February 2012 following which they decided to relocate to UK to be close to Lizzie’s family and ensure their
daughter benefited from a British education. NHS is also looking to fill 2000 GP accident and emergency
vacancies. By Lizzie’s side is a GP desperate for the chance to be with his family, integrate and contribute
to the NHS and save British lives. If only he were so allowed.
They submitted Alexander’s application in November 2012 and
then, nothing. No emails, no calls, no news. In February 2013, Lizzie
and her daughter came to UK expecting Alexander would follow
soon. In March 2013, Lizzie complained about the delay to
WorldBridge. The response, a refusal. The couple has been apart for
several months already. Father and daughter have been apart for the
same length of time. The family is missing out on sharing precious
‘first’ moments which can never return.
What makes the situation worse is that Lizzie’s income in Chile
combined with cash savings, actually meets UKBA’s financial
requirement. Yet UKBA manufactured a reason to refuse, stating
Lizzie had not continued employment for the six month period prior to the application since her income was
from maternity payments i.e. that maternity pay was not evidence of continuous employment. This is despite
Lizzie having sent a certificate signed by her employer in Chile stating her continued employment.
The couple on their last day together, their
daughter’s 1st birthday in February 2012

UKBA said Lizzie had not shown evidence of her savings. This despite her having submitted bank
statements, although she admits they were a few months older – an ISA which only sends out statements on
an annual basis and premium bond statements which were first sent to Lizzie’s parents home and then to
Chile. But the money was there and she did the best she could to obtain evidence of her UK savings from
Chile, while also juggling recent motherhood.
Lizzie is furious that rules clearly discriminating against women are in place; rules which systematically
penalise women - for having kids, for adopting the traditional role of homemaker, for sacrificing their career
to care for their family. For being women - who historically and statistically are paid less than men.
Legal advice indicates Alexander won’t qualify for a visitor’s visa as he has displayed an intent to live here.
So the only way for the family to see each other is for Lizzie to travel to Ecuador, on a 15+ hour flight with
a toddler. She can’t remain there as she is employed here and doesn’t want to jeopardise her income here
lest she lose her appeal. So she is juggling childcare and employment.
The real victim of these rules is Lizzie and Alexander’s little girl. Geneva Convention was created to protect
families from exactly this sort of abuse. Her daughter only sees daddy through Skype for an hour each day
and her mother is constantly stressed, tired and struggling. This is not how their family was. They were so
happy. Lizzie never dreamed the system could get things so wrong; her family is torn apart just so politicians
can say they’re being "tough on immigration". She is upset British citizens are made the scapegoats for a
political agenda. She’s hurt UK has let her down; angry that no one is accountable for the misery caused.
Following the visa refusal the couple appealed; they engaged the services of a barrister and contacted
Lizzie’s local MP who was very matter of fact about the situation, with the conversation revolving around

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"why my husband is a contribution to the country". This surprised Lizzie as to her Alexander not being
allowed to live with them was clearly outrageous, whether or not he was skilled. Without him Lizzie was a
single mother, dependent on her parents and had it not been for them, dependent on the state! Lizzie felt
her self-worth and abilities to perform as a mother and employee had been severely undermined by the
extra stress and strains of constantly worrying about reuniting the family.
The MP wrote a letter of support to the ECO in Brazil in April 2013. In the meantime, Lizzie found herself
desperately coaxing her daughter to "perform" on Skype to satisfy the increasingly frustrated and worried
Alexander that the little girl was alright, happy, and though missing him, coping. But the child rebelled
against the tedium of screen-time – crawling, standing and walking for the first time, without her dad.
Slowly, Spanish was forgotten and English took its place. However, none of this seemed of any
importance; only Lizzie’s income was looked at.
Lizzie went to the media to share the plight of her family at the hands of the Home Office, and like so
many, even wrote to David Cameron. And like so many, she received a standard response that her letter
had been forwarded to the Home Office. In November 2013, the couple heard back with another refusal
from the ECM. By now, Lizzie had worked for 6 months, earning a salary in excess of £18,600. Despite
the refusal, this information was sent to the ECM for review once again.
By this time though Lizzie had lost all faith in UK immigration and thus looked at alternatives for family
unity, like living in another EU country. Desperate to be together for Christmas the family decided to meet
in Ireland, to then scope out options but at least, spend the holidays together. In the previous ten months,
the family had been together for only three weeks and the separation was taking its toll.
Lizzie drove for seven hours to Holyhead and took the ferry to Dublin on December 16th. Whilst on the
ferry, Lizzie received an email from her MP indicating that their appeal had been subject to a special
review, and that a decision had been made to grant the visa. Lizzie could not believe it. The turnaround,
the timing, that in fact it was all over….that the next time the couple said goodbye it would be for a matter
of weeks, not months! It was the best Christmas present one could have asked for. Lizzie drove straight
from the ferry to Dublin airport to pick up Alexander and told him the good news. The next three weeks
were like a fairy tale, with the couple starting 2014 together and knowing they would be finally able to say
we would continue together. To this day Lizzie isn’t sure why the application was reviewed; the news
reports, the letter to the PM or the email to her MP which showed six months employment in the UK?
Whatever, the family is grateful they are finally together.
Update January 2015:
Alexander has been in the UK for eleven months and the family couldn't be happier. The couple had to relearn how to live together; adapt to sharing parenting duties and allow Alexander to make mistakes Lizzie
already had, to get to know their daughter once again, and forge a father-daughter relationship. Shortly
after his arrival, Alexander was unwilling to discipline their daughter for fear she wouldn't love him. Now
he is far more secure of his importance in her life and feels confident in taking a more fatherly role in her
upbringing. They have "in jokes", sing special songs together and even take days out without Mummy.
Alexander has adjusted to speaking English all the time, working in a factory job until he the now more
suitable job working at Virgin Health Care, living with his in-laws, English food, our climate, and making
new friends. Red tape around trivial things like car insurance and NINO meant he relied on Lizzie
constantly reiterating how much independence he had lost.
The couple has had to be patient with the other and don’t forget how fortunate they are to be together, nor
the misery of being apart. They start 2015 with much to look forward to, with Lizzie on the verge of
completing her AAT accountancy qualification and the imminent arrival of their second child.
Lizzie says: “I think our lives will always be a little more complicated than your average British family but
together we can overcome so much. We are positive about our future in the UK and feel fortunate but I
remember how hard it was to get here and wish the best of luck to those struggling against these rules. I
had so much support from my family and from the people I turned to for help; my MP, local journalist and
the community I live in. I know others have many more hurdles and I hope they find a way to battle on, to
not give up; I hope these rules change.”

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Lorraine
“My daughter can’t leave the country and her husband can’t remain
here. What about their innocent son. Why should a British child be
forced to live without a parent?”
Lorraine is a British citizen. She is also a mother to a British citizen, Emma, and a grandmother to a
British citizen, Aymane. Her son-in-law, Driss, happens to be Moroccan. And herein lies the source of
the battle this family has been waging with UKBA for months now.
Emma met Driss and as has been happening since the beginning of
time, this young couple fell in love. They got married and several
months later Lorraine received the wonderful news she was to be a
grandma.
Lorraine and her husband visited Emma and Driss in Morocco. They
were horrified to see their daughter living with no electricity or running
water; sleeping on a floor. Certainly no place for Emma to be in during
her pregnancy.
For various reasons, Lorraine’s daughter returned to the UK to give birth, assured she’d be looked after
by her mum through the rest of the pregnancy. While the entire family was delighted, they were more
so when Driss received a visit visa to be with Emma for the birth of their first child
Lorraine’s gorgeous little grandson was born in September 2012, and Lorraine doesn’t have the words
to explain how much she loves and cherishes him. He is her world and she’d go to the end of it for him.
While it was never Emma’s intention to remain in the UK, shortly after giving birth she became disabled
– diagnosed with severe arthritis. Much of Lorraine’s time is spent with Emma - helping and supporting
her. It is not possible for Emma to return to living in basics with her health as is – without her mum to
help her.
Emma is currently having chemotherapy to suppress her immune system attacking her joints. She
therefore needs full time care which she receives from her husband, and Lorraine when she isn’t
working. Emma is unable to leave the country. And UKBA have told Driss he isn’t allowed to remain
in the country.
Surely everyone is entitled to a family life, Lorraine asks why should her grandson be left without a
daddy ?
Lorraine’s daughter and son-in-law have appealed for him to stay in the UK; the fate of this family is
currently in the hands of UKBA. It is impossible for Emma to earn £18,600. Lorraine would always
support her daughter, son-in-law and grandson financially. There is no reason this family would be a
burden on the taxpayer...if only the government would let them remain a family

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Neil & Emily
“All I want is for the nightmare to end and my family to remain
together in my home country”
Neil's story highlights the nature of the attack on British citizens from both, the rules & how they’re
applied to those who wish to exercise their right to live in their homeland without sacrificing core values
of family relationships.
Neil is a British citizen, married to Emily, who is from the Philippines. Neil first met Emily whilst
working in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. They dated for several years and in October 2011, they got
married. Not long after the wedding they received the joyous news that Emily was expecting their first
child. Neil and Emily began to plan their future and looked forward to embracing the challenges and
rewards of parenthood. They became the proud parents to Lucy.
Neil and Emily made plans to introduce their daughter to their large
family in North West England. They applied for a visitor visa for Emily
and when the application was successful, booked their flights and
returned home for a visit. Unfortunately, a spanner was thrown in the
works when Neil lost his job after 15 years loyal service, in London and
UAE. So this family – of two Brits – decided to relocate to Preston,
Neil’s hometown.
They hoped this would provide a stable, nurturing environment to raise
Lucy in, benefiting from a world-renowned English education system the education system Neil was schooled in, in his homeland, as a British
citizen. Neil with his extensive experience found a job in UK.
He researched the process of returning to the UK and dutifully gathered
together the relevant documentation needed. On 20th November 2012, they submitted a visa application
for Emily, asking for leave to remain as the spouse of a British citizen. After nearly 4 months, they
received a reply from UKBA – the application had been denied. The words “Decision to Refuse to Vary
Leave to Enter or Remain” remain burnt in Neil’s mind as the wonderful future they had planned came
crashing to the ground. Further reading revealed UKBA rejected their application on the following
grounds:
a) Neil and Emily’s marriage is not recognised as a valid marriage in the UK
b) No evidence was provided of Lucy’s existence
c) Emily was granted leave to remain as a visitor and therefore does not meet the requirements of ELTRP 2.1
Neil regards all these reasons baseless on the following grounds:
a) According to UKBA’s own website, Neil and Emily’s marriage is valid in UK: “In most cases a
marriage certificate will provide satisfactory evidence that a marriage has taken place.”
Neil and Emily’s marriage meets all the requirements for a legal marriage in UAE; with Emily’s
application they submitted a marriage certificate which was verified, approved, and stamped by the
British Embassy. UKBA has not yet returned this certificate.
b) Neil has a birth certificate for Lucy, in English and Arabic; they had notified the Consulate General
at the British Embassy in Dubai of Lucy’s birth. Lucy also has her own British passport. While Neil
did not submit this information with his wife’s application, UKBA should have been able to locate this
information given it had already been submitted to representatives of its own government. Or failing
that, ask Neil for this information!

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On c) Neil is perplexed as according to the information available on UKBA’s website, they should have
been able to switch categories of visas.
It’s not surprising that this family fees that UKBA is just finding reasons
to punish them. Indeed, even Citizens’ Advice Bureau has struggled to
understand this third point of contention.
UKBA has indicated they plan to ‘remove’ Emily wife from UK and send
her back to the Philippines if they do not appeal against this unfair
decision. They have also told this family that should the appeal fail,
Emily will not be able to return to the UK for another 10 years. Emily is
the wife and mother of British citizens, who are now left at a loss,
overcome with the fear that by appealing an unfair decision they could
lose and thus be faced with a 10 year ban, or accept an unfair decision
and not be able to live in the UK!
Neil must either accept that the family will be broken up by UKBA or their family unit will be forced
to leave UK in order to stay together.
All this family wants is for the nightmare to end. Neil and Emily are British citizens, and they should
be treated as such. Their family and their values should also be respected and cherished - not dismissed.
Neil’s story has also been covered in the local media
http://www.lep.co.uk/community/shock-as-filipino-wife-faces-being-thrown-out-of-britain-1-5505434
It’s a sad day when two British citizens are made more welcome in the Middle East than the UK, just
because their mother and wife is Filipino.

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Nick, Courtney...& Elliott
”We are a real family and have the right to live as such.”
Nick is a British citizen married to an American citizen. When Nick met Courtney,
his now wife, it was a romance like any other, at least at the beginning. Boy meets
girl, boy falls for girl and girl (eventually) falls for boy. Except this boy and girl are
from two different countries.
Nick is from Southampton, England and Courtney from Chicago, USA. A sequence
of events led to them both being in a little town in Central Louisiana at the same
time – and from then on, the course of their lives would never be the same.
It was November 2003 when Nick and Courtney began what they both thought would be a short lived
fun flirtation. With Nick due to return to England in December they hardly had the time to allow
themselves to get caught up in one another, but you know what they say about the best laid plans…
While Courtney’s brain and heart were in constant battle, she couldn’t stop herself from falling in love
with Nick, particularly after a surprise Thanksgiving trip he made to her native Chicago. There he met
with Courtney’s family, friends, and was taken on a whirlwind tour of the city and Courtney’s old
haunts.
For Courtney, it was the trip that sealed the deal and opened her eyes to the chance that the man she
was dating could be her future husband and best friend.
After only a month of dating, Nick returned to England and the couple was left brokenhearted. Courtney was swept up into an international love story; a rollercoaster of fun, adventure,
romance but also devastation and heart-wrenching goodbyes at airport terminals.
So Courtney did what any girl would do. She followed her man across the Atlantic, beginning the
accumulation of frequent flier miles and a continuation of an international love story.
The time together in England was magical. Courtney met Nick’s family and friends. She learnt about
our culture and was swept away by it all. Shortly after returning to Louisiana, Courtney decided to
look into options of moving to the UK, to allow them to continue the relationship without it being a
long-distance romance.
Courtney was successful in obtaining a work visa through Bunac and a
student visa through the exchange program between Louisiana College
and Brunel in London. She came to the UK as soon as possible, living
with Nick’s family for six months until moving to London for her
semester at Brunel. When the exchange program was completed, Nick
and Courtney were practically inseparable. It was clear they were in it
for the long haul. However Courtney had to return to the US to finish
her degree in Wisconsin.
Several years later after many trips back and forth, they decided the good-byes had to stop and they got
married in July 2007. While this relationship started in Louisiana and blossomed in England, it became
official in Wisconsin, where Nick and Courtney got married and currently reside with their toddler son.
Their plan has always been to return to England to raise their family and after many hard knocks in the
US, they opted to fast track the plan and move to the UK in March 2013. Little did this family know
that since last looking at the immigration requirements, things had taken a turn for the worse.

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Courtney is amazed our rules are more stringent and imposing than in America, which despite being a
process rife with red tape, welcomed Nick, granting granted him permanent residency.
Nick never imagined the hurdles the family would have to go through
to allow him to live in his home country with his family. This couple
had thought they had shared their last goodbye once they got engaged
in 2006. On the day they said their, I do’s, it never occurred to them
that they’d be going through the same thing six years later...let alone
putting their son and families through the same emotional ordeal.
The family has been apart since May 2013. It’s difficult enough being
away from your best friend and partner but to have their child without his father is just indescribably
cruel and difficult to explain to a child. The whole family has been ripped apart and what should have
been a fun summer running after their little boy together has become misery.
With the couple missing celebrating together their six year wedding anniversary and Elliott’s 3rd
birthday, the family is growing desperate to find a way to reunite.
Nick is yet to find a job paying over the magical £18,600. However even once he does, it’s a wait of
over six months while he collects pay slips, and then the application processing period which can take
several months in itself at the most optimistic.
Nick and Courtney have good days and bad days; as the time passes though, their patience is running
out and so are their options. The family is considering exercising the treaty rights afforded to them by
the EU in order to be a family – a right denied to them by our own government.
They are still keen on making England their home; being close to
Nick’s family and allowing Elliott the opportunity to learn about his
culture and bond with his family...but they’re also finding it hard to
rationalise staying and paying taxes in a country that so clearly does
not want them.
To say that this couple was blindsided by these new requirements
is an understatement. There have been a lot of tears, anger, and
resentment but in adversity the couple is also getting stronger, especially through the support network
they have come across with others similarly affected by clearly unfair immigration rules.
This is a real family with the right to live as such. They have faith that with love in their hearts and
fight in their gut, they will triumph over a ludicrous government policy. For now the family takes each
day as it comes in the hope that something will materialise allowing mum, dad and Elliott to be all
together again.
Nick,
form:

Courtney

and

Elliot’s

story
is
also
in
video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFxCcrBcWmU

Update: The family will be relocating to Ireland and exercising their treaty rights in September 2013, in order
to be together once more. Rights which denied to them by the UK government are afforded to them by the EU.

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Nicola & Tarik
“Just when my son and I have found a wonderful man to give us the
family life we so desire, UKBA persists in snatching away our chance
at happiness.”
British citizen Nicola met her husband Tarik, in 2008 while visiting her parent’s holiday home in
Turkey.
After returning home they exchanged emails, phone calls and chatted
online. In early 2009, they began to speak more frequently as their
feelings developed from just friends to something more.
They made arrangements to meet in Turkey in May 2009, where they
spent two weeks together. Nicola, Tarik and Nicola’s six year old son,
MJ, were inseparable. It just felt right.
Since then they have been in a long term relationship, with Nicola and
MJ going to visit Tarik as often as possible. Tarik also came to the UK
in June 2009 where he combined work with a visit to Nicola and MJ. He
stayed in the UK for less than eight days – within the visa limit.
Nicola is somewhat an entrepreneur. In October 2010 she opened a barber shop, making it more difficult
to travel. So they applied for Tarik to come visit them in April 2011 to coincide with MJ’s school
holidays, in order to all be able to spend more time together. However, the application was refused!
UKBA deduced that Tarik was trying to deceive them, because he had not mentioned visiting Nicola
during his 2009 visit. They assumed he had not met his business contact (even though he had).
UKBA assumed because Tarik on his initial application said he was divorced then on the next one said
he was single, meant he was trying to deceive them.
UKBA threatened them with paragraph 320 (7A), mentioning any future applications could be refused
under 320(7B) which could attract an automatic refusal of up to 10 years.
Despite this, Nicola and Tarik re-applied and addressed the assumptions UKBA had made. However
the application was automatically refused under 320(7B) with no reasons for the decision. UKBA stated
that as he had previously been refused by failing to provide information, any future applications would
automatically be refused for the same reason until 26/02/2019. Nicola felt like Tarik was being treated
like a criminal.
In July 2012 they heard that the rules had changed and that financially, Nicola would no longer qualify
to have her foreign spouse living with her. In August 2012 Nicola found out she was pregnant.
Nicola and Tarik are ecstatically happy to be expecting their daughter. They got married in September
2012 with all her family travelling to Turkey from Scotland. It was a wonderful time, despite the stress
of knowing they would continue to be apart. They decided as a family to live in the UK to save any
upheaval to MJ's life and education. Nicola continues to try and build her business while being a single
parent to her son.
They were hoping Tarik could join them for the baby scan and return in April for the birth. However,
the family visit visa was refused. UKBA said they did not believe Tarik’s bank statement was accurate.
They also did not believe that Tarik would leave the UK. It was also noted that as Tarik had the previous
refusal under 320(7B), any future applications would also be automatically refused for the same reason.
Nicola is bemused. She has planned her daughter to receive her first immunisation and then taking her
to Turkey to meet her grandparents. She doesn’t understand how UKBA can make their own judgement
and assume what their intentions are.

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Which brings us to where we are now.
Nicola’s pregnancy is tainted with stress. She will need to take maternity leave, she will need to find
someone to replace her to run the business while she is not working and she needs to be a single mum
to her son. With her husband by her side, the burden would be shared and halved.
Tarik and MJ have built a great bond even through the distance. MJ has been asking since the
wedding, "when is Tarik coming?" "Can we put the Christmas tree up as a family this year" (last year
they flew to Turkey on Christmas day).
After the visit visa was refused telling MJ was heartbreaking. The ten year old was crying and sobbing,
and not understanding why he could not be with his step dad, like the other kids at school.
MJ rubs Nicola’s tummy telling his baby sister that it will all be ok when she comes. A ten year old
child should not have to experience this worry and confusion. Just as he has found this family life he
so desires, his step dad is not allowed to be part of his daily life. He was let down by his biological
father, now when they both have a wonderful man in their lives, who wants to take care of them, they
are denied the right to that family life by the UK government.
Update: Nicola is due to give birth to her daughter without her husband by her side in April 2013.
Nicola and her kids plan to visit Tarik in Turkey in June 2013 and allow Tarik’s parents to spend time
with their newest grandchild. Nicola and Tarik will then relocate to Ireland with their children. While
Nicola is finding the idea of moving to a new country with two kids daunting, as she says ‘..but it’s a
way to live a family life together’.

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Nikki, Juan…& Jayden
“Despite being in a genuine loving relationship, the government has forced me
into being a single mum and juggling work. Family life is supposed to be a
right, not a privilege, but it sure doesn’t feel like it!”
British citizen Nikki is 32 years old and lives in Aberdeen, Scotland. She has a two year old son, Jayden,
with her partner, Juan. Juan is Canadian. Nikki lives in Aberdeen with their son, while her partner lives
in Canada.
Nikki and her partner are in a genuine and loving relationship; they have been forced apart due to the
Canadian support system letting them down. Since leaving Canada three months after their son was
born, Nikki has been spending half her life in Canada and the other here; six months in Canada, six in
the UK.
Nikki’s partner was refused leave to enter to the UK
in 2010 and therefore missed their son’s first
Christmas. Subsequently, his application for a
visitor’s visa and entry clearance were also rejected,
despite their doing everything they were asked to –
provided letters from employers, landlords, bank
statements and showed their bank balance; but were
still refused. Now Nikki’s partner has no right to
come here to visit his son which has forced her into
becoming a single working mother living on a part
time wage and living between two countries.
Nikki has to earn at least £18,600 a year and have a home for them to live in before she can apply. This
is impossible as at the moment Nikki works just to live every day.
Their lives are quite simple with simple goals – they want to work to provide for themselves and their
son and to watch him grow. They want to be a family and do family things such as take him to
Disneyland, enrol him in a good school and secure a future for him. At the moment they don’t see any
of that. The right to live a normal life seem so distant – and living in two countries, they’re not even
able to provide their son with stable life.
Nikki’s parents live in Aberdeen and have done all their lives. They both have secure jobs and have an
amazing relationship with Nikki and their grandson. The support and comfort Nikki gets from her
parents is exactly what she wants for her son; but she also can’t deprive him of growing up without his
father. A great number of fathers and even mothers choose not to be part of their child’s life. However,
in this case they choose to love and stand by each other and be a family – yet they are being forced apart
by politicians.
Nikki and her partner do not want to live here illegally; they are not asking for handouts and they both
have clean criminal records. They both want to work and pay their taxes. They just want to be a family.
Every year, Nikki has to resign from her job so she can go to Canada for six months. Every year she has
to watch her son’s bond with his father being cruelly broken. Every year, she hopes the next will be
different.

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Families with children

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Sarah
“As a result he missed the birth of his first-born child.”
Sarah is a British citizen from Bradford. Sarah met her husband in the UK, and they lived together as a
family in England for 18 months before his visa expired. They should qualify for the right to live
together under the Zambrano ruling but delays on the part of UKBA are keeping this family in limbo.
Sarah has two kids from a previous relationship, and a child with her husband (this is her first marriage)
who she is trying to sponsor to move to the UK from Turkey, so their family can be together. Her two
eldest kids call her husband dad, even though he is not their birth father. That is how close this family
is.
Sarah does not satisfy the £18,600 income threshold. She is in receipt of benefits, including income
support and child tax credit. However, this will change when her husband joins her, as once he is
working (there is already a job lined up) Sarah will cease to be eligible for benefits which are means
tested (although she will continue to receive tax credits in respect of the children).

Sarah relocated to Turkey with her family and eventually decided to move back to the UK for her
children’s education. They applied for a visitor's visa for her husband, so that he could be here for their
child’s birth, but the visa was refused on the grounds that because his family was in England they
thought he may not return to Turkey. As a result he missed the birth of his first-born child.
It has not been an easy time for Sarah, what with having to give birth alone, raise not one but three kids
alone, and then have a faulty toaster set their house on fire.
Sarah, her husband and the three children stay in touch using MSN, a webcam and Web chat every day.
They have applied for a spouse visa for him; however, under the new rules, they may as well just donate
more money to the British government which seems intent on tearing apart this family rather than
understanding that being with her husband is what would be best for Sarah and her three children.

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Sarah (Malaysia)
“I have two kids who miss their dad so much...even our appeal date
is 9 months ahead.”
Sarah is a British citizen. She has two children, aged 2 and 4. Her husband is a Malaysian citizen. While
Sarah and their kids returned to the UK over 15 months ago, her husband is still in Malaysia. He was
not granted a family visa. In December he was refused entry because Sarah did not earn £18,600, even
though they submitted bank statements showing savings and job offers exceeding this amount.
They put in an appeal in January and were given an appeal date in October 2013.
Despite being turned into a single parent to two children, Sarah is not claiming a penny in benefits. Her
husband is paying for everything. Including the solicitor they have hired for the appeal.
Her four year old cries every day for her dad; the stress is taking its toll on all of them.
The family miss each other and are exploring all avenues to unity.
Update:
On 24th October, Sarah had her appeal hearing in London. In what is becoming more and more
prevalent, yet another applicant beat the Home Office. The judge ruled that the original submission
does show they meet the financial requirements and therefore the couple has evidenced they have
sufficient money, and ruled on section 8 of right to a family life.
The judge has asked the Home Office to rush through the application as the family has been apart for
long enough.

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Sarah (Thailand)
“I can’t believe I may never be able to return home, as breaking up
my family for several months just isn’t feasible.”
Sarah is a British citizen living in Thailand with her Thai husband.
She initially came to Thailand to work with Burmese refugees but
fell in love and started a family--always with the intention of
returning to the UK.
Under the new rules Sarah’s salary does not meet the financial
requirement, nor will it ever. Indeed, it would be near impossible to
find a job in Thailand that would meet the requirements as local
salaries are simply not in line with those in the UK.
However, combined with her husband’s salary, they meet the requirements, but the new rules do not
permit his income to be considered.
So, to return to the UK, we are now facing the choice of:
a) Sarah returns alone with their two children, seeks employment paying over the stipulated salary
while placing them in full-time childcare and somehow coping as a single parent until she
qualifies to qualify to sponsor her husband OR
b) remaining in Thailand indefinitely as a family unit, depriving her British children of a British
education and their British family.
Even if Sarah opts to return to the UK alone, she would not be able to
avail of her parents' support in terms of accommodation or childcare as
the salary stipulations means she would almost certainly need to seek
work in London or another large city where childcare costs are very high.
Both Sarah and her husband are highly educated – both have completed
their Masters, have a decade of professional experience and her husband
speaks fluent English as well.
They have looked at the alternatives such as the EEA route, but find this costly and impractical for a
young family.
Sarah finds it hard to believe she can’t bring her family home and therefore may face a life abroad
indefinitely.

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Sarah & Joe
“I can’t work full-time in enforced single-parenthood with four
children to look after. I need my husband.”
Sarah is a British citizen. She is married to Joe, from USA. Together they have four children, all
British. Cameron is 14, Sarah Grace 12, Samuel 10 and Daniel 8.
Sarah has skills acquired from Central St Martin’s College of Art & Design, London. She is enrolled
in the NWES program and is pursuing a career as a jeweller, illustrator and artist. However she is also
battling the Home Office for the right to have her husband and father of their four children, with her.
She is receiving the jobseekers allowance, applies for twelve part-time jobs every two weeks though
it’s not particularly realistic given she does not have a car and has four children to look after. Sarah is
adamant that with Joe by her side, she would not need to be on benefits.
Sarah is being denied the right to live with her husband. Her four children are being denied the right
to live with their father. Sarah worries – what if something happens to her? What happens to her
children? Would they be handed over to social services? Would they be split up?
It’s a terrifying thought even while she tries to make ends
meet on benefits while juggling being a single parent to four
children. All of whom are missing out on having their father
with them.

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Sean
“I am desperate to return home to spend time with my parents in
their final years, as they are both fighting cancer. However I can’t
leave my wife.”
Sean is a British citizen who for the past 10 years has worked in South East Asia. His wife is from
Thailand and together, they have a three year old son, also British. Sean’s parents, also British, live in
the UK. Unfortunately, they are both battling cancer and Sean is keen to spend time with his parents in
their last few years and ensure his son gets to spend that incredibly precious time with the grandparents
that for many of us, has been invaluable in our own lives.
However, because of this government, Sean and his son are now facing the prospect of never being able
to return here - to their home, their family and the lives they are entitled to.
Sean’s parents are devastated at the prospect of never seeing Sean or their beloved grandson again.
They are depressed, habitually in tears and at a time when cancer is attacking them, so is this
government.
Sean is horrified that his little boy will never experience a family Christmas or the warmth and love of
his grandparents.
This government has deemed that in order for Sean, as a British citizen to return to the UK he must
abandon his wife because he just doesn’t make an arbitrary amount of £18,600 in the developing country
he is living in – an amount he doesn’t need there.
This government has deemed that for Sean’s son to be able to live in his home and get to know his
grandparents, he must either live with his mum in Asia or his dad in the UK.
This government is encouraging the breakup of a marriage and family, forcing British citizens into exile,
and forcing elderly British citizens in a time of need, to battle debilitating diseases alone.
What’s even more unbelievable is that these new rules only affect British citizens with non-EU spouses.
Other EU citizens have the freedom to live in Sean’s home country with their non-EU spouses but
because Sean is British he has extra hurdles to jump over.
We have no answer for Sean when he asked us to explain to him why he, as British citizen, and his son,
also a British citizen, are forced to live in exile. The rights of Sean’s non-European spouse are not the
issue here. The issue is around the rights we afford British citizens and families, and the heartbreak this
government deems it justified to wreak on our own.
When did we become a society where an elderly British couple battling cancer are forced to do it without
their British son to support them? Perhaps the government can tell us why.
Update:
On 1st September 2013, a British family was divided. A British father and his three year old British
son were forced to go and live in exile so the father could work in Spain. They have never been there
before and don’t speak the language.
From the perspective of each family member affected, on how they feel about the immigration rules
and the route they are forced to take:

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Father and husband:
“I desperately want to stay in the UK, work and help look after my ageing parents. They are in their
seventies and both have been fighting cancer. My father had a fall this week and mother is in severe
pain with her back. I worry so much and I can’t bear to leave them. I can’t help thinking I may never
see them again.

My little boy has brought them so much pleasure over the last months and he in turn has learned so
much from them. He loves them so much it will be a terrible thing to take him away from them. There
will be real heartache and lots of tears when we leave. I really do not want to go, but if we stay my son
will lose his mother. What choice do I have?
I have chosen Spain as I think it might be the best place for me to find work as an English teacher. I
am scared though. How will we cope? What about language and culture problems? How will my son
get on? If I we can’t survive there what will we do? I can’t work in my wife’s country and she will not
even be able to enter mine. We will be in limbo. We will have to split up. My son will have a
broken family.”
Grandparents:
“We are coming to the end of our years and all we want is our family around us. Having our son and
grandson around is the best medicine we could possible get. But now we have to say goodbye to them
at the airport. We don’t know when we will see them again. This is tragic.
We don’t understand why after all these years as hard working, law abiding British citizens we
are faced with this situation. What makes us really angry and ashamed to be British is that any other
European citizens can just walk into England and live and work just like that. An unmarried
Polish/Thai couple with no children can just move here without restriction, yet our British grandson is
expected to live without his mother.”
Wife and mother:
“This is all my fault. I feel so bad for breaking up my husband’s family. My parents in law need their
son and grandson. I said maybe I should just leave and go home. I couldn’t though. How can any
mother be expected to leave her child. I would be quite happy to go back to my rice farming village in
Thailand, but it is not a good place for my child and my husband cannot work in my country. I only
want what is best for them. I don’t really matter in all of this.
I thought western countries were very civilised. I don’t really understand why this is happening.
I am sure no other country would allow a mother to be taken from her child or expect a father
and child to live in another country.”
Three year old boy:
“I want to be with nanny and grampy. I don’t want to see anyone cry. I don’t want my daddy to be so
anxious and sad. I don’t want to lose my mummy. I want to go to school and learn. I want everyone
to be happy.”

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Sean & Sherry Ann
“I haven’t seen my son as I can’t afford to fly across whilst working
to be able to support them.”
Sean is a British citizen, who married Sherry Ann from Philippines, in April 2010 in the Cavite
region.
Sean stayed in the Philippines for around four months, before returning to
the UK to find work.
They were under immense financial strain and were lucky to have help
from Sean’s parents for the birth of their first child, Sean Paul, in
September 2010. Sean returned to the Philippines in November 2010 to
help his wife through the severe complications with their son’s heart. The
cord was wrapped around his neck and the baby was not receiving sufficient oxygen. Sadly, Sean
Paul made it to just two months when the family made the heart wrenching decision to let him go.
Sean stayed in the Philippines as his wife was distraught and needed the support from her husband.
Sean returned to the UK in July 2011 to a job he had been lucky to secure through a friend.
The family started saving money – they were expecting their second
child. In December 2011, Sean Eric was born – full of life for which the
family is immensely grateful.
With having to send money to the Philippines however, Sean has found
it very difficult to save up for his family to move to the UK, to live with
him. He is yet to meet Sean Eric who he has only seen through Skype
and photos.
The £18,600 requirement has all but destroyed their hope of being a family. Their son has
grandparents in the UK who have never met their only grandson. A British child has never met his
own father.

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Stella & Ankush
“I live without my husband, and my daughter without her father.
Only because of these immigration rules.”
Stella is a British citizen married Ankush, from India, in 2008. She lived in India with her husband for
about three years. They have a daughter together, a British citizen born in India and named her Chloe.
In 2011, Stella had to return to the UK as her mum – her only other relative – was diagnosed with cancer,
and Stella needed to look after her mum. In March 2013, Stella’s mum passed away, losing the battle
to cancer. Ankush was granted a family visit visa which allowed him to be in the UK to help Stella
through this period, for three months, from April 2013.
However he is not allowed to stay here because Stella does not earn £18,600. As a full-time carer for
her daughter it is not possible for Stella to work in a job paying that kind of money. However Stella
received a significant inheritance from her mum and owns the house they live in, outright. So they have
a secure home and no accommodation expenses.
She doesn’t want to uproot her daughter once again and move to India. Her daughter is British and
should have the right to a British education. She should also have the right to two parents.
Stella has been reading all she can on the immigration rules, but finds every time she gets her head
round them, the government changes them again.
It is not possible for Stella to find a job paying over £18,600 in this climate. Even if she did, most of it
would go to pay child care fees, and during this time her daughter would have neither father or mother
spending time with her. This process is also likely to take nearly 12 months from when Stella starts a
job paying over £18,600 to when Ankush would be allowed in the country.
It seems crazy to her. If her husband was here, either he’d be working, or she would and he would look
after their daughter. Stella would therefore no longer need to claim income support.
As each day passes, Stella’s hearts breaks a little more as she is forced to live without her husband, her
daughter without a father and Ankush without his wife and child.

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Stephen & Yilei
“We don’t claim benefits and own our own home, yet Yilei is being
threatened with deportation.”
Stephen is a British citizen whose roots in Britain can be traced back several generations. Stephen
recently became the proud father of a beautiful baby boy, Ethan, with his partner of about five years,
Yilei from China.
Stephen and Yilei met whilst they were both working in the UAE. They lived
happily together in Abu Dhabi for four years before Stephen returned to the UK
On advice from the British embassy in Abu Dhabi they applied and paid for the
required visa for Yilei to join Stephen as his partner, in the UK. The visa was
issued,
Five years on, they have set up home here, their son has been born here, they
have fully paid for their home with no outstanding mortgage or loan. However,
the Home Office is rejecting their application for Yilei and is trying to deport her.
The wife of a British citizen, the mother of a British citizen is being told she has to leave her husband
and son. She is being told that her papers are now with Capita to arrange her removal.
Stephen is bemused. He doesn’t claim benefits. He works hard, they own their home and have a
secure family unit for their son. His partner is the best of the best; yet they’re being torn apart.
For what? A few votes? Pacifying some voters who don’t know any better? There is no logic in this
decision to take away a child’s mother. It achieves nothing except destruction - financial, emotional
physical and mental.

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Families with children

Wayne & Meliana
“The Home Office disregards Zambrano and human rights.”
Wayne is a British citizen married to Meliana, from Indonesia. Wayne and Meliana have two children
together, Chloe (4) and Charlie (1) who are also British citizens. Wayne also has a child from a
previous relationship: Joshua, also British. Wayne is clear. It would not be in the best interests of the
children to leave the UK.
Notwithstanding the very restrictive immigration policy in
Indonesia, it is not feasible for Wayne to leave the UK as
doing so would mean Joshua loses contact with his father,
stepmother and brother and sister.
Meliana and Wayne met whilst she was on a tourist visa in
the UK. They quickly became friends, and were soon
dating. It wasn't long before Meliana fell
pregnant. Knowing the situation, they approached a solicitor to discuss their options. They were
advised to wait until after the birth of their child before proceeding further - as at this point the best
interests of the British child would come into play.
Chloe was born in September 2009 - clearly dependent on her mother, Meliana's residence once again
became legal at this point under Article 20 of the TFEU - See Zambrano:
http://pearsall.eu/2013/07/case-c-3409-ruiz-zambrano/).
In 2010, Meliana began applying for a visa as the unmarried partner of Wayne noting she was the
mother of Chloe. In February, the UKBA came knocking at their door. Their application was filed in
May 2010 and six months later, the visa was refused – disregarding the best interest of the child,
Chloe. http://pearsall.eu/2010/11/refusal-of-flrm-application/
Between February 2010 and February 2013, Meliana reported to the Immigration Reporting Centre in
Solihull. The family spent money speaking with solicitors on the different elements of their case.
Each time, to no avail.
In January 2013, it became clear that the 'requirement to report' was not in fact a requirement, as
Meliana's residence within the country was in fact legal – if nothing else, on grounds of Zambrano.
The Home Office threatened Meliana with detention and fines. They did however back down when
challenged to carry out their threats:
http://pearsall.eu/2013/04/response-to-challenging-the-ise-343/
Their second child, Charlie, was then born in July 2012.
It came to Wayne's attention that the fact that he had worked in Finland prior to meeting Meliana
might be beneficial, along with various other ventures conducted cross border within the EU.
In January 2013, Meliana completed her application form for a residence permit on the basis of being
the primary carer of British citizens They emphasised Wayne fell into the category of
Carpenter. Meliana subsequently received a Certificate of Application for the period taken to process
the application. However, in July 2013, the refusal notice came through:
http://pearsall.eu/2013/07/zambrano-and-regulation-9-refusal-notices/
Once again, no consideration of the best interests of the child as before, but this time, human rights
also disregarded.
The family is now awaiting an appeal, a process which is taking over six months.

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Families with children

William & Noriko
“We want to raise our baby together, in a country where the culture
and language are not going to damage my career as I need to
financially support my family.”
William is a British citizen, married to Noriko, who is from Japan. They live together in Scotland.
They have a baby together, but Noriko’s visa expires in April 2013, raising uncertainty and marking
the pure joy they should feel at their new arrival.
William is a commis chef, on his way to furthering his career as a chef. At this stage of his career, it
is not possible to earn £18,600, despite working really hard and putting in about 50 hours a week.
They face two choices
a) Exile from UK to go live together in Japan, but face worries over career, money and family. The
language and culture are so different from the UK that William will be unlikely to actually make
progress in his career.
b) Break up their family
Both William and Noriko believe parents should be together to give their baby the best upbringing.

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Families with children

Xocoa & Vishal
“I had to give birth without my husband...he hasn’t even met our
daughter yet.”
Xocoa is a British citizen. She was born here, trained here as a nurse with the NHS. Her husband is a
teacher, and an Indian citizen.
Xocoa moved to India to be with her husband. They had a son and got married. They did not live in
one of the major cities; they lived in the rural state of Bihar - the media unfamiliar with such
relationships, were fascinated by the bi-cultural marriage (British-Indian). The family was followed
and harassed wherever they went. It was horrible!
They were even subject to abduction threats (Bihar is known for the presence of outlaws). The police
could not offer them the protection they needed and the family was advised to return to the UK.
So for the safety of the family, Xocoa and their son returned to the UK. Her husband was refused a
family visit visa even though Xocoa was pregnant at the time.
It was a difficult, painful pregnancy. Xocoa became temporarily disabled – and she was all alone.
The government would not even take her condition into account to allow her husband to be here, to
support British citizens.
So, Xocoa gave birth to their daughter without her husband – he not only missed the birth, but father
and daughter haven’t even met yet. The baby is five months old.
Indian rules mean Xocoa can’t return to India for even a couple of years.
She needs to work and support the children. But she’s still recovering and needs physiotherapy - so
the catch-22 is that she can't work and look after the children, all by herself.
Xocoa is being forced into being a single parent even though she isn’t.
Her husband wants to work. Xocoa can’t come off benefits without her husband by her side,
supporting the family. The government not allowing this family to be together is not only causing
damage to their children and this family, but also costing taxpayers.
This family no longer knows what to do. Where do they go from here? Who will have them?
The family miss each other so very very much – they are depressed and at their wits' end.
Xocoa loves her husband with all her heart and feels discriminated against just because she isn’t wealthy.

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Andrew
“What if my 92-year-old grandfather dies, without ever having met
my wife, and she can’t even pay her last respects at his funeral?!”
Andrew, a British citizen, has lived in Spain with his wife from South Africa, for four years. They had
a beautiful beach wedding and some members of his family from England attended the celebrations.
Despite being British and South African, respectively, they
did not encounter any problems with the Spanish
authorities regarding issuing a family member spouse visa,
and his wife is now a Spanish resident. She has had a
residence card for 5 years, which clearly states on the back:
“Family Member of EEA National”.
With this card they are free to travel around the whole of
Europe. They can even enter the UK's overseas territory of
Gibraltar, where Andrew works.
They just can’t enter the UK (the country of which Andrew is a national!) – and where the rest of his
family is.
EU law states in 2004/38/EC that any family member with an EU-issued residence card of more than 3
months duration does not require a visa to enter any other EU member state. But in direct violation of
the law, UK government refuses to recognise EU-issued residence cards, insisting on its own residence
cards. As such, in order for his wife to come to the UK with Andrew – even for a two-week visit! – they
have to apply for an EEA Family permit. And thus the red tape, and the farce, begins.
To obtain this family permit, Andrew has to prove that he is working in another EU member state. So
if he was unemployed it would be impossible for his wife to visit the UK without applying for a regular
visa at a cost of £250 for South African nationals. Fortunately he does work, and as such he is able to
provide such documentation.
The EU rules require that there be no prohibitive cost or process for the issue of an EEA Family Permit
(indeed, it must be free), yet the UK tries to circumvent this legal requirement by referring to it as a
visa.
In the past, they have had to fill out a 12-page form requesting financial details, relationship history, 10year address history, etc. Then they had to make an appointment at the British Consulate in Madrid –
500 miles away – necessitating a 7-hour drive and a hotel stay, i.e. substantial further expense. Given
that the next available appointment was 2 months after filling in the visa application online, there was
undue delay on top of the expense!
Also, they charge €15 to return the passport and documents via DHL and it can take 3 weeks to process
an EEA Family Permit, which is referred to as a “decision”.

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This might not seem too bad if that was it, and Andrew’s wife was then clear to enter the UK to visit as
often as she wished. But no! After all this, she can only enter the UK as long as Andrew is with travelling
with her, and the permit only lasts for 6 months. After this time, they have to go through the entire
laborious process again!
They wanted to visit the UK in August. By the middle of October they still hadn’t received the
‘decision’. They are determined to go for Christmas, especially as many of Andrew’s family have not
yet met his wife, including his grandfather, a 92-year-old war veteran who is quite poorly and may not
be around for much longer. And there are nieces and nephews who want to meet their new auntie too.
Andrew is keen to show his wife where he grew up, his home town, his school, his friends. These are
all perfectly reasonable expectations and something that he never thought would prove to be so difficult
in his own home country, given that they were welcomed with open arms by the administration in Spain.
The UK's policy of forcing them to apply for an EEA Family Permit falls well outside the Free
Movement Directives of the EU, so much so that the EU challenged the UK to change these laws back
in April or face court action. However, this UK government seems intent on remaining defiant and is
willing to pay millions of pounds in fines. using taxpayers' money, rather than be a law-abiding
government that has respect for its citizens, i.e. British voters.
Update, end October 2012:
Andrew’s wife was refused entry clearance and an EEA Family Permit. The UKBA’s view was that
Andrew and his wife did not provide sufficient documentary evidence that Andrew was working or selfemployed in another member state prior to returning to the UK and therefore the regulations do not
apply.
In fact, Andrew submitted:
• letter from his employer, on a company letterhead, stating that he had been employed for the
evidence of last 4 years permanent employment, with a salary over £30,000
• copy of his work contract;
• payslips from preceding three months.
It is likely the refusal was on the grounds that Andrew works in Gibraltar but lives in Spain – we don’t
know. No explanation was given, and there’s no one to contact to clarify the reason for the refusal.
Having checked with EU Commission, Andrew received confirmation that the UK government
has acted illegally by refusing his wife a family permit.
Will Andrew’s 92-year-old grandfather ever get to meet Andrew’s wife? Will this family be able to
gather together for Christmas? Ask the British government.
Update: Andrew’s wife did not receive the EEA family permit in time for their scheduled trip to the UK.
Nevertheless, Andrew and his wife did get to spend Christmas with his family and his wife and
grandfather were able to spend valuable time together.

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Christian & Marcia
“We just want to spend Christmas as a family, with our family.”
Christian is a British citizen currently living in New York City. His wife, Marcia, is a citizen of Trinidad &
Tobago. They are expecting their first child together.
In October 2013, when the couple was visiting UK to spend time with Christian’s family, Marcia was refused
entry even whilst travelling with Christian. This was to be their first Christmas with the whole family together.
The couple arrived at Gatwick Airport on October 15th for what was to be the beginning of their
honeymoon. After some preliminary questions at the border control – which they answered fully and truthfully,
the couple was made to wait in a pen for further questioning, without being told why. After another hour,
alternating between being held and questioned, Marcia’s luggage was searched and several items removed.
Christian was then told he could not wait for his wife – and sent out to airport arrivals alone. Marcia was then
bodily searched, locked in a prison-like environment, fingerprinted and interrogated. In total, Marcia wife was
incarcerated and interrogated for eight hours.
Marcia’s leave to enter the UK was refused, although she was granted “Temporary Admission to a Person Who
is Liable to be Detained” since they had already booked a wedding reception for their friends and family on
October 26th. The Immigration Officer repeatedly told Marcia this means she could be detained at any
time. Unsurprisingly, Marcia came out of the interrogation in tears and fearful of arrest and further
detention. As of now, she is scheduled to be removed from the UK on flight BA2159 at 10am on October
31st. The couple is trying their utmost to have that date postponed.
Christian believes the immigration officers were wrong to refuse her entry and to treat Marcia in the manner
they did. As a citizen of Trinidad & Tobago, Marcia is a "non-visa national". So just as British citizens can visit
many countries in the world without applying for a visa, so can those from this nation. Marcia shouldn’t require
a visa to visit the UK, and therefore should in theory be allowed entry on her own passport, even if not travelling
with Christian.
The Notice of Refusal of Leave to Enter stated “You have asked for leave to enter the United Kingdom as a
visitor for three months but I am not satisfied that you are genuinely seeking entry as a visitor for the limited
period as stated by you.
This is because, although you hold a return ticket dated 19th January 2013, I cannot be satisfied that you will be
able to fly at that time. This is because you are at present 22/23 weeks pregnant and if you were to remain in
the United Kingdom for the period you have stated you will then be approximately 35/36 weeks, and as such
British Airways will not carry you."
British Airways' pregnancy regulations* clearly say "For uncomplicated single pregnancies, we restrict travel
beyond the end of the 36th week." The primary reason for refusal is therefore shown to be completely false.
"In addition, you have made no provisions for your medical care whilst you are in the United Kingdom, and you
have been unemployed by your own admission since 2011 and living off savings and I cannot therefore be
satisfied that you will not be of recourse to public funds."
Marcia was in possession of bank statements and stock portfolio, examined by the Officer, which show that,
although she had indeed been "living off savings", they were far from used up. She also had letters of invitation,
from Christian and his mother. These letters made it clear that Christian and his family would be responsible for
any and all expenses incurred by Marcia during her visit. These letters were also backed by bank statements
from both Christian and his mother clearly showing sufficient funds. The secondary reason for refusal is
therefore shown to be invalid.
This secondary reason appears to be intentionally worded to exclude Marcia’s financial statements and the
supporting family letters and bank statements examined by the officer. The refusal selectively refers to the fact
that Marcia has "been unemployed" and "living off savings" which says nothing whatsoever about her access to
private funds.

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"Furthermore, you have previously resided in the United States of America, and during further examination you
admitted that you overstayed your visa there, this causes me to doubt that you will comply with any restrictions
attached to a grant of leave to enter the United Kingdom."
This third reason gives the impression that Marcia attempted to abuse a short-term US visitor's visa by
overstaying in an attempt to become an illegal immigrant. Nothing could be further from the truth. As Marcia
informed the Immigration Officer during her interrogation, she had been living in the US in continuous legal
status for almost 14 years. She had official USCIS paperwork in her possession to prove this, which was
examined by the Immigration Officer. Until May of this year, her entire life was US-based and she had good
reason to believe she would continue to live there up until the last days of her final visa. She had been a
graduate (F-1) student for many years, then worked under OPT for a company who subsequently sponsored her
for H1-B status. The security requirements for her position were later changed by the US military to exclude
non-citizens, so she was unable to continue in that position.
She was advised that in order to remain in non-immigrant status she would have to change to B2 visitor status.
This is a long process Marcia went through, however by the time the B2 status was processed, the US sequester
had been put in place and her prospective employer was subjected to a hiring freeze.
Her B2 status was due to expire on 27th March and she was not informed of the freeze until only 10 days earlier.
At this time she made arrangements to leave the US as quickly as was reasonably possible given that she'd lived
there for nearly 14 years and thus had a lot of roots to sever (car, house lease) not to mention the prospect of
being separated from her fiancé for an indeterminate time.
Although Marcia did stay briefly beyond the end of that visa, this is considered normal by US immigration and
carries no penalty up to a 6 month overstay. "If you overstay but not more than 180 days you must leave the US
but you can apply for a visa to return immediately." Marcia never faced removal proceedings in the US.
Instead, she voluntarily chose to leave less than two months into the six-month grace period.
These are hardly the actions of a person recklessly ignoring immigration laws. The third reason for refusal is
therefore also shown to be invalid. Indeed, given the US has not penalised Marcia for her very slight over-stay
it is bizarre that the UK does.
In addition, the Officer made no mention Marcia being married to a British citizen travelling with her –
presumably because clear family connection may mitigate the flimsy grounds for refusal.
This is a pair of newlyweds, intending to only stay with their British family through Christmas and New
Years. It should not be a function of the a government agency to tear citizens apart from their families.
Christian understands there is pressure on the UK Border Agency to appear to be tough on immigration. It is
probable that officers have targets for refusing applications, with the UKBA website brags about cutting migrant
numbers.
Christian can’t help but wonder why his wife was picked out for further questioning in the first place. A British
citizen travelling with his Commonwealth citizen wife would seem on the surface to be one of the most
straightforward possible cases. Marcia is extremely intelligent and highly articulate. She comes from an
English-speaking country and English is her first language. She holds three university degrees, a BSc in
Biochemistry, an MSc in Agricultural Diversification/Sustainable Rural Development and a US MSc in Food
Science and Nutrition. Had the immigration officer at the initial encounter spoken with her, she would have
been able to ascertain this for herself.
However, throughout all the questioning where Christian was present, the officer addressed all questions,
whether pertaining to Christian or Marcia, directly to him, speaking of Marcia in the third person, effectively
treating her as if she were a young child or a foreigner with no grasp of the English language. Even when
Christian re-addressed questions to his wife, and received clear, concise answers in perfect English, the officer
waited for Christian to "translate" the answers. It felt to this couple like racial profiling playing a major part.

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Christine & Ziad
“Given Cameron's determination to 'protect civilians in Syria' why
not start by protecting Syrians with proven ties to the UK?”
Christine is a British citizen who met her husband Ziad while studying Arabic at Damascus University
in May 2010, in Syria.
She had gone there as part her MA programme in Arab World Studies at Manchester University and
instantly felt there was something special about this urbane, well-travelled man whose life had so many
parallels with her own and over the months a strong connection developed between them.

Christine introduced Ziad to her parents when they came out to visit in August 2010. They loved him
and by the time she left Syria in October felt he was the man she wanted to spend my life with.
They stayed in touch via Skype and phone, speaking as often as they were able to; exchanging gifts and
letters back and forth through mutual friends travelling between the two countries.
In May 2011 the couple got engaged, planning to marry in Scotland amidst Christine’s friends and
family before she moved to Syria to live with him in Damascus where Ziad had a thriving real estate
business. Christine was optimistic about finding work with the UN or another humanitarian agency and
Damascus was a city she loved with many close friends there, both Syrians and internationals who like
her, were committed to staying there long-term.
However the Syrian Revolution changed all that. As a British citizen, Christine immediately became
an object of suspicion by the regime and Ziad was worried for her safety in Syria, particularly because
of the advocacy work she was doing to raise awareness about the situation in the UK.
As refugees flooded out, doors were closed on them from all sides. Getting a visa to the UK was
impossible, and their plans to work in the Gulf received a blow when it too shut its doors on Syrians.
Christine carried on visiting Ziad however as she couldn't live without seeing him - but the security
situation was deteriorating swiftly and it became impossible to stay. By the time she left for the last time
in October 2012 Christine had gotten used to the check points and car bombs, sounds of shelling
throughout the night, plumes of smoke over the city skyline and attack helicopters overhead. The
couple was even shot at by snipers when they went to visit Ziad’s mother for dinner during Ramadan.
In December 2012, Ziad decided to flee the violence in Syria and join his family in Cairo but then they
discovered he could not apply for a settlement visa from Egypt as he was neither an Egyptian citizen
nor permanent resident. Christine was devastated. Ziad had no choice but to return to Syria and wait
for the embassy in Beirut to process Ziad’s application.

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They pre-poned their wedding plans, which was a difficult decision as they’d always wanted to celebrate
with family and friends but with the security situation as it was Christine didn't want to wait any longer
and so after getting married, they applied for a settlement visa for the UK in April 2013.
Christine begged Ziad to remain in Lebanon and not return to Syria but rampant inflation and
unemployment has devastated people's savings and Ziad - like everyone else they know - simply cannot
afford to stay in Beirut, one of the world's most expensive cities, as he awaits a decision.
The following six months were horrendous, with one heartwrenching attack after another leaving Christine in fear of her
husband’s life. The Home Office rejected the settlement application
the first time round even though Christine meets the financial
requirement and her husband has passed his English Language test
at the British Council. The reason for refusal was claiming that the
application did not include all the necessary evidence.
In the digital age, the Home Office rejected a bank statement
showing cash savings of £58,000 in addition to Christine’s annual tax-free salary of £13,590, because
it was an online statement, even though it had been stamped and verified.
They also claimed that without the certificate of entry into the KET the certificate provided of passing
the exam was invalid. No common sense was allowed for...how would Ziad have been able to pass the
exam if he hadn’t been allowed into the room to sit the exam?!
As Home Office refused to let them just then include the missing
documents in the initial application, they reapplied on 15 July 2013
with the additional information also present.
However, given the serious escalation in the situation in Syria
particularly in and around Damascus, the couple is very worried. Ziad
lives only 15 mins away from the chemical weapon attack sites of late
August, where a day later there was a huge car bomb. Ziad’s car has
been was sprayed with bullets and he has been detained. No one knows why. Ziad is under threat from
the regime who may not now allow him to even leave the country.
Christine asks, even while the UK considers how they will get involved in the Syrian situation, is does
the UK Government not have a duty of care to the Syrian family members of UK citizens? Given that
imminent military intervention has been considered, should the government not first help get our family
members out the country or at the very least speed up their visa decisions? Given Cameron's
determination to 'protect civilians in Syria' why can he not start by protecting Syrians with proven ties
to the UK?
Christine is not asking for special measures to circumvent the rules (in any case she meets the visa
requirements) but simply for her government to stop dragging its feet in determining the visa for her
husband given the war in Syria.

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Christopher & Christine
“I believe in my marriage vows, and am firm in my commitment to
my wife.”
Christopher is a British citizen, 62 years old, father of three and grandfather of two. He was born in
Brighton, and married for 39 years to Andrea, who passed away on New Year’s Day 2010 after battling
multiple sclerosis for over 20 years. During that time, Christopher was her principal carer, their children
and family, while also working for the Probation Service, within the Community Service team.
Christopher shares his home with his daughters, Tara and Clare, and his beautiful granddaughter, Ebony.
They designed the house to cater for the care of Andrea in 2006, which now, though partitioned into
three living areas, is in fact one house. All three adults have their own private space, divided by one
room, but they are all accessible to each other. A little quirky but it works very well for them.
After a year spent in a state of adjustment, with lots of support from his family, Christopher joined an
organisation "GVI – Global Vision International" and signed up for a year of volunteering in Kenya.
The role involved teaching in a slum near Mombasa, in a place called Bombolulu.
This was a life-changing experience in many ways. A young woman he came into contact with whilst
carrying out this work was to change his life even more. Christopher had no intention of remarrying –
he had settled in to teach English to the most enthusiastic bunch of children one could imagine, when
he met Christine – funny, happy, intelligent and with a strong warm heart.
Christine has a 6-year old son, Michael, who is an adorable little bundle of trouble. The birth father has
never been in Michael’s life and knowledge of his whereabouts is known. Christine and Christopher
became friends, then more. In August 2011 they married in Bombolulu.
Christopher’s children, grandchildren and friends came to
Kenya for the wedding along with all the children from the two
local schools, 200 local friends and volunteers ... it was a
wonderful wedding. Christopher carried on with teaching,
until he fell ill and was advised to return to the UK. After
treatment he returned to Kenya in the hope of bringing
Christine and Michael home with him.

Christopher on his wedding day, with his family

Visa Application
At some expense they engaged UK VISA and IMMIGRATION to prepare the visa application which was
presented in Nairobi in January 2012. However, Christine was diagnosed with TB and thus followed
six months of treatment. While the family is now blessed Christine has been given the all clear and is
in good health, they face devastation under the new rules, as their new application in August 2012, was
refused.
Employment
Christopher works for Enara Community Care as a domiciliary care worker. He cares for elderly in their
homes, starting work at 6.45am and sometimes until as late as 9pm. His annual salary is c£15,500
which, combined with a pension of £3,746 from Probation Service, gives him an annual income of
£19,246.

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He is considering employing a local solicitor who has indicated there is a case for appeal with fees over
£4,500. Christopher’s savings are being depleted by having to finance life in Kenya for his wife and
stepson, maintaining his life here and the additional cost of maintaining regular contact with his wife.
Christopher believes in his marriage vows and is firm in his commitment
to his wife. He is lucky to have a supporting family and friends who are
praying for Christopher to be reunited with Christine and Michael. Like
other BritCits, Christopher is realistic about why we have immigration
rules; but he feels that the draconian way these have been imposed,
without regional income tolerances or respect for British citizens being
taken into consideration is just plain unfair.
He believes the rules brought in make a mockery of the Conservative
party’s manifesto commitment:
“Strong families are the bedrock of a strong society. They provide the
stability and love we need to flourish as human beings, and the
relationships they foster are the foundation on which society is built –
Britain’s families will get our full backing across all our policies …
We need good, strong families to help our society work well. We will support families to stay together.”
Update: Christopher and one of his daughters went to the First-tier Tribunal on 5th July and
presented the facts of their case, in response to the visa refusal. A Home Office representative
suggested there was no need to grant Christopher’s wife a visa as Christopher could go and live in
Mombasa. The appeal judge in his report however wrote "...I do not accept that it is reasonable to
expect the sponsor, a British citizen, to live in Kenya, if it were possible, or another part of the world
as yet unidentified. It would be to deprive him of the benefits of his British citizenship"
So the appeal was allowed on human rights grounds even though Christopher falls short of the income
level by approx £17.00 per week. The Judge accepted Christopher has no accommodation costs and
that his "...resources are more than adequate to accommodate and maintain the appellants."
The judge also awarded fees against the Home Office of £280.
Now Christopher and his family wait a further 4-6 weeks as the Home Office has 28 days to " seek
leave to appeal against the appeal decision " before making plans to be reunited once more.

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Claire
“Just because the ECO appears to not have bothered to look at the
paperwork, we may have to wait for two years.”
Claire is a British citizen living in South Africa with her South African husband and British daughter.
They applied for a UK settlement visa but were declined on the basis that they don’t meet the financial
requirement as defined in paragraph E-ECP.3.3. This is even though they do meet the financial
threshold. The ECO claimed that Claire did not have a firm job offer in the UK, even though she had
enclosed a copy of her contract of employment in the UK with a start date of 1st July, also showing she
would have been earning over £18,600.
This family has naturally appealed the decision. However they are now waiting for their appeal to be
dealt with, simply because an ECO appears to not have bothered to look at all the paperwork.
An additional point of concern is that they have been informed their appeal could take up to two years;
they’ve been told that it’s unlikely that her husband would be issued with a visitor visa now, given he
has applied for a settlement visa.
So this family waits and waits, considering perhaps the exercise of EU treaty rights just in order for
three British citizens to be able to return home as a family.

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Dan
“I can’t believe I may never be able to return home, as breaking up
my family for several months just isn’t feasible.”
Dan is a British citizen. His wife is from the USA and they have been living in Florida for four years
with their two daughters...both of whom are British citizens.
The time is right for this family to return to UK, their homeland. A homeland even for Dan’s American
wife who did most of her growing up here in the UK though never obtained citizenship – a fact they so
dearly regret now.
Dan finds the financial requirements extremely complicated and convoluted; but having made sense of
them, and despite having earned over £18,600 p.a. in the US, he is still unable to return home with his
family.
He is not able to satisfy having a job offer starting within three months of the application. As Dan can’t
afford multiple trips to the UK and can't afford unpaid time off work unpaid it would otherwise mean
he earned less than £18,600.
He is frustrated that the UK government expects him to have a job offer before he is even allowed to
return here. He questions whether the UKBA realises:
1) The impossibility of securing a job via a phone interview.
2) The difficulty in getting time off and the general lack of vacation time in countries outside the EU in
order to get to the UK for a job interview.
3) The cost of flying across the Atlantic for a job interview.

He is also amazed that this wife’s earning potential, as a skilled professional is completely disregarded,
as are the tax dollars they are currently paying to the Inland Revenue Service in America...tax which
would otherwise be paid to HMRC.
He is also bemused; if he returned to the UK with his two British daughters, the three of them would be
eligible for all kinds of benefits at a great cost to the British taxpayer. So it is in the best interest of the
British taxpayer to allow Dan’s wife in the country...she would work, pay taxes and be ineligible for
any benefits, whilst also rendering Dan and his daughters ineligible by way of the household income
being over the qualifying threshold.
Dan does not want to return home for benefits. So he will not let his family be split up and we will find
a way for the family to be together in the country they have a right to live in.

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Daniel & Kelsey
“I satisfy the requirements, yet they rejected my wife’s application.”
Daniel is a British citizen, who was living in Shandong, China with his wife. They lived there for five
years, and have been married for one.
Daniel is keen to return to the UK to be closer to his family. However they have had two UK settlement
visas refused already. In both cases they found ECO cited incorrect immigration rules to refuse them,
even though Daniel is confident, that having used a well-reputed London lawyer, they did meet all the
requirements, including financial.
They have appealed the result of both applications, however it takes over nine months for any result.
Despite now also meeting the savings requirements, Daniel is not confident the application, third time
round, would be processed correctly either. So he is considering using his rights as an EU citizen.
Yet another British citizen forced to leave his home just to live with his family.
Update: Daniel and Kelsey have moved to Ireland and have resumed their life together to the fantastic
news that they are expecting a baby.

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Daniel & Rachel
"Home Office treats self-employment income like it’s not legitimate,
requiring submission of non-existent documentation!”
Daniel is a British citizen. He met Rachel, from the USA in 2009 online. "He had me at 'bats in
Honduras," Rachel will say, if asked how their romance started.
Daniel owns and operates his own cleaning business, works at a
health-food store as well and does odd-jobs self-employed on the
side. Through this effort, he satisfies the income requirement of
£18,600 for both the fiancée visa and the subsequent FLR(M)
visa to follow, as the partner of a British person.
They applied for the fiancée visa in 2012, but were horrified to
receive a letter telling them that it was denied for reasons that
even now remain unclear. They enlisted a solicitor and, upon appeal, the visa was granted with the
same documentation that was provided as part of the original application. Thinking their troubles were
over, they put the event behind them and were married in April 2013.
In June 2013, the couple applied for FLR(M) visa. They used the same solicitor as they had for the
fiancée visa, effectively repeating the process. They even used the same accountant to provide
evidence of income. Eager to get on with their lives, they opted to pay the extra fees for Premium
service.
It didn't go according to plan. Despite having the right to exercise judgement, the officer interviewing
them refused to accept the credentials of the accountant who had prepared their Statement of Income
and Taxes because it wasn't "certified". They were told that they had ten days to have a "proper"
accountant review the financials, obtain payslips (including one which had not yet been received or
issued!). They were assured that they still maintained their "priority" status given they had paid for
the Premium service.
Frantic, Rachel and Daniel called every accounting firm in the town they live in, searching for
someone who would be willing to complete the daunting task of reviewing two years of financials in
10 days. Thankfully, there was someone benevolent enough to take on the challenge. This certified
accountant, upon interviewing was puzzled as to why the officer had rejected their documentation,
saying “The way your accountant did this is exactly the same way that any accountant would prepare
your documents. Accountants do not know Immigration law”. This certified accountant pointed out
that even the guidance information for the visa didn't state that they had to be prepared any differently.
Frustrated but grateful the accountant did his best to address the concerns of the officer, they mailed
back the requested documentation seven days later. Then the waiting started; they heard nothing, saw
nothing, until a month later when a letter arrived through the post, informing them their “outstanding”
documentation was received, and that the fiancée visa was effective until a decision was made.
The couple believe the complexity arises because Daniel has three sources of income and UK Home
Office does not even flirt with the same rules HMRC does in calculating income. All of this is made
worse by the Home Office treating self-employment income almost like it's not legitimate earnings by
requiring documentation that doesn't even exist to prove that it is "real"!
Three months after application, the couple who paid for Premium service have still not heard anything
from the Home Office about their application.

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Update:
At the end of October 2013, Daniel and Rachel received a letter from the Home Office. Despite the
fact that they have provided clear evidence to show Daniel earns over £18,600, the Home Office has
said their application is on hold indefinitely, because they do not meet the financial requirements of an
annual salary of £18,600. The Home Office was however generous enough to offer Rachel the option
of withdrawing her application and losing her application fees.
This couple is now stuck in limbo only because the Home Office does not appear to have staff who can
read an Accountant’s Statement of Income.
They will be working with their solicitor to see how best to proceed with this. Home Office rather than
actually reading the documents submitted, thought it easier to put them in the ‘delay’ pile.
Daniel is reasonably confident the courts will stand by their original verdict in regards to the Income
Requirement ruling and at least, while their application is on hold the couple gets to remain together
as it was an in-country application. However it’s very frustrating for Rachel to not be able to do
anything or go anywhere; to be unable to make any sort of contribution to society or even partake in
any activity.

Update 2
Daniel and Rachel were put on hold for not meeting the income requirements according to the Home
Office, despite HMRC, Certified Public Accountants and bank statements showing otherwise, pending
the result of the MM case.
Rachel and Daniel grew increasingly worried as the days, weeks, and months passed without any
word. After that awful Court of Appeal judgment on the MM case, the couple was prepared for the
worst and had begun the process to re-settle in the USA.
Much to their surprise however, in October 2014, they learned that Rachel's visa had been approved
(begging the question why the MM case was used as an excuse to put their application on hold
pending the judgment given the lack of relevance). It couldn't have come at a better time, as the
couple are also expecting the birth of their first child.

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Darren & Kelly
“I feel completely ashamed to be British.”
Darren, a British citizen, is an only child. Darren worked from the age of 16 until his mid 30s, when
he was assailed by health issues. Now Darren looks after his elderly parents, both of whom worked
all the way up until retirement, whilst also dealing with his own medical issues which present a
constant struggle. Darren’s grandfather fought in WWI and two of his uncles fought in WWII, for
freedom and against tyranny. Yet this family is left feeling terrorised on a daily basis by their own
government, only because Darren fell in love with Kelly, from USA.
Kelly has had a rough childhood, and while it’s not easy
for Kelly to admit this about her family, counselling has
helped her confront her demons.
Kelly was abused and even raped, by her own family who
defines themselves as ‘born again spirit-filled Christians’,
but have been fanatical in their treatment of ‘nonbelievers’ like Kelly who was not allowed to go to school,
and for the first 28 years of her life, virtually locked up as a means of forcing her to conform to her
family’s beliefs. Kelly did involve the police who advised her to stay away from her family and
having met Darren online, the rest as they say is history.
US remains a place where Kelly does not feel safe. She not only has no friends to whom she can turn
for support, having been locked up as a child, her family have made threats that they will locate her
wherever in the country she is. Whether true or not, the threat alone has terrified Kelly of being
imprisoned once again.
So Kelly came to the UK as a visitor for Darren. Once here, returning to the US was not an option –
there was no one there to go back to and Darren’s family welcomed Kelly with open arms.
Once here, Kelly contacted the UKBA to explore her options, following which in December 2013,
Kelly, Darren and his mum went together to Asylum Screening Unit in Croydon where Kelly was
advised to claim asylum in light of her family situation and submit her passport. A lot of confusion
followed with the Border Agency unclear as to their own requirements. When Kelly was interviewed
by a Home Office representative who later on claimed they were a caseworker, Kelly’s solicitor
remarked that the responses were cut short, the religious persecution Kelly was exposed to in the cult
environment glossed over and there were clear omissions in the report from the actual interview. Due
process was not followed.
In April 2014, whilst attending the regular appointment to have her asylum papers signed, Kelly was
detained and sent to Yarl’s Wood without any warning or reasons, despite Home Office being aware
of Kelly’s fragile mental state and ongoing counselling. This was eleven days before the couple was
due to be married; everything was booked: venue, gown, cake, flowers etc. The wedding day was
cancelled.
Home Office stated Kelly had not provided any evidence of her experience – but Kelly asks how
could she have submitted this when she had never been allowed to? At each interview she was told
evidence would need to be given at a later time.
At Yarl’s Wood, Kelly was constantly told she could leave detention only if she volunteered to return
to the US. She was told that otherwise once they deported her, she would not be allowed in the UK
for 10 years – a time period so long, it would render the couple biologically unable to have children;
by voluntarily returning, she may just be able to return to the UK sooner. There was no concern for
what Kelly had been through, her reasons for claiming asylum and what her life would be like at the

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hands of her family back in the US. The goal appeared to be to put sufficient pressure on the
detainees to force to them ‘choose’ to leave the UK.
Kelly was held at Yarl’s Wood for over a month. A messy battle was necessary to get her out of there,
and that too on bail. The couple did manage to go ahead with their plans to marry but continue to face
a traumatic and expensive legal battle to allow Kelly to live in the UK with her husband.
Home Office has decided Kelly no longer falls under
asylum seeker rules, but the standard family immigration
rules and the family is in the middle of appealing to the
courts. Meanwhile, Kelly is terrified she will be sent to
Yarl’s Wood again. The arguments made against Kelly
being allowed to remain in the UK involve suggesting
Darren leave the UK, with no regard for who will look after
Darren’s parents, or the statement from a doctor that
without the medical care Darren receives in the UK, his
own lifespan will be shortened.
Home Office states as part of their refusal that Darren and his family are not Kelly’s real family as
they’re not blood relatives; that the couple can continue their relationship online; that no one in
Darren’s family earns money. All factoring in to their reason for refusal.
They seem to not understand that financial situation does not factor in to an asylum claim, that
Darren’s parents are elderly, that Kelly has not claimed any benefits and that as Darren receives a
Disability Living Allowance, his spouse would in fact be exempt from the financial requirements
anyway. There is no regard for Kelly’s occupation as a musician and writer, not only would she be
working and paying taxes, but under UK immigration rules she’d have no recourse to public funds.
There is complete disregard for Darren’s health issues – leaving the UK would mean he would not be
able to afford the testosterone injections thus hindering the couple’s chances of having a family,
Darren’s parents becoming grandparents. Leaving the UK would mean Darren’s quality of life would
reduce, his bones would become brittle without the injections. Doctors have even said cessation of the
injections would shorten Darren’s longevity. Home Office does not understand or does not care.
All this family wants is to be left alone to recover and move forward, yet the Home Office seems
determined to spend an exorbitant amount of taxpayers money in what feels to this family like
deliberate malice.
For the family’s petition: https://www.change.org/p/theresa-may-theresa-may-stop-your-abuse-ofhuman-rights-stop-splitting-up-our-family
A message from Kelly:
“What I feel makes this particularly unjust is that one of the reasons the Home Office give for removing
the ‘unwanted’ is to prevent a burden on the tax payer. I would like to point out that through all of this I
have never once claimed a penny from this state and never had any (or would have any) intentions of
doing so. And yet, in detaining me, not only have the Home Office placed severe financial stress on my
husband and his family, but on the taxpayer themselves as my detainment has been completely
unjustified. It has cost everyone more money in the time I was detained than in all the months leading
up to, and since then. Who at this point is causing unnecessary burden to the taxpayer?”

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David
“It took 8 months for UKBA to process my wife’s application..and we
had to jump through hoops to prove we had a real marriage in spite
of having a child together. So my complete sympathy is with others
going through the process.”
David is a British citizen who has personally been affected by the new immigration rules.
Since David married his wife from the Philippines nearly three years ago, the British government has
made their lives a misery; causing unnecessary stress, worry and suffering in trying to prove that their
marriage is genuine even though they have a son together. David finds this outrageous and ridiculous
– how can you ‘prove’ you are in a genuine marriage if the proof of a child is insufficient?
They had to submit David’s passport while his wife’s application for indefinite leave was being
considered; they had to send countless documents and fill out lots of forms. They had to pay an
extortionate amount of money even for applying for his wife to remain in the country that is that of her
husband’s and son’s.
Although David is in the fortunate position of having received a successful decision on his wife’s
application, it was after eight months of stress, worry and anxiety. His complete sympathy goes out to
all families that affected caught in the complicated web of these immigration rules.

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David & Bang
“We are aware many applications despite satisfying all requirements
are being refused for trivial or erroneous reasons.”
David is a British citizen married to Bang from China. Their experience of the Home Office has not
been positive, with nearly 15 months being taken to make a decision on Bang’s earlier application for
leave to remain in the UK.
Bang submitted over 15 supporting letters from human rights organisations,
universities, artists and writers. However, the application was refused despite
the fact that the nature of her work touches on politically sensitive issues in
China. The Home Office also ignored the fact that Bang had been a victim of
domestic violence from her ex-husband in the UK who kicked her out after just
six months.
Bang got by and undertook menial jobs. She took pride in the fact that she
supported herself as a Chinese writer and documentary filmmaker; as a
freelance translator for a watch company, with a film workshop in a German
university and invited to present at British Film Institute and Free Word Centre. Commissions from
journalism work rolled in and Bang volunteered at Chinese Information & Advice Centre in London,
providing support to domestic violence victims and refugee seekers. Her language skills and personal
experience put to good use to help others.
Two years later David and Bang met. They don’t understand why the UKBA thinks immigrants are
only here to take advantage of the UK benefit system. Bang has never claimed benefits in her life, and
as a non-EEA person is unable to claim benefits anyway.
They will never forget the day they received the previous visa refusal. It was on David's birthday.
The couple was devastated. Having to rely on the compassion of an ultra-suspicious government
simply to be able to live with the person you love is a lamentable, exhausting and an utterly
depressing experience.
They overcame this and went on to making plans to get married – formalisation of their relationship
would surely satisfy the Home Office they thought.
David has a flying phobia; not having been on a plane for 15
years. However he agreed to take a 12 hour flight to China to
marry Bang with her family present.
The couple does not struggle financially; they lived together
comfortably on David's income from a permanent job, well over
£18,600. They have their own flat, sufficient savings and Bang
also sold her flat in China to minimise the mortgage.
However the couple is worried. They are aware many applications - despite satisfying all
requirements - are being refused for minor or erroneous reasons.
David has returned to England as he has no holiday left, and Bang is in China waiting for the decision
on her visa. The couple has been waiting since 14th June 2013. Neither can relax because of the
constant worry of Bang not being able to return home and the anxiety of not being rich enough to
satisfy the UK government’s excessive requirements to safeguard their future.

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Euan & Megan
“Our only crime is that a Scottish guy and American girl fell in love
with each other.”
Euan is a British citizen from Scotland married to Megan from Charlestown, USA.
Euan and Megan met in Dublin, Ireland on July 29th,
2008. Megan was there on a holiday with her cousin
and Euan was on holiday with a group of his friends. They
met by chance at a bar and immediately hit it off, spending
the evening talking and dancing and eventually parted ways
exchanging emails.
Neither thought they would ever see the other again.
However, on her return home to the USA, Megan emailed
Euan and within a day received a reply. The next four years were spent travelling back and forth;
Euan visiting Megan in Boston whilst she was at university, Megan flying to Scotland for every
summer and winter break.
After her final year, they got married in Charlestown, New Hampshire on Megan’s parent’s farm.
It was a beautiful ceremony with friends and family joining in the celebrations. No one thought that
their happy story would be shadowed by the worst experience so far of their lives.
The couple decided to live in Ayr, Scotland as Euan’s career was going well and he already had made
a home there. With Megan yet to begin her career, it was easier for her to make the move.
So they applied for a Settlement Visa in May 2012, having sought advice from Worldbridge who were
very patient and specifically asked Megan to apply as an unmarried partner. Naively the couple
believed this advice was the right advice, but within 24 hours, the application was refused.
Looking back now, it is funny to think that at the time the couple thought this would be the worst
news.
After this refusal, they decided to wait to reapply after the wedding. Megan arrived in Scotland on a
visitor's visa, planning on re-applying in November when she was back in the US. However, during
that time, the immigration rules completely changed and there was now an £18,600 income threshold
to satisfy.
Euan is self-employed and only just misses the £18,600 level. He has a very low mortgage, no
debt and is able to live a very good standard of living on his earnings. Yet the government is only
interested in the amount he makes; they don’t care what his disposable income is, nor do they ask for
any information regarding the applicant’s debts or outlays.
Knowing they didn't meet the income requirement with wages (and being unable to combine savings
with self-employment) they decided to go down the savings route. They read the guidance notes,
thought they had evidence of the right amount of savings and sent in the second application, hoping to
be together for their first Christmas as a married couple. At this point the Home office/UKBA website
did not have a formula for the calculation of the savings.
The second application was also refused on the financial requirement grounds and it was only with the
amendment to the Home Office/UKBA website that it was made clear they needed £62,500 in cash
savings held for six months.

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This was a particularly hard refusal to get over as the couple had been certain they’d finally be able to
start their lives together but were once again forced apart.
Six months down the line, Euan has been able to demonstrate he has the necessary amount of savings
and they have made their third application.
They don’t know whether the visa has been refused or granted; they’ve just been told that a decision
has been made.
It has been a year and a half since Euan and Megan started this horrific journey of being allowed to
be together. Euan has lived and worked in Scotland his whole life, and is a successful musician
making more than enough money to support their lifestyle.
Megan graduated with honours from a top Boston university with a degree in Child Psychology. She
has extensive experience working with children with autism and is eager to work with children with
disabilities in Scotland.
Most of all, they are just a married couple wishing to live their life together, yet being forced to live
3,500 miles apart. This decision the government has made has cost them nearly $10,000, and their
family life has been put on hold.
While both remain hopeful that this time Megan will receive the
settlement visa, theyr both know the fight is not over.
Other families and couples should not have to go through
this. Euan should not be stripped of his rights by his own
government simply because he has created his own successful
business that just misses out on the threshold officials in London
deem fit.
The UK government is destroying well-meaning young couples and families who simply want to
work, contribute, and live together in the country of their origin.
Megan has been treated like a benefit-seeking drain on society and has been forced apart from her
husband while he as the British citizen must prove his worth.
The government has surpassed being strict into territory which is unfair, unjust and simply cruel.
The most insulting part of the entire process is that after going through all of this madness, spouses are
only entitled to live with loved ones for two and a half years. Then they have to go through this
nightmare again.

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Gerard & Vilai
“UKBA is happy to take the visa application fees, and find spurious
reasons to reject visa applications, in order to take yet more fees....”
Gerard is a British citizen and 59 years old. He is a seventh child and grew up in a loving family.
Gerard’s wife, Vilai, is a good woman, and Gerard, a good man, good husband and good dad. Gerard
and his wife are being forced live apart, surviving on emails and phone calls. Paul does not need to
work, having paid off his mortgage. Yet he works, yet he pays his taxes, and yet he is kept apart from
his wife.
To be together in the UK they must now embark on further unnecessary onerous bureaucracy to satisfy
a cold heartless agency doing this government’s cruel callous bidding. Family friendly? Gerard and
Vilai think not; to the UKBA they are just two more pawns contributing towards statistics showing what
a good job 'they' are doing to protect ‘our borders’ and ‘the taxpayer’. But Paul too is a taxpayer.
Vilai has never been married before, nor had any children. Thon would prefer they live in Thailand,
near her mum and four sisters, but Gerard prefers the UK, where his home and children are. So Vilai is
prepared to give up her family, friends and career so that Gerard doesn’t have to give up his.
Gerard is very accomplished having attended university not once, but four times. He has been selfemployed most of his life, and was a professional photographer for about 25 years, in the Cumbria area.
He has worked hard, worked long hours and made many weddings and other events memorable for
many British families. Indeed, when his work expanded to include a letting agency renting out holiday
homes in the Loire Valley, Gerard’s photos were even featured on the front cover of Chez Nous.
The work was very successful and Gerard and his first wife contributed a lot in taxes to the British
government. To help develop the business further, Gerard went to study French: conversation classes,
A-level at night school, a BA at university starting at age 47, at every level he was encouraged to go
further.
He soon closed his studio and rented it out as half shop, half flat. All however wasn’t to continue
smoothly. In 2002, two years into his BA degree, Gerard’s wife of 24 years admitted to an ongoing
affair. He was shattered and subsequently diagnosed with severe clinical depression.
As one must do, however, he learnt to move on, going to work in a BT call centre before completing
his degree at university where, despite the upheavals, he succeeded in obtaining a 2:1, a hair's breadth
away from a first. With his qualifications, he was offered work at a university in Brittany (France), as a
language assistant. Gerard spent a year in France while also completing the divorce proceedings. Many
of his students were the children of families from Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, and all delightful
students.
He was able to retain his house and studio ... and a hefty mortgage; his other assets, including his share
of the French business, went to his now ex-wife. Gerard knows all about beans on toast and no heat,
better that than claim benefits. He is a proud man
Gerard went on to complete an MA TEFL course, again at university, just six weeks after burying his
mum, aged 97 years. Both his uncles (John and Thomas) died in World War One, in 1917 (Ypres) and
1918 (between Arras and Cambrai), aged 21 and 20.
Gerard completed the MA, along with students from Greece, Iran, China and Taiwan, for whom he did
some proofreading. He worked so hard he got a distinction for his dissertation.
Being over 50, he found obtaining work difficult. He spent some savings on renovating his home. In the
summer of 2007, he worked as a postman for a short period, followed by some proofreading work. Then
he spent several months helping his elder son renovate the house he had bought in north Manchester –
hard unpaid physical graft. Gerard planned to sell his house, pay off his mortgage and perhaps move to

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France, but helping his son meant he got caught up in ‘the crash’, and missed the boat.
So he rented out his renovated house and went to France on the off chance that some work would come
his way. He succeeded in obtaining a language assistant job in Lille.
As before, he paid all the deductions in France and living/ travelling expenses (not tax deductible), more
tax on his French salary in the UK, and tax on his rental income. He came back to find the flat he had
rented out trashed, not for the first time, and had to spend several weeks sorting that out.
In late 2009 Gerard was fed up, lonely and disillusioned. However, finally, things were to take a turn
for the better; the mortgage was nearly paid off and Gerard met his now wife, Vilai. They spent a lot of
time together in Thailand and UK.
Last year Vilai applied for a visit visa in Bangkok, but was turned down, with the usual ‘insufficient
reason to return’, despite having a long-term job to go back to and proof of same. While querying the
decision, Gerard contacted his MP’s office and other individuals. Mysteriously, the decision was
reversed and no explanation was given. Gerard wanted Vilai to marry him while she was here, but she
had promised her boss she would go back, and so she did.
The plan in December 2011 was for Gerard to spend more time with Vilai, his fiancée, and proceed to
marriage if and when they were both sure. She always was, he became so, despite and perhaps because
of some cultural differences, and they got married.
The intention was Gerard would return to UK with his wife, but they were hit by the English test
requirement; it had to be taken and passed before applying for a visa, along with the health checks.
Gerard firmly believes, in line with various studies, the place to learn English is in an English-speaking
country, by immersion (acquisition), not just in a classroom. Soon it became apparent they wouldn’t be
travelling together as Gerard had urgent matters to attend to at home. He did hope his wife would be
with him in time for the Olympic torch through his village. Alas, it was not to be.
Vilai sat the English test in March and passed first time, although it took until May for the certificate to
arrive. There was then an IOM query over her TB test, and it took another two months for the all-clear
to be received. All these delays meant that they could not submit a spouse visa application before 9 July.
Finally, in August, she was able to apply for a settlement visa, pay over £800 and wait up to 12 weeks
for the UKBA to decide if this married couple could live together.
Worse was to come. Vilai’s application was rejected as UKBA wanted a vast array of additional
documents. No chance was given to respond. It was a rejection and probably another £800+ to be paid
before they would reconsider the spouse's application. The UKBA appears to be happy to advise what
they want after they turn you down; then, on subsequent applications, they may find something else,
and so it goes on. They don’t ask for more information during the waiting period, which is scandalous.
What does Gerard think of all this? He thinks it’s appalling. What should have been a happy joyous
time after a decade of misery turned into an edelweiss trampled on by Douglasboots. HMRC is happy
to accept the thousands he pays in taxes, meanwhile the UKBA is even happier to take the visa
application fees, and find spurious reasons to reject visa applications, in order to take yet more fees.
This government doesn’t care how long they keep married couples apart, they don’t care about British
citizens and their spouses, they don’t respect marriage or family. Article 8 is just a thorn in their side.
All British citizens hear about are scam marriages, terrorists, drug dealers and people-trafficking. They
are choosing to ignore the many decent honest citizens who just want to live with their family.

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Haje & Ziah
“Missed deadlines, lost marriage certificates, baffling incompetence;
welcome to the Home Office.”
Haje is resident in the UK. He came here about thirteen years ago from Norway; literally fresh off the
boat as he disembarked at Newcastle to start his journalism course in Liverpool. The big shiny lights,
the unfeasibly short skirts and the incredible amounts of Stella consumed was something to behold.
He remembers thinking, “so this is what the big world is like”.
Haje had no intention of remaining in the UK. However plans changed and he set up his first
company soon after finishing university. Fast forward the best part of a decade and Haje is now
living in London; his company is a success and he’s doing pretty well too.
However, something over-shadows everything else in his life: he is in love with Ziah from USA.
Truly, properly, and very much in love. She’s hot (why not!), awesome (of course), talented (what
else) and from the USA (unfortunately). They met whilst Ziah was in the UK working in visual
effects - one of those industries that would have collapsed if it hadn’t been for foreign talent.
From here, it’s a pretty standard tale of boy-meets-girl, boy-and-girl-go-travelling-round- world, boyand-girl-move-to-South-America-for-a-year, boy-proposes-to-girl, girl-says-yes, girl-narrowly-avoidsturning-into-bridezilla and so forth.
They got married at the end of 2012, planning to return to
UK. But first, they had to go through the Home Office
process.
They expected it to be easy. After all, Haje is an EU
citizen with a job and a lovely flat. As an EEA Citizen,
the EU guarantees the right to move and reside freely
anywhere within the EEA. (see Directive 2004/38/EC on
the right to move and reside freely).
Being married to Haje, Ziah should be able to enter the country and get an EEA Residence card, as per
Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006.
However they didn’t count on Home Office placing unnecessarily obstacles in their way.
The irony is that Ziah doesn’t need this piece of paper. In fact, on the UKBA site, they say “You do
not need to obtain documents confirming your right of residence in the UK if you are a family member
of an EEA national”, but you “may have difficulty proving that you are lawfully resident in the UK”;
i.e. it will be difficult to re-enter the UK if you go abroad, and that you “may find it difficult to obtain
or change employment.” So essentially, what they’re saying is that you don’t need this piece of paper,
but if you don’t have it you’re screwed.
Keen to be immigrants of the legal variety, the couple submitted their EEA2 form, which means that
— by law – the Home Office has to issue the residence card within six months. Months went by and
the six month deadline went and passed.
Eventually, the Home Office did get back to them, rejecting the application as the payslips they
received were ‘copies’. Given the company is paperless, the originals of payslips are PDF documents,
how do the Home Office expect submission of these?

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More importantly: why couldn’t Home Office have contacted them? The second they opened the
envelope and the payslips tumbled out, they’d have been able to spot that something wasn’t quite
“official” enough for them.
In the meantime, Ziah may lose the job she has been offered – a job that would mean she starts paying
income tax – because she can’t prove she is allowed to work here, even though she is! So, we start
our long and arduous climb up the slippery pole that is the appeals process.
Receiving an EEA residence permit really is a formality: apparently it used to be possible to rock up at
an office with a pair of passports, a marriage certificate, a couple of pay slips and a tenancy
agreement, and they’d stamp the EEA residence card into your passport there and then. The whole
process would take less than a day. The underpinning laws haven’t changed, but the process has
morphed from taking 4-hours to 4400 hours.
To ‘prove’ the payslips and other digital documents are effectively ‘originals’, Haje was advised to
purchase a rubber stamp; his lawyer said “It’s only £30, buy one. It’s the Home Office, logic does not
apply.”
As they prepare to put in their appeal, Ziah realises Home Office never returned their original
marriage certificate. So she sends a letter to the Home Office, asking for her marriage certificate
back. In response, they received a most insidious letter from “EO2 LNC21” (as their case worker is
known - god forbid they actually get the real name of the person deciding their fate) claiming to work
for the UK Boarder Agency (sic) ‘application was seen and decided by myself,’ and that ‘there was no
marriage certificate in your application’ The caseworker goes on to say that the ‘application did not
contain a covering letter stating the contents of the application and the only record this office has that
there may have been a marriage certificate included in this application is the application form.’
The absolutely incredible thing about the latter statement is that the couple included the marriage
certificate and a cover letter specifying this. How can they be so sure? Because the Home Office
returned their cover letter to them!
It does appear that Home Office puts up artificial hindrances in the way, even for people from the EU
(and their family members), because they are trying to dissuade potential migrants from EEA
countries as much as possible. Is that legal? Absolutely not. Does the Home Office care? Actions
speak louder than words.
Haje finds it hard to explain exactly how powerless he feels when facing a government agency which
finds it easy to flout the law. Doubly so when what ought to be a simple formality becomes an
unsurpassable wall that stands between the right-here-right-now, and being able to start a life in the
UK as productive members of society.
Ziah would love to work. She would love to start paying taxes. Both her and Haje would love to be a
shiny example of exactly the kind of immigrants we need in this country.
Now if only the Home Office would let them.

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Hayley & Mehmet
“We won’t ever give up, we will win, we will be together”
Hayley is a British citizen. Mehmet, her husband is from Turkey. So for reasons only due to accident of
birth, this married couple has seen each other for one week since their wedding in September 2012. They
expect to have seen each other for a total of two weeks by the time of their first anniversary.
Hayley lives in South Wales, where finding a job in her line of work, paying over
£18,600 is very difficult. And so Hayley works two jobs. One as a self-employed
beauty therapist, and the other as an administrator. So she works from 9am to 3pm
in the office job, and 4pm to 9pm running her own business. That’s twelve hours.
Every working day, and often, Saturdays as well.
She has been doing this since March 2012 because rules for proving income as a
self-employed person in love with a non-EEA citizen are anything but simple.
Hayley has never worked this hard. She’s tired and has no life outside work due to rules as they were; due
to the July 2012 rules making it even more difficult.
Hayley recalls the change in her life, after returning from their lovely wedding in Turkey with family and
friends bearing witness, when she started to gather everything they needed for the spouse visa, only to realise
after many late nights pouring over the UKBA website that because she was self-employed, they could not
actually apply until April 2013, to allow for the relevant tax year to end.
She was absolutely devastated reading this and realising that they had a long wait
before they could even apply. So they both cracked on, working hard, sitting it
out, battling on.
Mehmet’s spouse visa is in process. However, she is very worried reading of
people being refused even where they meet the income requirement. This couple
has been working hard, saving up for their future together and they have borne the
time apart, anticipating they will be together before long.
Hayley considered sharing her story only after receiving a response to the visa application, but often a burden
shared is a burden halved and so she decided to share with BritCits and somehow ease the enormous burden
of stress they are under. She is alone and lonely. Although she was welcomed in Istanbul in January 2013,
where she went for a week to support her husband through the English exam, she hasn’t seen him since. They
Skype regularly and speak over the phone several times a day, but it’s not the same.
For this couple time is also more precious with Hayley being in her 40s. Hayley lost a child 17 years ago,
leading to a failed marriage and years before she was granted this second chance at happiness. The couple
want kids, but are being forced to postpone it because of these rules. We only hope it won’t be too late.
Keeping a married couple apart is bad enough, but the government interfering on a couple’s decision to have
kids is untenable.
Hayley just wants the chance to be happy, live with her husband, wake up to him every morning and come
home to him every night. Is that really too much to ask for? They don’t want to claim benefits, just both
work hard and be together like ‘a normal’ married couple.
They found the visa application process laborious – whichever way it goes, and we hope the result is positive,
it has aged Hayley ten years. However, the couple love each other; there is nothing they wouldn’t do for the
other...they just want to be together like all couples do.
Update: Mehmet received his visa in August 2013. Hayley is looking forward to welcoming her husband and
starting their married life together, as it should be.

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Janice & Erdogan
“I have to fulfil my duty to look after my mother in her 70s, and my
12-year-old son, so I have no choice but to fight for my partner to
come to the UK. In the meantime I go out to see him as often as I can,
nearly 20 times in 5 years!!"
Janice is a British citizen and has been in a relationship with her partner, Erdogan, who happens to be
from Turkey, since 2007. In February 2008, Erdogan was removed from his place of work without any
prior warning by Norfolk Immigration, who admitted their letters to Erdogan had not been received.
Erdogan came to England on a marriage visa in December 2005. Nineteen months later, his wife walked
out on him, leaving him to run the business (a kebab and pizza shop) they had started together. On
several occasions Erdogan tried to contact her to discuss terms of the divorce, including issues relating
to the shop they jointly owned. She however avoided engaging in such discussions. Erdogan finally
contacted a solicitor to begin proceedings, but the appointment was delayed because the solicitor fell
ill, with the next appointment being for two days after Erdogan was suddenly and forcibly removed
from the UK.
Janice spoke with Linda Manchester, from Norfolk Immigration in Swaffham, who arrested Erdogan at
around 7.30 pm to ask why Erdogan had been treated in this way, without any warning? Ms Manchester
advised that Erdogan had not responded to letters from UKBA advising him that his visa had been
revoked, but she finally admitted that she was aware he hadn’t received the letters as they had been
returned to them, unopened. Ms Manchester said their understanding was that the UKBA was not able
to locate Erdogan to send letters to him; however, Erdogan worked in the same shop every day and,
indeed, the UKBA were able to locate him when it came to arresting him!
Erdogan was removed cruelly, losing money on the marital home he had been paying the mortgage on,
and on the business he had worked long and hard hours for. He wasn’t even allowed to go to his house,
his home, to get his clothes. He wasn’t allowed to sort out his finances. He was just spirited away.
Erdogan was even denied legal representation.
Janice met Erdogan before he was deported; the well-groomed and well presented man she knew looked
like he had been living on the streets all his life. He was a broken man, having lost everything he had
worked for, his business, his pride and his respect within the Turkish community, along with the
possibility of losing the people he loved and who loved him.
Since his removal nearly five years ago, Janice and Erdogan have been trying to get his divorce finalised,
so they can marry and start a life together as a family. Unfortunately, Erdogan’s estranged wife was
hell-bent on making things difficult, but finally, in 2010, the Decree Absolute came through.
Janice considered moving to Turkey, but with kids here herself, including a 12-year-old who she won’t
be able to take overseas, and a mother in her 70s that Janice looks after, it’s not possible if Janice wants
to fulfil her other roles of mum and daughter. So they have no choice but to fight for Erdogan to come
here.
In the meantime, Janice goes out to Turkey as often as she can; in the last five years, she has gone there
to be with Erdogan nearly 20 times.

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Jessica & Arban
“I can’t wait to just have a normal life with my husband.”
Jessica is a British citizen from Nottingham working in Hampshire. She first met Arban in April 2011,
several months after becoming friends with him on Facebook. They got married in April 2013.
For Jessica once they met, she knew Arban was ‘the one’. She went home after the first meeting and
told her nana that she had met the man she was going to marry.
Little did she know that Arban himself had said the same thing
to his family; showing them a picture of Jessica and telling
them that she was his future wife.
Arban is very hard working – he was working 12 hours a day
6 days a week when they first met. Jessica at the time was in
her 3rd year of BsC Audiology.
Arban’s visa had run out and he was receiving help from a
solicitor for a legacies case giving him grounds to stay in the
UK to be with Jessica. However, the authorities didn’t acknowledge Jessica and Arban’s relationship
as durable or genuine. So Arban was deported to Albania.
Due to the stress of losing Arban, Jessica started having panic attacks, finding it
difficult to leave the house on her own. She was forced to take a gap year from
university hence postponing her dream job as an audiologist. She did manage to
calm the panic episodes with the help of medication, but soon took a knock back
after being attacked by a 13 year old in her local area. She was left covered in
bruises and broken ribs. University was postponed for yet another year.
It was painful for Arban to see Jessica in such a state even over Skype. He was
upset and frustrated that he couldn’t be there to protect her or even hold her
hand. That’s when Jessica decided to go into live in care, as it meant she could live at work and earn
enough money to apply for the spouse visa to bring him home. It is not an easy job; Jessica hasn’t
seen her own family or friends for most of the year and has only seen her husband and in laws three
times in 2013. This is not what family life should be about.
In June 2013, they made the spouse application, providing evidence of earnings as well as Arban’s
English language certificate.
On September 11th, they received the refusal on several grounds, including English language test and
financials.
The couple is frustrated. The savings they had built up for a house deposit is being eroded with time
apart. In the meantime, Jessica continues managing full-time study and work, in the hope of
completing her degree and landing her dream job. The couple just looks forward to the day they can
have a “normal” life together.

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Joanne & Ben
Joanne is a British citizen who met her husband, Ben in 2007. They got married in 2010 and applied
for a UK settlement visa in February 2013.
They were refused the visa on the grounds that Joanne did not meet the financial requirements, even
though her salary is in excess of £18,600. The method used by UKBA meant they calculated her pay
incorrectly, and did not look at all the evidence provided. Since April, their appeal process has been
in play, causing further stress, keeping the couple apart for even longer and resulting in a drain on
their savings.

This couple’s experience of the UKBA is unfortunately not an anomaly. We await the result
of their appeal and hopefully justice will finally prevail for this couple.

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JoJo & Loïc
“Our application took nearly a year and we’re one of the lucky ones!”
JoJo is a British Citizen from Hampshire and Northumberland. Even as a child she dreamed of Africa;
nature, chimpanzees and gorillas. At Durham University she studied Physical Anthropology followed
by six months as a volunteer in Republic of Congo at a chimpanzee sanctuary.
In January 2005 she got a job in Gabon to set up a new chimpanzee and gorilla conservation project for
the Max Planck Institute (MPI) in Leipzig, Germany. In this role JoJo met Loïc: a Gabonese research
assistant and committed conservationist. They explored rainforests, estimating number of apes lived in
the forest, mapping an area of over 100km2 to document details.
JoJo and Loïc lived in a remote and isolated tented camp with no running water or electricity, but they
loved the work they were doing, and felt that lack of creature comforts was well worth it. After five
years the relationship evolved into more with the relationship flourishing in the remote rainforest.
For the next five years they lived together, expanding the ape project, working
on habituating chimpanzees and gorillas for an eco-tourism project. They were
happy, developing a strong bond. JoJo’s family visited them on several
occasions and in 2009 Loïc proposed to JoJo. She accepted.
In August 2010, JoJo moved to Germany to complete her PhD. Loïc visited
her and they applied for a UK visit visa, hence followed four fabulous weeks,
visiting places from JoJo’s childhood, family and friends. Loïc then returned
to Gabon, and they kept in touch as much as possible, but bad phone coverage
meant sometimes they had to go weeks without, meeting up in parts of Africa and Europe in the
intervening period.
In January 2012 they handed in their notice at MPI to embark on a life in UK. In April 2012 JoJo
returned to Gabon for two months for handover with the plan to marry in UK in December. Although
tinged with much sadness at leaving their beloved Africa, the couple was excited about their future.
Little did they know what the UKBA had in store for them.
Loïc submitted his visa application for a spouse visa in May 2012, travelling to the nearest British
embassy in Cameroon. They provided evidence of their relationship, statements showing savings.
JoJo’s father wrote a letter confirming they could live in his mortgage-free house.
However, three months later, the application was denied. UKBA did not believe JoJo’s bank statements
were genuine (they were); as her savings were in an “E-Bond” (maturing in December 2012) they didn’t
believe the couple had access to these funds. UKBA said it “could not be satisfied on the balance of
probability” the relationship was genuine and subsisting.
Hence followed an appeal. By this point the wedding date was booked in for 7th December, guests too
had been invited. They therefore collated further documentation; more statements and testimonials from
employers, colleagues and friends, more photos, and evidence of phone and email correspondence
between JoJo and Loïc during the last two years. JoJo also got a job in the UK, working for an
organisation focused on great ape conservation, paying over £18,600. They submitted evidence of their
upcoming nuptials, requested an expedited appeal which was refused. So the wedding was cancelled,
deposits were lost and hearts were broken.
The couple decided to get married as scheduled on 7th December albeit in Gabon. Guests included
JoJo’s father and aunt, many family members of Loïc, and friends of both Loïc and JoJo. JoJo’s sister
was pregnant and couldn’t fly. Her brother too missed out as he couldn’t get time off work.

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Nevertheless, it was a beautiful ceremony followed by a lovely honeymoon before JoJo’s work
commitments required her to return home. So it was that the couple began married life on different
continents. What was supposed to be their first magical Christmas together with all of JoJo’s family,
turned into a sad phone call, with bad phone signal and getting cut off on numerous occasions.
The couple comforted themselves in the knowledge that the appeal deadline was the 22nd February and
that in two months they would be reunited, since their appeal case was rock solid and full of irrefutable
evidence. Unsurprisingly, JoJo and Loïc did not receive any decision from the UKBA by 22nd February
as required. HM Courts and First Tier Tribunal wrote to inform the couple that they would have to
attend an oral hearing to appeal the decision.
A lawyer they retained for the appeal was unphased and unsurprised by UKBA’s behaviour. She
informed the couple it was common for UKBA to not even open appeal documents and simply wait the
five months afforded to them, to then allow it to automatically go to a hearing.
Delaying tactics presumably in the hope that the relationship would not withstand the pressure.
Despite all this, JoJo and Loïc feel lucky compared to many other families in similar situations as they
don’t yet have kids and so aren’t enduring the pain of raising a family apart. JoJo is very fortunate to
be able to earn over £18,600 to qualify for a visa. Loïc didn’t have to take an English test because there
isn’t a testing centre in Gabon. But that doesn’t stop them feeling angry and frustrated. This treatment
by the UK government is a breach of human rights.
Their appeal hearing was scheduled for June 2013, more than a year after the initial application. JoJo
and Loïc tried to remain optimistic, whilst preparing for more delaying tactics and preposterous claims,
determined to prove love conquers all.
In March 2013, Loïc received an email informing him that the appeal had been successful, asking him
to take his passport to the embassy in Cameroon. However the embassy was unaware of this; finally
agreeing to send his application to Ghana - a process which would take a further two weeks. Only to
find weeks later there had been no progress...after several times being told the equivalent of the ‘cheque
is in the mail’ he was told the visa printing machine in Ghana was broken, so he’d have to wait another
month, or they could send his passport to another country with a working machine.
JoJo’s father went to the UKBA office in Croydon. After an hour of not even being allowed through
the door, he finally got to speak to someone who knew staff in the Ghana office. Two hours later, he
received a call from Ghana promising him the passport with the visa was being sent back to Cameroon
the very same day – clearly the machine wasn’t broken after all.
Six more excruciating days went by. Finally, on 2nd May, the passport
arrived and Loïc could return to Gabon to take the flight to UK on 7th May
where JoJo met him at the airport. At passport control Loïc was taken aside
and questioned for over an hour then finally allowed through. Then the
now not-so-newly married couple was finally reunited.
The entire application process ended up taking nearly one year, costing
over £5000 and a lot of heartache. What should have been a simple application process was turned into
a shambolic and frustrating process by the UK government in a misguided aim to cut immigration and
break apart British families.

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Joyce, Clyde & Xu Dan
The story from a mother’s perspective
Joyce is a British mother from Yorkshire. Her family can trace their UK roots going back 500 years.
No member of their family has claimed benefits for a duration longer than a few weeks.
This is a proud and self-sustaining family with strong work ethics. Joyce recalls when she went against
the norm, travelling around Europe. She ended up living and working in Brussels.
She wasn’t surprised therefore when her son, Clyde – also a British citizen - was driven by the same
adventurous wanderlust to travel. Clyde is quite shy, but found he could fuel his travel urge by teaching
his valuable mother tongue – the English language – to others in the places he travelled to.
In 2007 his travels took him to a mining town in southern China. He enjoyed the extreme differences
he found between this town and England, but it wasn’t a place he could settle down for life in. However
while there he met Xu Dan - a Chinese girl. They fell very much in love.
Once the teaching contract ended, Clyde returned home, wanting to be with Xu Dan but knowing China
wasn’t in his long-term plans. They stayed in touch via Skype, meeting during holidays.
Their love survived the long distance and inherent hardships, but Clyde decided he’d move to Beijing
with Xu Dan, where a teaching job would be easier to find. He first wished to introduce Xu Dan to his
parents and so applied for a tourist visa to bring her to several family events in 2010. The visa was
refused and the entire family was hurt, surprised and disappointed. UKBA gave no reason for the refusal,
though it was too late to do anything as the events were imminent.
The young couple spent a happy 18 months in Beijing with Clyde working in a teaching role. In 2011
Joyce and her husband planned to spend their own holiday travelling to China to meet Xu Dan.
Incidentally, Joyce and her husband had no problems obtaining a visa from the Chinese authorities, with
the process being more efficient and cheaper than the service provided by UKBA.
As both Clyde and Xu Dan’s family would be together, it seemed a perfect opportunity to seal their
relationship by marriage. Joyce travelled to Xu Dan’s home town, in northern China and together the
two families celebrated an extraordinary set of events, a wedding party and the official administrative
marriage declaration.
It was pure happiness for all
involved. The united families
walked around the Meihekou
streets together, truly but naively
believing, that it would now only
be a matter of time before Joyce
could welcome her new daughterin-law to meet the rest of their
family – including Joyce’s mum in
her late 80s - and walk around the English streets with the same freedom.
The family applied for a family visit visa for Xu Dan to spend Christmas with her new family. To their
horror, it was refused again. UKBA didn’t believe Xu Dan would return to China after the visit. Joyce’s
direct experiences with UKBA and various British embassies proved fruitless and she realised UK had
abandoned her family. Joyce didn’t give up – she went to see an officially approved immigration legal
advisor in Cambridge and they put in a successful, albeit expensive, appeal.

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With happy hearts the family welcomed Clyde and Xu Dan at Heathrow on 18th December 2011. Xu
Dan visited her grandmother-in-law as well, spending a fantastic Christmas, followed by a tour of UK
where Clyde and Xu Dan met relatives from Shropshire, North Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.
Clyde longed to live in the friendly communities among the narrow boats moored on river Cam and
used his savings to buy a boat. He received job offers from English Language schools in Cambridge.

At the same time, Xu Dan left UK complying with the visa conditions and went to Belgium to be with
her in-laws. It was only AFTER a settlement visa application was submitted and paid for (over €1000)
that fine print indicated those with temporary residence rights in Belgium couldn’t apply for a settlement
visa. So Xu Dan took her first solo plane journey back to China and after some complications, submitted
the application. The visa was rejected - UKBA wasn’t satisfied Clyde would earn £18,600; though from
his performance to date indicated he was set to earn at least £21,000. It is impossible to describe the
distress & devastation caused to the whole family.
The offer of support of Clyde’s parents was ignored, as was the rent-free accommodation in Joyce’s
mum’s home; also ignored was the fact that Clyde owned his own residence i.e. the boat for which he
therefore wouldn’t have any accommodation expenses. The income which could be earned by Xu Dan
was also ignored, as a fluent Mandarin speaker.
They immediately appealed in November 2012, though the hearing will take place after June 2013 at
the earliest, which means the couple is separated for a further minimum 9 months.
Joyce’s husband couldn’t cope with the constant issues surrounding Joyce and her family; he suffered
from depression and felt neglected and subsequently left Joyce.
This family is now completely broken because of UKBA’s farcical immigration rules.
Joyce’s plea is for MPs – our representatives, to take a hard look at how your draconian immigration
rules are affecting British citizens, rules which don’t contribute to supporting families nor stabilising
society in any way.

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Leanne
“My husband is my life and he's the best thing that's ever happened
to me - it kills me every day I am forced to be without him”
Leanne is a British citizen. Her husband is a citizen of Egypt and therefore not allowed to live in the
UK with her.
Leanne met her husband in Greece, where he has lived and worked for over six years. They have been
together for the last four, and got married in April 2013, in Greece. They know they will need to be
apart for over six months – possibly twelve if not longer. Six months to show Leanne’s payslips and
savings (she earns less than £18,600 but together they have £22,000 savings to supplement this for
satisfying the financial requirement). Another six months or longer for processing of the application.
Although the financial considerations are in hand, Leanne is petrified her husband’s visa will be refused.
Their view very much (not surprisingly!) is that UKBA seems to be finding reasons to refuse visas left,
right and centre, often for spurious reasons.
At 31, Leanne already feels like she doesn’t have enough time. She was diagnosed with bowel cancer
at the age of 20; after bouts of chemotherapy and surgery, she was told she would not be able to have
her own biological kids. So given that her hospital has indicated she may be able to have IVF, it’s so
urgent that this couple gets the chance to make their own family. However they can’t take it further
without her husband by her side.
Leanne is scared..if her husband can’t join her any time soon, with that not only are her rights as a
British citizen jeopardised, but so is her very natural human right to have a family
On 25th June 2013, Leanne cried tears of joy. This is the day she was returning from hospital after one
of her regular checkups for cancer.
However, the reason for the tears was the ray of hope for her being united with her husband. Leanne’s
brother sent her a link to a BBC article, following which she watched a Newsnight program telling her
of EU providing justice where the British government snatched it away, via the Surinder Singh route.
The resulting questions though show more than anything that this route isn’t one taken lightly; nor are
British citizens with non-EEA families expecting our streets to be paved with gold. They also show the
shameful fear the government has successfully instilled in the very people it’s being paid to represent.
Does this mean I don’t have to be apart from my husband any longer?
Can the government close this route too?
How long do I have to be working there?
Can my husband work there as well?
Will my husband then be allowed to work in the UK, if we return here using Surinder Singh route?
There at no point have been any questions on accessing benefits which under UK’s immigration rules
non-EEA family members don’t qualify for any way. If anything people have been adamant that with
their spouse here they would have less need to claim benefits because of the multiple incomes the family
would be earning.

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Margaret & Mustapha
“They said I was too old for my husband and our marriage would not
be accepted in Moroccan culture and so, refused his visa.”
Margaret is a British citizen, aged 58, who first met her husband, Mustapha, aged 32, online. They
became friends when Margaret went to visit her daughters family in Morocco, and the friendship
strengthened over time, even when Margaret had returned to the UK.
Having come out of a bad marriage that had lasted 17 years and with her own health issues, Margaret
was wary of getting into another relationship and trusting again. However, more time passed and
gradually Margaret couldn’t deny that she cared for Mustapha, particularly after another visit to
Morocco, when Margaret fell ill and Mustapha looked after her.
Parting at the airport was horrendous and Margaret realised how much she missed him. She went back
a few times, spending time with Mustapha’s family as well, with whom she gets along very well.
They sought permission from Mustapha’s parents and Moroccan judges (as is the requirement there)
and finally in June 2010, they got married. Two years later, they applied for a visit visa, for Mustapha
to be with Margaret for the bypass surgery she was having to help alleviate some of her health problems.
The visa was refused. So Margaret had to have surgery without her husband by her side.
Post-surgery, Margaret and Mustapha applied for a settlement visa, in order to have her husband with
her during the post-op recovery. This too was rejected. The reason given? The UKBA staff member
processing their application thought Moroccan culture would deem Margaret was too old for Mustapha
and therefore, Mustapha’s intention cannot have been to stay with Margaret, and finally that Mustapha
would be able to seek public funds.
Given Mustapha would not qualify for public funds for at least ten years, and Margaret and Mustapha
had gotten married in spite of age difference because of their feelings for each other, the refusal was not
justified…especially in light of the fact that UKBA did not even bother to interview the couple – they
just made the decision based on a written application!.
For Margaret the issue is not the £18,600. She is a registered disabled person and therefore the income
threshold does not apply to her. And so the UKBA creates another barrier by assuming their marriage
cannot be genuine. They did not interview him. They did not carry out any research into the marriage.
They just assumed.

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Maria
“I satisfy the financial threshold, but as we have not lived together,
how do I prove a durable relationship to the Home Office’s
satisfaction?”
Maria is a British citizen from Northern Ireland, with a boyfriend who is a citizen of the USA.
They have known each other since 2000 when as teenagers they became friends, staying in touch across
the Atlantic through emails and phone calls.
In March 2010, their relationship developed into something more than ‘just friends’. They visited each
other twice a year and now wish to make their relationship more permanent by living together in
Northern Ireland.
Maria earns £30,000 a year, well in excess of the £18,600 requirement. However, they are not quite
ready for the commitment of marriage and so flummoxed by how to prove that theirs is a ‘durable
relationship’ when they have not been living together so don’t have joint household bills, tenancy
agreements or a mortgage.
This is a couple who simply wants the opportunity to have a proper relationship, explore the potential
for a future together before rushing into marriage. A couple that should be admired for being mature.
Yet this is a couple that is afraid they will be caught in the Home Office net of finding reasons to refuse
visa applications rather than using common sense.

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Paula
“The government expects me to leave my job, my ability to support my
family and just move countries, else be apart from my husband!”
Paula is a British citizen. She was born and raised here.
She is extremely angry that someone she doesn’t even know...someone who doesn’t even know her, is
telling her she can’t live with her husband...the man she was allowed to marry!
Paula earns over £18,600 as the manager of a charity. Her husband has passed his ESOL exams and is
currently devouring Charles Dickens novels. They have never had recourse to public funds. Paula does
have a medical condition which requires medication and supervision.
This couple has spent a lot of money on immigration lawyers, yet been refused leave to remain.
The message to this British citizen is; leave your job, your ability to support your family, maintain your
medical condition elsewhere...move to another country!

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Sandra & Ahmed
“In order to be with my husband I need to move to Tunisia or
elsewhere in Europe. I don’t understand why I can’t live in my
home, with my husband. Why must I be forced out just to live with
the man I have married?!!”
British citizen Sandra and her husband, Ahmed, have been fighting to have the right to live together in
the UK since December 2011. Ahmed lives in Tunisia and Sandra in England.
UKBA delays and decisions have been playing havoc with their lives. They initially waited three
months for an answer on their visa application. Ahmed went to the embassy and they told him they
didn’t know anything about his application following which they spent three hours looking for his
paper work. This was followed by a refusal letter.
They have been to solicitors who said they cannot help Sandra unless she gets a disability or carer’s
allowance. So she is being encouraged to go on benefits to live with her husband.
They don't know what to do and are badly in need of help. They have been married for two years and
the only way they get to see each other is if Sandra travels to Tunisia, which is putting her under a lot
of stress and as a result of all this heartache, she has now fallen ill.
The excuses that UKBA has given for the refusal are ridiculous. First they said Ahmed’s English
wasn’t up to standard, however he has an English diploma and has passed all the required tests. Then
they said that Sandra wasn’t earning enough.
Sandra and Ahmed are at their wits end and all they want is to live their lives together.

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Shafik & Nesrin
“The situation in Syria is getting worse day by day. For us it’s not
just about the basic right to family life, but the basic right to life.”
Shafik is a British citizen living in London. He met Nesrin on Christmas Eve in 2008 in Damascus,
Syria. They visited tourist sites together and celebrated the arrival of 2009 with each other.
On his return to the UK, Shafik stayed in touch with Nesrin through regular phone calls and the internet.
They met again when Shafik holidayed in Syria from July to September 2010, spending the majority of
the time together. The intervening period had brought them so close they discussed taking their
relationship to another level, with a view to marriage.
Shafik visited Nesrin again in April 2012. This time he was a guest at her home where he spent two
weeks with Nesrin and her family. Shafik and Nesrin’s family got on so well, it cemented their decision
to translate their love into a formal state of spending the rest of their lives as a couple.
In December of the same year, Shafik and Nesrin got engaged – almost exactly four years to the day of
their first meeting each other. Ever since then they have been battling for Nesrin to join Shafik in the
UK, where they wish to get married.
However the war in Syria has delayed their plans. The
British embassy in Damascus closed and Nesrin had to
apply to the embassy in Beirut for her visa. Shafik could
not send Nesrin original documents as the post service in
Syria stopped so he had to scan across the documents.
The English language schools recognised by Home Office
were closed in Syria. So Nesrin travelled to Beirut just to
take the exam in a recognised school. She did pass the exam.
They submitted the application in February 2013 and received a decision in less than a month. However,
the visa was refused, with four reasons being provided for the refusal:
a) Failure to provide evidence that the Sponsor (Shafik) earns £18,600. This is despite the application
including a letter from Shafik’s employer that his income, after tax, is over £18,600. Despite the
application also including the six months payslips required also evidencing this fact. Despite bank
statements showing a healthy level of savings.
b) Failure to provide evidence of required accommodation. This is despite the application including a
letter from a local council showing the flat that Shafik has been living in for the last eight years, in
accordance with UK housing legislation, is sufficient for a couple to live in.
c) Failure to provide evidence of relationship. This is despite the application including many photos of
their engagement ceremony and the times they had spent together. Also included in the application
were copies of emails and transcripts of Skype and Facebook chats.
d) Failure to provide evidence of passing the English language test. This is despite Nesrin obtaining a
B1 in the English language test, which is higher than the pass mark required by the Home Office. A
test certificate issued from a school listed by the Home Office as a recognised and approved school
was submitted with the original application. The school does not provide a Certificate of Passing,
informing Nesrin that the embassy has previously always accepted the documentation provided.

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The couple responded by Shafik sending in the original documents and appealing against the decision
in April 2013. In May the court sent him a pending appeal, suggesting they re-send the application to
the embassy to review, and that if the original decision was not overturned by late September then they
would hold a judicial review of the decision.
Shafik’s solicitor told him that given the unlikelihood of the
embassy overturning the decision, it is likely it would be March
2014 for their case to be heard in court, and June 2014 before
they received a decision.
These timescales are unacceptable for any family, but especially
one where the affected family member is in a war torn country
like Syria.
Shafik is aware that the Home Office has processed only two settlement visas for Syrians in the past
three years.
Shafik is trying to keep his fiancée free from the stress and misery – she is ill and there is a shortage of
medication in Syria at the moment. He speaks to her every day for the limited time that there is
electricity there, trying to keep up her hopes.
However he is worried. The security situation in Syria is deteriorating day by day. His fiancée is in a
warzone and is in real and constant danger every day. For them this is not just about the basic human
right to be allowed to live with your family, but a right to life.

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Sharon & Salah
“UKBA need to understand that behind all they do to keep our
borders safe, are REAL families – British citizens suffering as a result
of ‘rules’ supposedly in place to protect us. ”
Sharon is a British citizen living in Wales, where she met her now husband, Salah.
Sharon and Salah had a very happy life together, with Sharon’s daughter taking to Salah immediately.
Legal advice indicated a spouse visa should be applied from Salah’s country of origin, so the family
went to Egypt in September 2011 from where they put in the application along with a multitude of
certified documents– bank statements, payslips, English language certificate.
In January 2012 they heard back from UKBA, alas, with a
refusal. The reason being that the rules had been changed
so the English test that Salah had passed was no longer on
the “approved list”. The British embassy confirmed the
other documents were fine.
So Salah re-took the test, passed again and they submitted
the application a week before the dreaded rules came in, in
July 2012. Yet again, 3-4 months later they received a
response from UKBA, with yet another refusal. The reason
for refusal this time was mystifying.
UKBA indicated that Salah had been arrested and deported (not true), and that he only came to UK for
money (he didn’t, but this is not relevant any way – UK workers don’t tend to work for free). The
advice Sharon and Salah received was that they should go and exercise their rights in another EU
country.
Fine in principle, but Sharon was aware that UKBA knew – from documents submitted, that this route
wasn’t possible for her given the rights the birth father of her daughter has.
Sharon and Salah have now been living apart for a year with the stress of the situation affecting them.
What our government doesn’t seem to understand is that enforcing separation is difficult at the best of
times, the uncertainty that comes with not knowing when this separation will end is what causes physical
and mental issues, leading to relationships and marriages falling apart.
Indeed, Sharon and Salah are not giving up. They appealed the second refusal, with the British Embassy
in Egypt required to respond by 3rd April 2013. Court of Appeals however indicated that the embassy
did not respond and therefore now this couple is required to go to court – so another two months apart
before there is any sort of progress.
They’ve spent a significant amount of money; two visa applications, legal fees, travel expenses.
UKBA need to understand that behind all the paperwork they do to keep our borders safe, are REAL
families – British citizens suffering as a result of "rules" supposedly in place to protect us.
Update: Sharon & Salah appealed the Home Office refusal and were successful in the Entry Clearance
Manager overturning the refusal. Although initial indications from the government were they would
appeal this decision, in July 2013 the family was advised that the government had in fact withdrawn the
appeal. However, the embassy in Cairo is pleading ignorance of this. Their lawyer is now chasing the
Home Office to push for progress so this family can be reunited.
On 9th September 2013, Salah picked up his visa. The family is now celebrating the triumph of justice
over the Home Office.

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Steve & Yoko
“Home Office bureaucracy has been a massive barrier for us, even
though we satisfy all the requirements.”
Steve is a British citizen from Tunbridge Wells. Currently Steve, his wife Yoko and their one year old
daughter are all stuck 6,000 miles away from home, in Japan. This is despite their having more than
the required £62,500 cash in a current account.
Steve moved to Japan in early 2007, shortly after completing his masters degree. He reconnected with
a friend of a friend who he had met once in London. This friend of a friend was Yoko. The couple
started dating shortly after, and were engaged and living together less than a year later.
As much as Steve loves Japan, he never intended to spend his life there. Yoko, fluent in English and a
great admirer of British culture, is happy to leave her homeland to join Steve in his. The couple was
aware of the requirements to show evidence of relationship, and keeping future the visa application in
mind, kept a record of their life together right from the signing of their first tenancy agreement. Steve
works there as a school teacher, and Yoko in international investment banking.
In 2012, a little while after their little girl was born, they decided the time was right to move to the UK
and settle down, figuring it would be easier to move while she was still small rather than uprooting her
at school-age. Looking at the immigration rules they could tick off the requirements; record of having
lived together for five years, countless photos, testimonies from friends and family, marriage
documents, even a daughter together. They were comfortable they could prove the genuineness of
their relationship. They were prepared for the invasive questions they may need to answer, but
thought the application would really just be a formality given this was two British citizens wishing to
return home with their wife and mother.
Steve has five very clear reasons for why he wants to return home.
1. I'm British. It's my home.
2. My wife still loves the UK, British people and British culture, even after the way she's been treated.
3. My family can help us raise our daughter; Yoko's family is much smaller and less able to help.
4. Mixed race children almost always face racist bullying from their peers and discrimination from
teachers at school in Japan. Bullying of haafu ('half') children often starts in preschool and continues
into adult life. While racism is still a big problem in the UK, being half Japanese in the UK is more
likely to be viewed as something positive.
5. My wife and I survived the Great Earthquake of 2011 and the subsequent Fukushima nuclear
disaster. Another major earthquake has been predicted within the next four years. Fukushima is
making headlines again with further radiation leaks and risks of another meltdown. It's time to come
home.
This is when the financial requirements came to their attention. £18,600 – a lot of money, but Steve
was confident they could cover that allowing for savings. The formula used by the Home Office
though was an unpleasant surprise with the first £16,000 completely disregarded.
Pooling their resources, the couple was however able to show over £62,500 in cash just as the Home
Office demands.

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Despite both Steve and Yoko being educated and fluent in English, they were having trouble
navigating the immigration rules – therefore instructed a solicitor to help them with their application,
incurring more expense.
The solicitor advised that though the application could succeed, the caseworker might ask for six
payslips for Yoko as proof of the source of their savings. However, as Yoko has been on maternity
leave, she did not receive any payslips.
Their solicitor told them that where the caseworker asks for additional evidence, if this is not
furnished within two weeks, the application is refused and the application fee is lost.
The couple could not risk that. Not just because of the application fee, but because Steve’s employer
had offered him another year’s contract. A visa application refusal would have meant Steve would
have been forced to remain in Japan, unemployed, but also unable to return to the UK.
So the family decided to delay their application until Yoko has been back at work for six months, just
so she could get six payslips.
This should ensure the Home Office has no legal reason to refuse their application (though the couple
is aware this doesn’t mean the Home Office won’t refuse it!). However, the inflexibility of the rules
has meant their daughter has had to go into daycare and they’ve been forced to put their plans on hold
for a year just to satisfy utterly pointless bureaucratic requirements.
In the meantime, their daughter still hasn't met most of her family, and Yoko and I have to cope with
raising a kid without any family support for another year.
What’s even worse is that when eventually Steve and his family are able to move to the UK, they
won't be able to buy a house or invest their savings in any way, because they’ll have to keep them in a
current account for the next five years to satisfy the ongoing requirements.
Steve is fully aware that he is one of the luckier victims of his country’s family immigration rules. He
has not been separated from his wife, and he knows they will be eligible for a visa in the near future.
However his case does highlight that even where you are reasonably well off, even where you do
satisfy all the requirements, even where you can prove you are in a genuine relationship, bureaucracy
could be what puts up a giant barrier in the path to family reunification.

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Steve & Yuriko
“I am incredibly angry at having to endure so much stress because
of my government, only because I fell in love with someone from
another country.”
Steve is a British citizen. He has been a migrant himself, or an ex-pat as British migrants tend to be
referred to, living in New York between the years 2007 and 2010. He returned to the UK, to be close
to family. While he had enjoyed being in New York, it just wasn’t home.
Before Steve left for the US, he had met Yuriko, from Japan. At the time they were just friends, but
kept in touch via email, phone, Skype, Facebook. When he returned to the UK, Steve was in a
position to spend more time with her. He had been successful in obtaining a really good job – within
the area of technology for finance companies in the City - earning much more than the current income
requirement of £18,600.
Steve visited Yuriko in Japan in late 2010, by which time they had entered a relationship beyond that
of ‘just friends’.
Steve was due to visit Yuriko, his then girlfriend in Japan again in 2011, when the region was
devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Yuriko at the time lived in Sendai, the epicentre of
the earthquake. Steve couldn't go there, Yuriko couldn’t leave from there.
Although Yuriko was physically fine, her house was damaged (and has since incidentally, been rebuilt
by the government for the most part) and for a month the phone line was patchy, mobile phones had to
be charged up in the centre of town and Yuriko like the other residents in the area had to survive with
food rationing, no water and no heating.
Later in 2011, Yuriko made the visit to the UK when to her delight Steve proposed and happily, she
accepted!
Which is when their experience of the UK visa process began.
Initially they applied for a fiancée visa. It was long, drawn out
process, not to mention expensive. Yuriko had to sit the English
language test, and Steve had to provide a pile of documentation in
support of her application. In March 2012 Yuriko received the
visa in time for her move to the UK in May 2012, and all was
good.
Steve & Yuriko after a visit to Norwich Cathedral

Until real life intervened.
Steve was being made redundant from his very well paid job. He also discovered the immigration
rules were about to change to introduce an income requirement though it was unclear as to the level.
So Steve went through an incredibly stressful and uncertain month. His fiancée was about to uproot
herself and move to the UK for them to make a life together, and Steve wasn’t sure whether or not he
would be able to sponsor her as his wife. Would Yuriko be deported? Would she even be allowed to
enter? Would he be able to honour his commitment to her?

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Steve followed the news and various immigration boards closely. The more he found out about how
the rules were going to change without a parliamentary vote, the more outraged he became.
By June 2012, Steve was fortunate to obtain clarity that because his fiancée’s visa was under the ‘old’
rules, they’d continue, even for the spouse visa, to not have any income threshold applied to them.
Steve had wisely made some investments which meant they were okay for a period of not working.
In late June 2012, the couple got married.
More good news followed with August seeing
Steve finding work again earning over the £18,600
threshold, albeit a threshold which does not apply
to him. So the celebrations continued and in
November 2012, Yuriko received her spouse visa.
However Steve was angry with his country and his
government. He had been put through an
incredible amount of stress, just because he had
fallen in love with someone from another region of
the world.
Yuriko & Steve on their wedding day

So despite his situation being resolved, Steve attended the 9th July 2012 demonstration against the
rules, joined by his wife. He remained active on various online forums, when he was approached by
Sonel to join as the other half of BritCits – an invitation he accepted in order to make a difference and
campaign against rules designed to tear families apart, even though his own was intact.
Steve’s IT skills were a great aid to his creating the website www.britcits.com to reach an even wider
audience.
The collation of stories of British citizens affected by UK’s immigration rules to raise awareness and
drive change by lobbying politicians, liaising with media and forming a support group for those
impacted, has over time gained momentum as the horrific nature of the rules have became even more
apparent.

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Tom & Elizabeth
“When we vowed ‘till death do us part’ we had not factored in the
divisive role played by UKBA and the Home Office.”
Tom is a British citizen and married to Elizabeth, from the USA.
They met in 2012 in Florida. Elizabeth wasn’t immune to Tom’s face, charm and British accent
which make Americans swoon. Within six months, the couple was engaged, travelling back and forth
to visit each other. Whilst not together, they spent hours on the phone and cherished the capabilities
of Skype and Facetime which allowed them to see each other. But through it all, they were focused on
one thing: the moment when the long-distance part of their love would end.
Tom and Elizabeth married in January 2013 with a lovely ceremony and reception in Washington,
DC. Sitting in the anteroom of the church, Elizabeth recalls her emotions swirling. Theirs had been a
whirlwind romance spanning an ocean. Now she faced the enormity of the moment, the date circled
on her calendar had arrived, and like any other bride she felt on edge, a mixture of anticipation and
tension. At last – after months apart she would marry the man she loved. They would be together.
This couple’s dreams are not unlike other couples in love. They longed to live life together: holding
hands on the street, kissing at the doorstep, embracing in joy and sorrow, falling asleep entangled with
each other, and sharing those unspoken moments – making memories. Tom and Elizabeth want to
stand together and face the world. That was the whole idea behind getting married, after all.
From the flowers to the car, the fair weather and the band – all the little details of the wedding went
according to plan, and in their eyes, their big day was perfect. The couple could not have been more
happy or more in love.
They are back to having five time zones separate them; back to coordinating travel and long-distance
phone calls. Though they vowed “till death do us part,” they hadn’t anticipated the divisive role UK
Border Agency and Home Office would play.
It is even harder now to reconcile that they – as husband and wife - live thousands of miles apart, even
though Tom meets the financial requirements.

Tom started a new company in March 2013, but was disappointed to learn that he cannot sponsor his
wife to join him until the company has been in existence for one year to meet the strict evidential
requirements of Paragraph 9 of the Appendix FM-SE, which require the latest annual tax return and 12
months' bank statements.
The company is doing well. Indeed, Tom has already earned the requisite £18,600 income, but it is
only because they do not have certain documents for very valid and legitimate reasons, they have been
advised not to apply at this time.
This evidential rule vaults form over substance and adds a further layer of red tape on self-employed
persons, who must wait 12 months to sponsor a loved one – even more than the other categories of
employment who need to show 6 months documentary evidence.
Elizabeth is a trained attorney and broadcast journalist.

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Tom & Olya
“The UK immigration process is lengthy,
complicated...and thoroughly demeaning.”

expensive

and

Tom is a British citizen from the East Riding area, just west of York. His partner, Olya is from the
Ukraine and lives in Kiev.
As Tom is a musician by profession, the couple has been lucky enough to travel all over Europe together
for best part of the past two years. Their life together so far has been an adventure, full of all the care
and love that anyone in a healthy relationship will know of. Olya is also lucky that as a linguist (fluent
in English, Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish with some Polish and also now learning Greek) her employer
allows her to work remotely, as long as she has a computer and wifi access, making their nomadic
lifestyle possible.
They never had a problem obtaining visas for other
European countries for Olya. However, when they decided
it was time for Olya to come home with Tom, meet his
friends and family they came across immigration horror.
Olya's passport is full of visas and stamps from visits all
over Europe and indeed many parts from outside the region
as well. The visa denial for a UK visit visa was completed
unexpected. So they submitted a second application.
Flights were bought as required for the application and fees
paid.
Olya declared her savings and job status. Her parents provided 'emergency funds' just in case they’d be
required, of over £1000. However the Home Office refused this application as well, stating that this
amount was insufficient (even though Olya was only wanting to be here for two weeks); they also
refused on the grounds that Tom did not declare his finances and prove that he could support Olya
during her trip. Even though she didn’t actually need financial support from Tom given her own
financial situation.
They made several visits to the visa application centres, which proved to be awful. The staff accepting
applications were rude for no reason; Olya, an otherwise strong woman, broke down in tears after one
such visit resulted in the staff humiliating her in public.
During a visit to Kiev in June 2012, they emailed to try and arrange another meeting. Around this time
they met a number of younger Ukrainian friends – some without jobs or savings - who had applied for
visas to the UK successfully. These were visitor visas just like the one being sought for Olya, except
their reasons for visiting the UK was sightseeing and the club scene.
Tom and Olya are both, working people in a relationship. They’re bemused why they were being denied
a visa to see family and friends, while those for comparatively more trivial reasons were being granted
the same type of visa, serving to highlight massive inconsistencies with visitor visa policies.
The couple submitted a visa application for the third time, going over the top with supporting
documentation. The expected processing time passed and they still had no answer, and the date of their
flights was fast approaching. A chaser call led to their being patronisingly told to "wait like everyone
else has to". On the day of the flight, Olya waited with her father outside the Passport Centre with her
bags packed. The passport never came.
Another flight missed. Another chaser led to their being eventually told that the decision had been made
some weeks ago, but the application was 'stuck in the system'.

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The third refusal was a huge blow. Olya was deemed to have used 'deceptive means to obtain access to
the UK'. An incredibly demeaning remark and unbelievable to the couple that anyone could come to
that conclusion from their very standard paperwork.
Apparently the case handler thought it was suspicious that a large
amount of money had entered Olya's bank account and disappeared
after the previous visa refusal. Indeed, the person appeared to not
have read the supporting paperwork explaining that the funds were a
loan from Olya’s dad, and returned when not needed for the UK trip.
Olya was informed she could only make an administrative appeal and
that the denial would remain on her record for a period of ten years.
Bear in mind, all this just for a visitor’s visa.
Tom is dreading the problems they will face when they decide to get
married. With her language skills, countries should be falling over
themselves to welcome Olya. Yet Tom fears that UK’s immigration
policies would even reject her as the wife of a British citizen. He
never would have believed without first-hand experience, how
discriminatory and contradictory his country’s immigration rules are.
Tom now regularly visits Ukraine where he tours successfully as a
musician, selling out venues and generally being met with a great deal of support there. Olya has now
met Tom’s family during a holiday in Cyprus. The couple remains closer than ever yet kept thousands
of miles apart for ridiculous bureaucratic reasons.
Article 8 European Convention on Human Rights states: "Everyone has the right to respect for his
private and family life, his home and his correspondence. There shall be no interference by a public
authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in
a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of
the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the
protection of the rights and freedoms of others."
Tom’s certain this is not being honoured in their situation.

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Eve & Gustavo
“I regret voting for the Conservative party and naively believing their
promise of upholding family values!”
Eve is a British citizen, born and bred. She is aged 55, on a good salary earning £29,000. She also has
savings of £28,000 all the while building up her pension pot.
Eve had never met a man she wanted to settle down with. Until she met Gustavo.
To further her interest in Brazilian music and culture on a visit to Brazil. Eve was learning Portuguese
when in January 2012 she met Gustavo, a delightful Brazilian man. Gustavo is affectionate, funny, fit
with a beautiful singing voice. He is a great cook, is religious and is grateful. Although not having any
formal education, Gustavo is a hard worker and life with him is always interesting.
Eve and Gustavo have a balanced relationship – as maturity often lends itself to. They give each other
space for their own interests – and in each other have found the perfect combination of intimacy and
freedom for self-development. He is her heart..for the first time, Eve feels truly at home when she is
with someone –in Gustavo she has found her companion, soul mate and feels a deep sense of comfort
and peace. He was a tremendous support when Eve’s father passed away in early 2013, staying by her
side during the difficult time.
Since Eve has met Gustavo she has spent countless days, sleepless nights on the UKBA website and
other related sites, trying to get her head round what it will take to marry this wonderful man. In June
2012 she realised the UKBA visa rules were changing but it was too soon in their relationship to think
of marriage. Now when she is ready, she is utterly dismayed that as a British citizen she now has to
apply for four separate visas – fiancé, marriage, then another visa after 30 months and another after 5
years. And if an application fails at any stage, her then husband would have to leave.
Eve regrets she voted for the Conservative party. She naively believed their promise of upholding family
values. What of her own right to have a family? What has she worked for all her life, paid taxes for,
voted for? She believed she lived in a civilised country which upheld human rights.
Despite earning over the £18,600 threshold, Eve is finding the process extremely onerous and expensive.
Each stage of the visa application requires legal advice and she has come across cases of others who
obtained legal advice yet their application was refused on a technicality. The first stage alone will cost
her £6000 taking into account legal costs and flights to Brazil. She has that money now. But jobs are
uncertain. Will she still have a job when they have to go through it all again at the next two stages? The
rules are now that you have to have six months of salary at the required rate. The rules have already
changed twice and Eve is certain that they will change again and fees will rise further.
She is also concerned about the English language requirement. Surely the best place for Gustavo to
learn English is in England?
Eve is risk averse. She doesn’t like uncertainty and understandably, doesn’t want to live in limbo for
five years on the off-chance they will fall foul of constantly changing rules and have to uproot
themselves from a well-settled life.

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Lionel & Svetlana
“In the Conservative pre-election waffle Mr Cameron made a great
deal about his views on the sanctity of marriage and family values.”
Lionel, British by birth, married Svetlana in May 2010. He has been trying to have Svetlana, from
Russia, join him in the UK, ever since.
English Language – constantly changing requirements
Soon after their wedding Lionel was made redundant, so they delayed the spouse application until he
found a new job, by which time the English requirement had been introduced. This in itself wasn’t a
problem as their intention had always been for Svetlana to take English lessons, and where better to
learn English than in England?!
Despite the change in the rules, his wife continued with her lessons and took a test at "Expert Language
Schools" in Kaliningrad. It never even occurred to them that it would need to be taken at an approved
centre as this wasn’t clearly indicated, and the immigration ‘expert’ they sought advice and assistance
from, at considerable expense, didn’t tell them about it until an hour before Svetlana was due at the visa
centre in Moscow.
Needless to say her visa was refused because her B1 certificate was not
issued by an “approved centre”. The only place in Kaliningrad that is
approved to issue a certificate only supports the IELTS test. In March 2011
Lionel’s wife sat the exam, following some tuition. Since her previous test
her use of English has been limited and she achieved an overall band score
of 4.
At the time UKBA website's Approved Partner list stated grade 4 was
sufficient. However, the new list states for IELTS minimum is grade 4 in all
disciplines; Svetlana achieved grade 4 in listening, grade 3 in speaking. The
question for her speaking test was ludicrous, of an academic nature, dealing with politics.
As Svetlana indicates, she could not have answered the question adequately in her native language, let
alone in English, and Lionel believes he may well have struggled to provide a suitable answer as well,
despite being British born and bred!!
It was and still is the view held by Lionel that if a grade 4 is equivalent to level B1 then surely grade 3
is at least level A2., Now, because of this government, he and his wife are regularly forced to converse
on Skype, in English, and they communicate without any issues at all.
Svetlana is unable to study towards the English language requirements at present. She works from 9am
to 7pm every day, only having Sundays off, to earn a meagre £350 per month. English classes are not
available outside these times. Of course supporting two homes and visits to Russia has severely depleted
Lionel’s savings as well, giving UKBA yet another reason to refuse.
Insufficient funds
Since the initial denial in early 2011, Lionel and his wife have been forced to have an online relationship
apart from the times he has visited her in Russia. The expense of the initial application and the fact that
he has since supported two homes, one in the UK and one in Russia, along with the cost of visiting his
wife in Russia, has resulted in his savings being severely depleted which would now result in a denial
on the grounds of insufficient funds to support her.
They are being denied the right to be a family because of this rule. Lionel is being discriminated against
because he dared to marry someone from outside the EU.
While they have explored other options, they are being blocked every step of the way. They considered
a family visit visa, where he would support his wife during her stay in the UK and enrol her on an

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English language course. Then she would return to Russia and make another application but – and
there’s always a but – it is not permitted for Lionel’s wife to study while on a family visit or tourist visa.
Manifesto a farce
In the Conservative pre-election manifesto Mr Cameron made a great deal about his views on the
sanctity of marriage and family values. This rule makes an absolute mockery of his views. It effectively
prevents people such as Lionel and Svetlana from living together as a family.
This rule is ludicrous; the majority of couples who are affected by this rule have every intention of
learning English and studying for the Knowledge of Life in the UK test in order to apply for ILR. A
better solution would be to make enrolment on an English language course, once in the UK, a condition
of the visa.
This couple done everything correctly; they considered the fact that Lionel was made redundant and
decided it would not be correct to make an application until he had secured employment. Now, the
government has implemented a minimum gross income which, fortunately, Lionel can currently meet.
However, with future checks and current economic climate, there is no guarantee he will continue to
meet it for five years.
Family visit visa
They applied for a family visit visa but were unsuccessful. Svetlana’s parents live in Russia and her
daughter (Lionel’s stepdaughter) is studying at Kiel University; the UKBA felt that this wasn’t sufficient
to guarantee that Svetlana would leave, and therefore refused her the right to visit her husband.
As time goes by this couple’s only solution is to accept enforced exile and for Lionel to look for work
in another European country.
Yet another Brit being exiled from his country. This is what these UK politicians have brought this
country to.
Update: Lionel and his wife have moved to Germany. They are currently living in a hotel but hope to
secure their own apartment soon. They have otherwise been settling in well and are liking Germany.
Lionel has also been successful in obtaining a job there. Our best wishes to this lovely couple on a
long, happy life together.

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Lucy & Andres
“England is my home and I always thought I’d be welcome here
regardless of who I chose to marry.”
Lucy is a British citizen and a student in her final year at university in Newcastle, studying Spanish and
Geography. She spent a year abroad in Colombia working for an NGO. An incredibly noble pursuit.
Lucy is ambitious and on the path to success with international work experience under her belt even before
she has completed her degree. She is exactly the kind of citizen we should be bending over backwards to
retain in the UK.
Instead, Lucy is aware that one day she may need to come to terms with the
fact that she has to leave her home, only because she is in love with Andres,
a man from Colombia. They have been together for two years, lived
together for 8 months in Colombia and Lucy feels secure with him. They
just ‘click’. When Lucy was in Colombia in Christmas 2012, Andres asked
her to marry him. Lucy said no.
Why? Because though she loves him, she can’t marry knowing she won’t
be able to live with her husband. So they’ve settled on a Wills-&-Kate
arrangement, where they’re engaged to be engaged.
Lucy wants to get married in her hometown. With her friends and family able to celebrate her marriage. She
doesn’t want an uncertain engagement – one which instead of being used to plan a wedding, is used to
compulsively check the latest on the UKBA rules.
An incredible amount of responsibility shown by ones so young. And an incredible shame, that young love
is now being tainted by UKBA instead of being left to blossom on its own.
Lucy is now intent on completing her degree so that she can begin her career here. Andres is working to
improve his English (as Lucy speaks fluent Spanish, they haven’t actually needed to communicate in English
previously) with Lucy giving him lessons over Skype several times a week.
She is convinced that within 6 months of being fully immersed in British life, Andres’s English language
skills would be impeccable. He is a fast learner. However, he is being denied this opportunity, even as a
tourist, with UKBA having refused his application to visit.
Lucy is however lucky, that on graduation she would likely be offered a position paying over £18,600..but
that’s still over a year away, and even then, Andres may not pass the English language test, not having the
opportunity to spend time in an English speaking country.
Lucy is also keen to study further, and pursue a Master’s degree. However,
this option has been snatched from her by the British government, because
she fell in love with a foreigner. Because she isn’t rich.
Lucy is aware that living apart from her future husband for an
indeterminable amount of time isn’t feasible, and therefore the UK is not
going to be a likely option for her future. However she is dreading the day
when she has to come to terms with that. England is her home and she always thought she’d be able to live
in her home, regardless of who she married.
Indeed, it appears that after 4 years of study at a British university, the most valuable qualification this British
citizen may have is a £45 Teach-English-as-a-Foreign-Language course.

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Samantha
“Although I satisfy it, the income threshold is too high; and the best
place to learn English should be in the UK. Why make our family
take very difficult tests other than to encourage us to give up?”
Samantha is a British citizen. She married her husband, an Egyptian citizen, in May 2012. They were
together for four years before tying the knot, and Samantha lived in Egypt for nine months before
returning to the UK in September 2012.

She returned home to get a job. She knew the immigration rules had changed and so she thought of
herself especially lucky to find a job immediately, paying well over the £18,600 required.
For this couple, the hurdle proving insurmountable, is the English language test. Her husband speaks
good English but his reading and writing are not so good. He took a test in February which he failed;
July sees his second attempt.
Samantha understands that at the end of the day, it’s up to her husband to pass the exams. But she is
bemused by how difficult they make it for candidates...almost as if they want the candidates to give up.
Results for the test are due in August/September; hopefully he passes. If not, he will have to wait till
–November to re-take. To Samantha it’s a joke that she can’t be in her home country, with her own
husband, without recourse to public funds.
Despite satisfying the income threshold, Samantha believes it’s too high; she doesn’t understand why
foreign spouses need to take an English test, which is not remotely basic, with hours of speaking,
listening, reading and writing. She doesn’t understand why the test can’t be taken in the UK – surely it
would be easier to learn English surrounded by it.

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Steve & Galina
“They don’t see people behind the figures and so they turn our lives
into hell.”
Steve is a British citizen and 57 years old. In March 2010, he married Galina, from Russia and 50 years
old. Together, they lived in Bristol.
Galina arrived in the UK as the bride of a British citizen and had a residence permit for two years, as is
the norm for spouses. They followed the rules and ensured UKBA was aware of the purpose of Galina’s
journey here all those years ago.
During this time, Steve and Galina lived happily. They lived together, rescued a dog from the pound,
and paid their taxes. They weren’t high-earners. But they earned enough for themselves to not need to
ask for any help from the state. They were happy.
At the end of the residence permit, Galina went to apply for a continuation of her residence. But the
rules had changed and Steve and Galina came to face the nightmare which is the UKBA.
The rules were now such that they required a Cambridge certificate. Galina is not a young girl any
more...while she has been learning English (and well enough to send in this story to BritCits), it takes
her longer to pick up things. Her memory isn’t what it once was, her life isn’t as carefree and she is just
older.
The UKBA refused the extension of Galina’s visa and have made the decision to deport her despite her
ties to this country. Only because she does not have a Cambridge certificate in the English language.
Galina speaks fluent Spanish. However, they feel that just because Steve is British, they are being
discriminated against. They feel it’s unfair, that someone who was from Spain or Poland or Hungary,
would be able to live and work here with his Russian wife, even if she did not speak a word of English.
Indeed, it’s clear that this evident of yet further incompetency from the UKBA as Steve and Galina fall
under the pre-9th July rules..however UKBA insists on applying the new rules to them, even though they
submitted their applicant a month before the new rules came into play.
There is no answer to give to Steve and Galina, as to why after three years of marriage they are now
being told there are yet further hurdles to jump over, else their marriage will be considered worthless
by the government.
The UKBA has generously offered that for them to not breakup their marriage, Steve could leave the
UK too. However, there is no understanding for the fact that Steve and Galina look after Steve’s 90
year old mum. If Steve were to do as the government wants and leave his home, who will look after
this 90 year old British woman?

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Aimie & David
“I can’t just move to another country to be with my fiancé with three years left
to complete my Masters degree. I cannot simply drop out of university and earn
£18600, as I don’t have the work experience and would not have the
qualifications without the degree, to earn that figure.”
Aimie is a British citizen and in the second year of her MSc (Chemistry) at University of Nottingham.
She is 24 years old and engaged and married to David, a 25-year-old Masters graduate from Colombia.
David recently majored in Advanced Computer Science, also at University of Nottingham.
Aimie’s husband is very employable; he is fluent in English, has
a master’s degree and has experience in his field of work of
software development. He would not be requesting access to
public funds, nor would he become a burden on the economy.
Under the previous rules, the means to meet the financial
requirement to demonstrate that they would not need to access
public funds. However, new rules brought in requiring Aimie to
earn £18,600 (regardless of David’s earnings) mean this couple is
facing years apart. Because David is Colombian.
Aimie and David on their wedding day

Aimie has been told that for them to meet the financial requirement for her husband’s
visa, she would have to have been earning a salary of £18600 for at least 6 months prior
to the visa application. However, as she is a student, they have been relying solely on
their part-time jobs and scholarships.
Aimie feels the new rules for financial requirement are unjust as they don’t take into
account individual circumstances. Aimie cannot simply move to another country for
them to be together as she still has three years left at university. She also cannot simply
drop out of university and earn £18600, as she doesn’t have the work experience and
would not have the qualifications without her degree, to earn that figure.
Indeed, on minimum wage she would earn approximately £12000, which is far off the
threshold.
To Aimie it’s nonsensical how £18,600 could be considered reasonable; as a student she receives less
than half of that income, and is still able to pay her bills. The unemployed people on JSA are earning
less than that figure and are able to live.
Aimie does not need luxury items to love her husband.

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Alexis & Miad
“I had to give up my studies to earn £18,600 even though
completing the course would have meant a better future for my
family.”
Alexis is a British citizen from Scotland. She met Miad in 2005 through shared interests online. They
became good friends, with the relationship two years later moving to that of a romantic nature.
Miad is from Iran. As they were desperate to meet in August 2008, one year after having an online
relationship, Alexis travelled 4000 miles to meet the man she had fallen in love with. Miad as a
university student, could not obtain a passport because the Iranian government do not process
passports for their male citizens until National Service has been completed.
So Alexis travelled with her two children, (who at the time were 5 and 7) to Iran for a month. They all
loved every second of it – and none of them wanted to return to the UK. . Whilst in Iran, Alexis and
Miad got engaged.
By June 2009, when Alexis returned to Iran for three weeks, Miad had left university and was
working, having also been called up for military service. They planned on getting married during
Alexis’s visit although the Iranian authorities did not make it easy.
She was told that after marriage, she would automatically become an Iranian citizen - meaning that
she would effectively forfeit her British citizenship as Iran doesn't recognise dual nationality. Alexis
didn't like this idea, so instead the couple opted for a “temporary” marriage lasting fifty years.
This was an interim solution to also get round the Iranian law which prevents its citizens from having
a boyfriend/girlfriend. So the couple went through an Islamic ceremony, paid fees and exchanged
rings. Alexis also had to convert to become a Muslim.
The temporary marriage was another step of commitment for the couple, formalising their
relationship. Alexis returned home and in November 2010, returned to Iran with the kids this time,
again for a month. Miad's 20 month service was due to end in January 2011 and then, the family
could be together.
They planned for Miad to join Alexis and the kids in the UK. Uprooting the kids to move to Iran was
not an option – they had to have access to their birth father.
At the time, Alexis was studying full time. For Miad to join her in the UK on a spouse visa, she would
need to leave college but didn’t relish giving up her studies. So after some discussion, they decided
the best step would be for Miad to pursue his studies in the UK.
It took a while to collect the required funds for the visa and college fees - in fact they needed nearly
£4000 in fees, and another £7200 in the bank for 28 days to show that he could support himself
financially. With effort, they got everything he needed together, applying at the British embassy in
Turkey (as there is none in Iran).
In June 2012, Miad travelled from Iran to Turkey and applied for his student visa, with Alexis joining
him there for support. A couple of weeks later, they received a response from the Home Office. The
application was refused! The bank in Iran that Miad had deposited his money with, was suddenly
blacklisted. Despite the fact that just a month earlier they had been informed that the UK government
recognised and accepted the bank he had used.
A sudden rule change, which was not made public, caught this couple off guard.

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Miad complained to the visa consultant who had been helping him (provided by the UK college). The
consultant apologised profusely, offering to refund the visa fee. The visa adviser said Miad could
make another application - instead of going back to Iran, he could simple send the money directly to
the college. Miad asked if this was allowed. The consultant told him that yes, this was allowed. So
listening to his 'expert' advice, he re-applied. And, surprise surprise, he was refused again. Miad was
hopping mad! Again, he was given an apology and a feeble excuse that it had been fine for other
students. This visa consultant again refunded his visa fee - but by this time Miad was again out of
pocket from expenses whilst living in Turkey!
Why was Miad using this useless man's services? Because he had been told by the college that, if
Miad didn't use him and his application was refused, he wouldn't get his college fees refunded!
Miad went back to Iran in August. He had to get the money back from the college which he put in an
approved bank and waited until he could go for a second time, to Turkey - in September - and apply
for a third time.
Thankfully the application was successful this time.
In the meantime, the family migration rules had changed. Miad arrived in the UK in October 2012
and started college straight away. His student visa expires in August 2013.
In January Alexis had to give up college. Had she been able to complete her course, she could have
aimed for a better job, better career and better future - for all four of them. However, because of the
rules, the onus only fell on Alexis to find a job paying over £18,600.
Alexis has been on medication for anxiety and depression with the threat of state-enforced separation
hanging over them.

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Alice
“We’re not asking for hand-outs, just the chance to live as a family
unit.”
Alice is a British citizen living here in the UK, in Norfolk. She is 34 years of age, with an 8-year-old
daughter from her first marriage. In May 2010 she met a lovely man who happened to be Tunisian, and
more than two years later, in June 2012, they got married in Tunisia.
They previously applied for him to come here for a 6-week visit in December 2011 and were refused
entry, even though they had a guarantor (Alice’s reasonably well-off father) AND had savings to pay
for the visit. The reason for the refusal was that the UKBA felt he did not have enough reason to return
to his country following the visit!
They subsequently decided to apply for a spouse visa following the marriage but missed the deadline
for the rules changing.
Alice lives in a small town in Norfolk where a salary of £18,600, particularly in retail – the industry she
works in – is very difficult to obtain.
The language requirement is not an issue – her husband speaks fluent English and even has a TEFL
certificate.
Alice is a single mother and has been using her savings to visit her husband in Tunisia (last year she
managed three visits) because he can't come here, even for a visit!!
Like countless other families affected by these rules, Alice spends most of her life on Skype and is
regretfully beginning to accept that she may never be able to be with her husband, because otherwise it
would mean keeping her daughter away from her dad.
She is at a loss, she feels discriminated against by the British government. Alice is not asking for
handouts, just the chance to live as a family unit.
Alice, and hundreds like her, is exactly the sort of person we and UK politicians should be protecting.

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Amanda & Imed
“Why is it that there is one rule for Europeans and another for British
citizens, in Britain?”
Amanda is a British citizen who has been unlucky in love. Her brother died a couple of years ago,
followed by her mum, auntie, grandmother and cousin. Her ex-husband was violent and abusive
towards her. And now the government wants to keep Amanda apart from her husband.
Amanda and her husband, Imed, got married in a ceremony in Tunisia with her family and best friend
in attendance. Imed is lovely and is very different from her ex-husband.
Amanda earns £16,200 a year. £2,400 short of the magical £18,600
figure. So the government tells Amanda that she cannot live with
her husband in the UK.
Amanda understandably feels like she is being punished by her own
government, for marrying someone whose religion and race don’t
fit in with the correct ‘image’. She doesn’t believe that the
stringency of the rules have anything to do with being in the interest
of the economy. Indeed, it can’t have anything whatsoever to do
with that, given the government and UKBA have stipulated that
anyone from outside the EU has no access to public funds.
Amanda’s husband is not asking for handouts. He has always
worked, and worked long hours, for wages that some in the UK would not even get out of bed for.
All Amanda wants is the right to live in the same house as her husband, in the same country as her
husband...and for that she feels like a criminal.
People have asked Amanda, ‘why don’t you go and live with your husband in Tunisia’?
Her response – she has a home in the UK. She has two children who live with her. She has two
grandchildren. She has a great job.
It’s not right that she is being forced to choose between husband and the rest of her family, her home,
her career.
Especially not right when as a British citizen she is facing this choice in her own country, but those from
elsewhere in the EU have no income criteria to bring their spouse, parents, grandparents, children,
brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and even cousins to the UK.

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Amanda & Tony
“Income-related immigration tests for families is abhorrent; to say
only the very wealthy can live with family is outrageous”
Amanda is a British citizen. She grew up in Dumfries & Galloway. After finishing university and
working for a year to save up, she headed to New Zealand on a working holiday, initially just for one
year. However when she met and fell in love with Tony, a Kiwi, her stay in New Zealand became more
permanent.
They built a fabulous life in New Zealand, buying a house together,
then after four years together, they came to Scotland to get married so
the day could be shared with Amanda’s family and friends.
They both had good jobs. Tony is a carpenter who has worked for
sixteen years for the same company. Amanda is a marketing
professional, having progressed to Director level – a position she has
been in for the last six of the twelve years at her employer.
They both worked hard, saving money to buy two investment properties which afforded them a rental
income, while maintaining a good quality of life.
However during the fourteen years in New Zealand, Amanda missed her family dreadfully and this
always prevented her from feeling fully settled. She is extremely close to them and though has been
lucky enough to afford trips home twice a year, and of course making the most of Skype etc. there is
simply no substitute for being a part of the day-to-day life of the people you love. She is missing being
part of her four nephews lives; seeing them growing up, having a real relationship with them.
So Tony and Amanda decided to take a career break, spend a year travelling Latin America and then
start a new life in the UK back in the bosom of Amanda’s family. They never thought though that there
would be such ridiculously restrictive new laws in place.
In blissful ignorance, the couple quit their jobs and headed off on their adventure. For the last six
months they have been hiking and exploring the southern part of South America, finally after all those
years of work being able to have so much time together to just enjoy life.
Three months into the trip, Amanda started looking into the rules for
obtaining residency for Tony – and was shocked. Amanda is appalled
that the rules are such that a British citizen – simply by virtue of being
a low-income earner is not afforded the same family rights as a ‘richer’
British citizen.
On initial reading of the rules, despite her sadness at the clear class
discrimination, she thought the rules didn’t restrict her ability to return home with her husband. After
all, they’d been together for fourteen years, of which ten is as a married couple. They both have good
job offers in UK which satisfy the financial threshold. They have savings and rental properties bringing
in income each month. There is no chance this couple will be living on benefits, especially with
Amanda’s sister offering them accommodation until they have a chance to buy a place of their own.

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The couple has surmised that:
• Their trip of a lifetime prevents them from living in the UK as they have not been working.
• Their savings aren't enough to be counted as the first £16000 is excluded altogether and it must be
£62,500 in cash.
• Rental income on their investment properties is excluded as - for tax efficient purposes – these are
owned by a limited company, even though Amanda and Tony are the full owners of this company.
• If they were to sell their property to show £62,500 in cash, they’d still have to spend six months apart
and then, as Amanda says, ”God knows how many more months to process the application”.
Amanda is aware that she is lucky. She is on a yearlong holiday, has a job offer back home, and has
assets. However despite this, they are left with a choice of living apart for likely a year on opposite
sides of the world or never returning to the UK and her family.
Amanda is not just angry. She is livid with the UK government. An income-related immigration test
for families is abhorrent anyway but to have one that is not just about stopping people claiming benefits
but is actually saying only the very wealthy can marry foreigners is outrageous.
She choked up when she read an example in the UKBA guidance notes that even a person with £1m in
stocks and shares must liquidate his assets to show cash of £62,500 required!
Their much looked forward to trip now has a grey cloud following them, while Amanda and Tony
wonder if they will ever be able to realise the dream of finally allowing Amanda the chance to live near
her family...to have UK welcome Tony the way New Zealand did Amanda.

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Amy & Sean
“We will not stop fighting for the right to be together.”
Amy is a 20 year old British citizen. She is married to Sean, 23 years old and South African.
They met in 2009 when Amy went over to South Africa for
the wedding of a British friend, marrying a South African.
Amy and Sean engaged in a long-distance relationship until
2010, when she decided to join Sean in South Africa where
they lived together until May 2012. Amy is very close to her
family back home though and returned to the UK every few
months to see them.
Whilst in South Africa, Amy witnessed violent situations,
deaths and incidents where her home was broken into by
intruders with weapons.
Although all this was normal for Sean, for Amy it was difficult to reconcile this with the relative safety
in UK, or have this as an environment where she was happy raising any children they’d have. She
started to refuse to leave the house. She’d only sleep during the day when she felt safer.
It got so bad Sean noticed and began to fear that something would happen to his wife, who was only in
the country for him. So in May 2012 they moved to the UK. Sean had been to the UK twice before; in
June 2011 and December 2011. On 23rd June 2012 Amy and Sean married in a beautiful ceremony
attended by Amy’s family.
Directly after the wedding, they began job hunting, for it was only once Amy had a job that they could
apply for a spouse visa. However in July 2012 the rules changed mandating a minimum income beyond
anything Amy would be able to achieve. It wasn’t possible for her to return to South Africa – she wasn’t
coping there, and the idea of moving back left her in cold sweats and with severe anxiety.
The couple sought advice from Kings Court Chambers and through them, applied for Discretionary
Leave to Remain for Sean. With their application in November 2012, they included Amy’s psychology
report, showing she had been diagnosed with a very high form of PTSD.
Amy was feeling positive, getting the application together. It was a step towards being with her
husband, in her home country, where she felt safe. Until July 2013, nearly nine months later, they
received the refusal decision. They were devastated.
Accompanied with the refusal letter, clearly a copy and paste job, the Home Office stated that though
they realised it would cause the couple hardship, they could easily continue their life in South Africa.
Amy is currently in a government funded apprenticeship position with the promise of a managerial
position at the end of the training. She fought for this position and if she loses it, she won't get it again.
Sean has good qualifications in music, having had a successful music career in South Africa. He is
fluent in English and has a decent amount of savings which due to being unable to work even during
the application process have been somewhat eroded. He is eminently employable though and has a deep
seated willingness to work.
They have sought help from their local MP, Sir James Paice, who has also written a letter in support of
their situation to the Home Office. However the couple continues to wait. Sean refuses to leave his
wife. Amy refuses to let Sean go. The couple has vowed to fight for as long as they can for the right to
be together.

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Aneela
“I hope the rules change so families can stop being split up.”
Aneela is a British citizen, born and bred in the UK.
She has been a single parent raising a beautiful little boy on her own for the last six years. After her
divorce Aneela had vowed she would never marry again; love, she decided, wasn’t for her.
However, on holiday in Pakistan in 2012, staying with her nan and cousins, she met her now husband
during an Eid celebration. Aneela had actually met him many times before, but never spoken to him.
They then met for every day of Aneela’s stay in Pakistan. He acted as Aneela’s tour guide, showing
her sites in Pakistan she would not have been able to go to alone. Aneela extended her one month stay
by another two weeks to prolong their time together, and then extended it yet again.
It was soon clear to Aneela and her family that what had started as a friendship was now developing
into something much more serious. Aneela’s family was not keen. They thought things were being
rushed and tried to keep the couple apart. However, love knows no boundaries. Aneela married the
man she loved in secret. In him seeing the good role model and father she wanted for her son, as well
as a good husband for herself.
Aneela was risking the displeasure of her family with this relationship, but she knew in her bones this
was the man who made her family complete.
She returned to the UK looking for a job paying over the required £18,600. However it took six months
to do so, and in that time Aneela found herself disowned by her family. Her husband was being told by
all and sundry that he could do better than Aneela, a divorced single mother.
However the couple stuck by each other. Aneela returned to Pakistan where they had an official
marriage ceremony with her in-laws present. To Aneela’s surprise and pleasure, her in-laws have
accepted her and her son, and they speak on the phone every day.
Now Aneela works two jobs to make ends meet, with Aneela’s sister and her friends helping out with
babysitting.
Aneela desperately hopes the immigration rules change so families can stop being separated.

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Angela
Angela is a British citizen who met her South African husband in Scotland in 1999. They have been
married for 13 years, spending almost all the time in South Africa. They had a wonderful life there
and were very happy, with a stable business and two beautiful children.
In 2008, their life changed with Angela discovered she was pregnant with their third child. Although
delighted, the family was also a little scared given Angela’s history of miscarriages. It was a difficult
pregnancy, tackling work and two other children and advised to take bed rest.
Angela was given cortisone injections to strengthen the baby’s lungs and a stent inserted when Angela
experienced kidney problems. She was determined to carry the baby to as close to full-term as
possible but lost the battle with the doctor at 34 weeks and had a Caesarean. She is grateful every day
that she did so, as at 28 weeks the baby had actually stopped feeding and growing.
July 2009 saw their baby born, weighing 1.6 kg. The baby was very ill and kept in ICU, with two
holes in her heart and a stomach infection. However even when the family was told the baby had
Down’s Syndrome, to Angela her baby was the most beautiful miracle she had ever seen.
Against all odds, the baby pulled through and nine weeks, one day later the family took her home.
The first couple of years were bittersweet, and a mixture of joy and worry. The family had been
warned the baby’s life expectancy was a maximum of two years. The baby proved the medics wrong.
It was at this time that Angela decided she wanted to return home to the UK. Her sister, who had
moved over to South Africa to be with them, had to go back too and she felt that her kids would
benefit from a life in the UK and the freedom and feeling of safety.
However, as they began to make plans and arrange the documentation to facilitate coming home, more
health problems arose, with the baby diagnosed with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension. One of her
heart chambers had grown to three times its size because it struggled to pump blood. The family
cancelled their UK plans as the baby would not have survived the flight.
The family almost overnight moved house, to live at sea level to allow for more easier breathing for
the baby. This fighter baby astounded doctors once again with her pulmonary pressure levels coming
down from 89 to 35 over a two-year period.
Angela’s family has spent four years keeping the baby alive. Now they are
in a position to once again think about their original plans to return to the
UK, where it would also be better for the development of all three of her
children. Schools in the area Angela lives in, in South Africa, have refused
to admit her youngest child, citing lack of manpower and skills.
As Angela gave up her business to care for her daughter, using a substantial part of her savings for
medical costs, she is unable to satisfy the financial requirements of the post July 2012 immigration
rules. Although not poor, they don’t have much money. However when UK slammed it’s door shut
Angela realised EU had left its open.
Though not poor they don’t have much money. Moving to Ireland just to one day be able to move to
the UK involves upheaval and expense not once but twice. However at their family meeting the
decision was unanimous and the family made the move to Ireland. They sold everything they had in
South Africa, cashing in their pensions to fund the trip and three months later settled in Ireland.
They are not sure when they will return to the UK, taking each day as it comes.

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Anne
“I don’t know if I will ever see Scotland again.”
Anne is a British citizen who has been living in Australia for 45 years. She has been married for 43
years to an Australian man.
She is keen to spend her later years at home in Scotland. However, when they looked into applying
for a visa for her husband, they received a rude shock.
The visa fees alone would be over £600, without any guarantee of success. Indeed, the couple had
been warned that applications were refused for the most minor of things.
This is a couple that has enough money to buy a house in Scotland. Their combined pension from a
lifetime of work in Australia equates to £300 a week. However, none of this is good enough.
Anne is firm in her belief that Australia is a Commonwealth country and Australians fought with and
for Britain in every war. Having her husband being treated in such a way makes her wish Australia
would exit the Commonwealth.
This is yet another family who would not be a burden on the system as they have more than enough to
look after themselves.
Anne is now facing a future without her beloved Scotland. She isn’t even sure she will ever be able to
see it again.

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Anthony & Appril
Anthony is a 60 year old British citizen. He is married to Appril, a 54 year old Bolivian woman.
They love each other very much; Anthony lived with her in Bolivia for two years. They met in 2008
and married in September 2010 in La Paz, Bolivia. At the time Anthony had a very good job in the UK,
with a salary of £35,000 p.a.
He proposed to Appril before he lost his employment (Appril has British ancestry but as it is her great
grandparents she doesn’t qualify for citizenship). Despite losing his employment they decided to go
ahead with the wedding as Anthony was confident he would soon find employment by June 2009.
He applied for over 1000 jobs – flexible in location as he just wanted his wife with him. Unfortunately,
he didn’t even get one job interview. As a result of this both Appril and Anthony thought it best for
them to start their married life together in Bolivia.
Anthony has very few relations in the UK. His mother aged 99 gave Anthony her blessing to move to
Bolivia. Even though he is her only visitor from one year to the next at the nursing home. Anthony felt
guilty leaving her, however he did ring her every week from Bolivia.
Anthony spent the happiest two years of his life with Appril and gained Bolivian residency and
permission to look for employment within that country. However once again he found job search
difficult; much of the employment in Bolivia is family run and employs family members only. Apart
from his mother Anthony has two sons in the UK from who he is estranged.
Anthony returned to the UK in June 2011 looking for employment before the implementation of the
minimum wage requirement of £18600 to be able to bring a spouse into the UK. He tried his level best
to find employment - alas still without success, applying for all types of jobs at all levels.
Appril and Anthony have been apart for over two years now. He is lonely despite their staying in touch
via Skype and phone.
They are prepared to reside in almost any country in the world to be together. Anthony would love
Appril to join him in the UK although he is happy to permanently or temporarily move to another
country; he is happy to even have a job washing dishes.
Yet another citizen who may need to leave his home for good to be with his family.

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Ashleigh & Orisvel
“My husband isn’t allowed to work in Cuba for marrying a foreigner,
nor will the UK government let him visit me.”
Ashleigh, a British citizen met Orisvel, from Cuba, in 2009 during her travels.
The couple maintained a long distance relationship for three years with Ashleigh travelling to
Cuba three times a year during university holidays. Orisvel also visited the UK twice on visit
visas. It was on his second visit that the couple got married in Ashleigh’s home town. It was
a very joyous period, with the wedding to be followed by Ashleigh’s university graduation.
The intention was that Orisvel would return to Cuba
in order to apply for a spouse visa subsequently
returning to England where he already had an
unconditional job offer.
However, the couple they did not realise that two
days after they got married the immigration rules
changed. As a young and recent graduate, Ashleigh
could not meet the £18,600 financial requirement.
Despite planning to complete a master’s degree,
Ashleigh took a job in a bar working over 60 hours a
week in order to earn a salary of £18600 a year. What
was additionally disastrous for the couple was that
Orisvel was banned by Cuba’s communist government from working in his own home country
because he had married a foreigner, having left Cuba to come to the UK.
The couple under the impression that future earnings from Orisvel’s earnings in the UK could
be taken in account, they applied for the spouse visa, but were refused. They appealed,
evidencing their combined future earnings would be £40k per annum. The couple showed how
the rules were also interfering with their right to begin a family life, and that with neither able
to work in Cuba, their choices were very limited.
The appeal was nevertheless refused, and not surprisingly, so was a subsequent visit visa
application made in the hope that while Ashleigh worked all hours possible to earn £18,600 the
couple would still be able to spend some time together.
After two years apart, Ashleigh finally reached the financial requirement, earning £18,600 a
year in the manner stipulated by the Home Office. They ensured this time their application was
checked by an immigration lawyer to ensure it satisfied all the requirements. This time however
the visa was put on hold, because of the impending hearing at the Court of Appeal, with the
Home Office stating the couple did not meet the financial requirement!
Eventually, after another several months of emails and phone calls to Havana, the application
was refused on the premise that Ashleigh had not submitted a letter from her employer saying
she worked there – the 12 months of payslips, a p60, contract of employment and letter from
accountant certifying the accuracy of the submitted figures and confirmation that Ashleigh had
earned £19,776. The couple are now weighing up their options and continue to hope UK rules
will change or at least be applied lawfully.

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Asif & Hafsa
“I hope one day I can be with the woman I love, without that love
having a price tag.”
Asif is a British citizen. He was born and brought up here, and his home, family, friends are all here.
He is engaged to a beautiful woman.
Asif is a law-abiding citizen, earning an honest living as a cashier, in a shoe shop called Office, where
he has now been working for fourteen years. In that time he has been paying his taxes diligently; and
has never taken handouts from the government because he and his family are against claiming
welfare. Indeed, they instead donate part of their own earnings to charity.
Asif is bemused that despite having done everything right, he is now facing rules which enforce his
separation from his fiancée. He doesn’t understand why he should endure this, and the stress that
comes with it.
His fiancée, Hafsa, is fluent in English; she can read, write and speak English fluently and is a science
teacher in Pakistan. Hafsa is very qualified, with an MSc in Hydrology. In the UK, she would aim to
continue her work as a science teacher; contribute and integrate, but only if she is given the chance to.
Every time Asif speaks with Hafsa on Skype, he makes sure he is jovial, however he is crying from the
inside. He knows it will take a long time to bring her to share his life, but this is not the way it should
be. Planning their wedding comes with a sense of foreboding...what is the point if they will have to be
apart.
However imagining a life without her, imagining a life without his love, Asif knows in his bones this
is the woman he is meant to be with.

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Bethan & Winston
“I have a first class degree, will complete my Masters from LSE and
my husband is a qualified lawyer. Yet we face separation or self-exile.
It’s ridiculous.”
Bethan is a British citizen. She has been in a relationship with Winston, her now fiancé since 2008 –
Winston is a Mexican citizen. They met whilst Winston was doing his study abroad in the UK.
They have sustained their relationship through regular visits to each other – Bethan also did a study
abroad living in Mexico.
Winston proposed in December 2012 and they have since been
planning their August 2014 wedding, however UK’s
immigration rules have put a damper on things.
Bethan is currently studying for an MSc in Global Politics at
London School of Economics, graduating in December 2013.
Winston is already working as a lawyer in Mexico. However,
Winston cannot join Bethan as her fiancé as being a full time
student, she doesn’t earn £18,600 (not many students do).
They have discussed living in Mexico but the security situation in Northern Mexico, where Winston is
from, is dire due to the 'drug wars'. There are also significant problems with corruption leading to an
environment which neither of them believe is ideal for settling down in and starting their family.
In order to avoid being apart post-marriage, they are now being forced to consider having a civil
ceremony about a year before their wedding in order for Bethan to exercise her treaty rights and move
to Ireland with Winston to minimise the chance they will need to be apart post-wedding.
Bethan has a first class undergraduate degree and will be graduating with a Masters from one of the top
universities in the world. Winston is a fully qualified lawyer, with a degree from one of the best
universities in Mexico. This couple has a lot to offer the UK.
It is ridiculous that they could be prevented from doing so, or be forced to have a period of separation
as newlyweds just so Bethan has a chance to collection 6 months of payslips followed by a further
lengthy period apart during the application. It’s just as ridiculous that the only way this couple can
ensure they are not forced apart is by engaging in a period of self-exile.

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Brian
“I won’t give up and will move to Ireland if that’s the only way I can
be with my family.”
Brian is a British citizen, he is 70 years old and retired. Brian is also married to a woman from Brazil–
they knew each other for a year before getting married nearly a year and a half ago.
As almost every single married couple does, this couple too wishes to live together. As Brian needs to
be in the UK – with 4 children and 10 grandchildren here, this isn’t surprising - he wishes to settle in
the UK, with his wife.
However, the Secretary of State does not see it that way. Brian’s wife’s application for leave to remain
was refused, with the advice they received from the government being that there was no reason why the
couple could not carry on with their family life in Brazil.
Brian’s wife would have qualified under the pre-July 2012 rules, increasingly being dubbed inhumane,
unfair and xenophobic.
Brian will not give up, however is considering exercising his treaty rights as an EU citizen to ensure his
family is broken up – which would mean coming out of retirement and finding a job in another EU/EEA
country, just to be able to one day, return home. At any age, but especially his, he shouldn’t have to
fight for his right to live with his own family, in his own country.
Putting a 70 year old in a situation where he has to come out of retirement, move countries and prove
his right to be with his wife is something worthy of politicians hanging their heads in shame.

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Chrissie & Supon
“We are meant to be together, and we will be.”
Chrissie is a British citizen is married to Supon, from a Thai hilltribe. They are affectionately known
as "The Macadangdangs" by friends and family.
Chrissie always remembers they first day they met, on 2 November 2008. She was returning to
Chiang Mai in Thailand to catch up with friends. She was teaching an English class to elephant
mahouts when Supon approached her. The first thing he said to her was "My name is, Supon and I'm
a cheeky bugger". Chrissie hasn’t stopped laughing since that day.
She fondly recalls the 2008 Loy Krathong festival, when together
they lit a lantern and Supon said to her "wish for something"...
Although having met in late 2008, and having visited again twice
during 2009, it wasn't until New Year's 2010, with the news of a
formal job offer in Chiang Mai, that Chrissie and Supon finally
thought; "This is our moment".
Chrissie returned to the UK for six months, working to pay off her university debt and convincing her
family that she’d be okay living and working in Thailand. She spoke with Supon every day, counting
each day away until they would next see each other.
June 2010 came, one month left in the UK and Chrissie’s mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. It
was a really emotional time for the family and whilst Chrissie will always carry the guilt, she is
grateful that her mother gave her blessings and encouraged Chrissie to follow her heart.
Focusing on making a life with Supon was now Chrissie’s motivation. They lived in a small bamboo
hut with their dog, based at the Elephant camp Supon worked at. Chrissie ferried herself between
work in Bangkok and Supon in Chiang Mai.
A year passed and Chrissie’s mum finally had the strength to visit. For her birthday, Chrissie’s mum
said "all I want to do is see my daughter". It was a great few weeks.
November 2011 came and the couple decided to honour Supon's family and culture and marry under
Karen hill tribe tradition. Chrissie’s parents and sister flew over for the wedding and things have been
amazing ever since.
Chrissie’s family love Supon. Supon was granted a visitor visa in 2013, coinciding unfortunately with
Chrissie’s dad being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Such a bittersweet moment.
Visiting the UK and showing Supon all the people and things she told him about – just to have him
see where she came from was a massive deal. It made Chrissie realise how much she misses her
family and friends. It made her realise she wanted to be there for her parents as they increasingly
needed her more. She feels she owes it to her sister and family to now share the burden. She also
needs the comfort of family.
However Chrissie earns £1000 less than the £18,600 required so everything is on hold.
Her wish when she lit the lantern in 2008; "If we are meant to be together, let us find a way"...and she
still believes it.

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Claire
“My parents are shocked that the support they can offer us is not
considered at all.”
Claire is a British citizen married to a man from Fiji.
She has been personally affected by the immigration rules which are now forcing her to choose
between a life outside of her home country and away from family and friends, or spend several
months, maybe even years, apart from her husband while she finds and works in a job meeting the
income threshold and then goes through the laborious visa application process.
Claire is exactly the kind of citizen UK is crying out for. She is a Masters graduate, with a Distinction
from Oxford Brookes University. She will have no trouble at all in gaining work over the income
threshold when she returns to the UK, having already received several interview requests for jobs
paying over £18,600/
She really wants to work here, and feels her skills and education are being wasted in Fiji, where she is
not able to work or volunteer as a spouse for her first three years there.
Claire’s parents have offered to sponsor Claire and her husband, offering them money and free
accommodation to live in. However, even third-party support has been disallowed.
Claire and her husband first met in 2008, at which point they had been together for two years already.
Claire visited him regularly. Her husband has been employed ever since he left school, would not
accept social security benefits and wishes to fully contribute to the UK economy. However, the
thought of more time apart makes Claire despair – this time it would be as a married couple. The
stress is also beginning to take its toll.,
Like many British citizens, Claire is shocked to find that the rules for British citizens to be able to live
in their own homes with their family, are so severe.
She had no idea that as someone in a genuine relationship; someone who just happened to fall in love
with a man from another country, the road home would be filled with barriers

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Clint
“I have started to blame myself for not earning £18,600. Not many
security guards do though.”
Clint is a British citizen from St. Ives, Cambridgeshire. His wife of nearly three years, and five month
old baby, who is eligible for British citizenship, are in the Philippines. Clint’s family would holiday
in the Philippines for a few weeks every year so it wasn’t a surprise when Clint fell in love there.
As a security guard, Clint earns around £14,000 a year. This is less than the £18,600 the government
has mandated he must earn if he wants to live with his wife.
Clint wishes to live in the UK with his family. He needs to be here for his parents – his dad is a
British pensioner and his mum, also from the Philippines came to England in October 1984. She has
worked her whole life as Clint is certain his wife will as well. This is not a family that expects
handouts or is afraid of hard work.
He wishes to live here with his family because it is his right to do so. He wishes for his daughter to
have the same quality upbringing and standard of life he was afforded, and one which all British
children are entitled to.
They do not need to depend on benefits. As an only child, Clint’s parents have made it clear that their
family home will pass to Clint, in which to raise his own family.
Clint has started to blame himself for not earning £18,600. Even though it’s not his fault. He is
earning what others in his profession are paid.
This is a family considering exercising their treaty rights elsewhere in the EU just to be together as a
family. So Clint is saving up in order to move countries just to have his wife and daughter back with
him.

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Craig & Toni
“How do you explain to kids that we just don’t make enough money
to be together as a family. We have tried to teach our children the
importance of family and more so the importance of not judging
people by what they have or how much money they make.”
Craig is a British citizen. He married Toni, a Canadian woman, in summer 2005. Craig has to live in the
UK as he has family responsibilities to his children (from a previous relationship) and his own parents
who also live here. Now the government wants to keep this couple - married for over seven years apart or force Craig to live away from his parents and children..
Craig was born and raised in South Wales, and grew up in a low income, hard working, but loving
family. His dad worked deep in the coal mines. Craig wasn’t given the opportunity to go to university
and never thought he’d meet and fall in love with his soul mate all the way in Canada, but he did. He
even became close to her kids from a previous relationship. They married in summer 2005 here in the
UK. They were living their lives happily, and like all his life, Craig worked hard doing the back
breaking, low paid jobs that most people wouldn’t.
Then the family decided to relocate to Canada for Toni’s studies. Craig eventually had to return to the
UK in 2010 to be near his own kids from a previous relationship, with the intention his wife would join
him as soon as he had obtained a stable job. Toni regularly sent money to support Craig during his job
search and help in setting up of what is to be their home in the UK.
In 2012, Craig finally obtained a stable job. However, when he went off to print the forms for his wife,
he discovered how drastically the rules had changed; they felt like their future had been stolen from
them.
He is furious that his government is dictating to him what their family budget should be when his wife
joins him here again! His wife would get a visa that clearly states "no recourse to public funding"
stamped across it, so how could she be a burden on tax payers if she doesn’t qualify for public funding?
Toni is qualified enough to get work that would pay around £18,000 - £20,000, and hence pay income
tax. They would be shopping, paying council tax, contributing to society and be active members of the
community. How is any of this a burden on the economy?
They are in the fortunate position that Toni doesn’t have the same ties preventing her from leaving
Canada, given that her only family is Craig and their respective kids. She has nothing keeping her in
Canada except these rule changes. This is a couple being kept apart when all the time they were trying
to be prudent and ensure Craig had a good job before his wife and step children moved here.
All the hard working, innocent British citizens who just happen to fall in love with someone from a nonEU country are now paying the ultimate price - being ripped apart from loved ones by our own
government!
Craig understands there needs to be changes to the immigration system but not this "one-size fits all"
approach and definitely not at the expense of British citizens right to be with their family – tearing apart
spouses, parents and children from their loved ones. Indeed, in his view, if the concern is abuse of the
welfare system, then make it harder to get welfare benefits, but don’t stop innocent families from being
able to be together – this cannot be right legally or morally.

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Damar
“I served in the British army, defended British lives and the British
way of life, and now am kept apart from my own wife and child.”.
Damar is a Hong Kong-born British national, a former Gurkha soldier and now an IT professional – and
another victim of this government’s new immigration rules impacting on families.
Damar lives in Stroud, Hampshire and his initial plan was to move to UK with his wife and 10-year-old
daughter, both Filipino nationals, earlier this summer. The said law, however, prevents this, forcing him
to be apart from his family. A man who served in the British army, defending British lives and the
British way of life, is now being prevented from having a life with his own wife and child.
Damar and his family decided to build a future in Britain in response to the IT skills shortage and to
provide his daughter with a better education. Damar has a science degree majoring in computing and
networking (BScCN) and a Master of Science in Information Technology (MScIT). With over 12 years
of IT work experience, and 9 years of exemplary military service before that in the Brigade of Gurkhas,
part of the British Army, he is confident that he would be a net contributor to the economy and
community.
Damar is, and has always been, an asset not a burden, to UK. It’s clear this unacceptably harsh law will
prevent British citizens, including some who have served in the British army, from settling in the UK.
The pain of separation from his wife and daughter is indescribable and brings to the fore the ignorance
of the Home Secretary – someone who does not, or chooses not to, understand the impact of the rules
she has imposed and devastation being wreaked. The enforced separation has taken its toll on the
physical and psychological health of Damar’s family, with insomnia and depression taking a toll on
their health.
This government, despite a manifesto claim, is neither family-friendly nor one with morals or common
sense.
Damar is aware of British public’s frustration with immigration abuse and sham marriages, but the
Government has chosen to punish poorer and rural British citizens instead of genuinely targeting
problem areas. All are shocked that this government places financial conditions on love, family and
human rights.
Damar is forced to maintain living expenses in UK and Hong Kong, two equally expensive places. To
sponsor his wife and daughter in the UK, he has to find a job with a salary of at least £22,400 per annum.
The Government is claiming the law is fair, pro-family, and beneficial to the British economy, reduces
immigrant numbers by hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands, and upholds the principles of human
rights. A complete farce. If preventing certain EU citizens – British citizens with non-EU spouses –
from living together will reduce immigrant numbers to the level claimed, it’s wrong in principle and in
its estimate of 'success'.
Damar’s desire to live here doesn’t involve sponging on welfare benefits. It’s to work and provide his
family with a better quality of life in the country he risked his life to defend.
This law is an attack on human rights (including a fundamental right to family life), and the UK’s
reputation as an advocate of human rights and open and fair democracy is fast being eroded. It has
closed its door to its own citizens; it has, however, provided enough ground to be challenged in court,
which it will be, and thus more taxpayers’ money will be frittered away.
How do such rules safeguard taxpayers and the British economy, as the Government has claimed?

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David & Dee
“Home Office has appealed the High Court decision and they have
my wife’s passport. Asking for it back would mean withdrawal of her
application and loss of the fee. But with the appeal the legal route
could realistically take years!”
David is a British citizen from Wales. He is married to Dee from Canada.
In early 2005, they met through an online friendship group which played Trivia quizzes and games with
mutual friends across different countries. After a few months, nudged by many of these friends, David
and Dee started talking outside of the group.
Initially the contact was via email, progressing to nightly phone calls. They didn’t seem to run out of
things to talk about and discussed meeting each other.
At the time, David had his two children from a previous marriage
living with him due to his ex-wife having health issues. It was
once his kids were able to return to their mother that David
visited Dee in Canada for two weeks.
It was lovely. They got on so well that Dee invited David to
consider moving over for a longer period.
Back in the UK, David discussed this with his family, arranging
to keep in contact with the kids through weekly phone calls and regular mail.
In October 2006, Dee came to the UK for two weeks to meet David’s family and friends, following
which they returned together to Canada. David got on well with Dee's teenage children, and the couple
married in June 2007.
David applied for Permanent Residency in Canada which also requires any children under 22 to have
medical check-ups, whether or not they are migrating across with the applicant. These check-ups
require consent from both parents. David’s ex-wife withheld this consent and so David’s application
was refused.
Thus David returned to the UK in February 2011, and it was back to nightly phone calls, emails and
Skype chats again. There was born once again a couple happily married, unhappily living apart.
Dee came over to visit for six months in May 2012, with the intention to apply for Leave to Remain
during her stay. Exactly six weeks later, Home Office changed the rules. Dee could no longer apply
from within UK, and David would be required to earn at least £18,600. A salary level not achievable
for a construction site labourer in South Wales. Third-party support was also no longer allowed.
The married couple were now looking at yet more time apart once Dee left UK in November 2012 with
no certainty on when they’d see each other again, be able to hold hands, hug.
David is unable to even consider moving to Canada now as one of his daughters, Kayleigh, diagnosed
with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) moved in with him permanently in December 2012. Duty of
care to her makes it even more difficult for David to work the extra hours needed to reach the £18,600
level.
The couple has now spent two Christmases apart, and second Christmas apart and counting.

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David has also had the opportunity to speak about his situation at the APPG on Migration meeting in
Parliament on 10th February 2013, as arranged by Migrants Rights Network.
David is not a public speaker. He doesn’t like it; he doesn’t profess to be an expert at it. However, he
is a firm believer that if you don’t stand up for what you believe in, then it’s not right to ask others to
stand up on your behalf.
When David shared his story he was overwhelmed with the support her received. He was advised by
many present that Dee should apply for Leave to Enter even though they don't meet the minimum
income requirement, and that they’d win an appeal anyway.
In March 2013, Dee took her application to Toronto to have her Biometrics done. They told her there
that she'd have to come back in May because she'd put August as her date of travel, and couldn't apply
more than three months before that date.
Dee went back two months later (as requested) to find that the last two pages of her paperwork was
missing (it had been there at the first appointment but mysteriously disappeared this time round).
For David it was really hard to receive a phone call from his wife 3,500 miles away, crying her eyes
out, knowing there was little he could do to help. After speaking with her husband, Dee decided to
make one last stop at the office as it was closing before catching her bus back home and happily the
Consulate had found the missing pages and faxed them across. RESULT!!!!
Dee was told it would take about ten weeks to process, and so the couple waited again, in anticipation
of their reunion. They allowed themselves to forget that just when it looks like there's light at the end
of the tunnel, the Home Office just builds more tunnel.
A High Court decision in the MM & Ors vs. Secretary of State case deemed that the income rules were
disproportionate and unjustified, leading to the Home Office pausing all applications where the income
requirement would be the only reason for refusal.
By late August, Dee’s application had been with the British embassy for fourteen weeks already.
According to the embassy’s own estimate this would mean it was already a month overdue in the
decision being made. However, the MM case, followed by the Home Office not only pausing
applications such as theirs, but also now appealing the High Court decision leaves this family mired in
uncertainty. How much longer will it take? David estimates another year.
What is worse however is the Home Office has Dee’s passport. If she asks for it back, her application
gets withdrawn and the family loses the application fee. This means that Dee is likely to miss the
wedding of her son, James, who is getting married in Manila to his fiancée, a citizen of the Philippines.
David and Dee have no intention of giving up. Their love is strong enough to cope with anything Home
Office throws at them. The issue of course remains, that they shouldn’t have to be cope with life apart.
Update:
1) Dee did ask for her passport back which meant her application was withdrawn. Before going to her
son’s wedding, Dee visited the UK, however she was refused entry and held in a detention centre for
a very distressing two days before being sent back to Canada.
2) Subsequently, David and Dee exercised their free movement rights and were reunited in Malta,
where they lived and worked, making a lot of friends.
3) After several months, the couple were able to return to the UK under EEA regulations, reuniting the
couple with David’s kids in Wales. Dee is hoping to soon be the proud holder of a UK Resident
Card. However the couple continue to help others caught in the Home Office family immigration
web who also wish to exercise their free movemen rights, by sharing their knowledge and experience
of Malta.

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David & Emelie
“I am a person whose life has been ripped apart; I’m not young and
this is my last chance of happiness. Why should it be snatched away
from me?”
David is a British citizen, in his mid-fifties and from the East Midlands. He has been self-employed in
the graphics industry, before which he worked for HM Forces. He also has a fiancée who lives in
Manila, Philippines, with whom he has been in a relationship for three years. His fiancée is a qualified
accountant.
David lived in Manila to assess the way of life there and its suitability for him.
His fiancée visited the UK to see what life here would be like, should they
decide to live here. They travelled to London, Scotland and the Midlands to
give her a better idea, before she had to return to Manila and her job.
With the current economic climate finding work has not been easy; David is
seeking employment working in the graphic art or retail management fields.
David lives in an area of the country where the average wage is nowhere near
£18,600. He has signed up with over 30 job agencies spending hours each
day on my laptop applying for vacancies paying the elusive £18,600. Until
then, he is surviving on his savings. David has also been looking at jobs outside of his home area; any
job, anywhere in the UK that will pay a salary that meets the criteria. Alas, it is hard enough trying to
secure full time employment at his age without having to continually cut through red tape.
David’s experience with his MP has not been successful. While his MP was initially sympathetic and
seemed keen to help David with the situation, it eventually turned into a ‘rules are rules’ response.
Letters he has received from Minister of Immigration and his MP have not been helpful – they simply
state the rules with which David is already familiar. Not much help from those who get paid to represent
us, their constituents and the citizens of this country they have an obligation to look out for!
David has worked hard all his life; paid his taxes and national insurance (which he continues to pay
even now). He just wants to be able to live in his home, with his fiancée – a qualified accountant
working in the treasury department for one of the largest companies in the Philippines! She speaks
English more eloquently than a lot of British people – surely, but surely, she would be an asset not a
liability to this country?
David has got to the point at which he doesn’t know which way to turn; this situation is destroying him
bit by bit with each passing day. It is making him ill, he doesn’t sleep with all the worry…all he wants
is to be able to lead a normal happy life with his partner. Indeed, David is at a disadvantage because he
was born in the UK, rather than elsewhere in the EU, and fell in love with a beautiful woman from the
South Pacific.

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Dee & Ozan
“He has supported me and my son through everything we have been
through. He would die to be there for us.”
Dee is a British citizen living in Hemel Hempstead. She met Ozan, her husband, in May 2010 when he
was working as a lifeguard.
Dee quickly realised Ozan was a natural protector – the way he engaged with Dee and her son from a
previous relationship. The three hit it off instantly; and the couple’s relationship developed to the stage
that Ozan invited Dee to visit his home city, Istanbul. Over the next few months, Dee travelled
frequently to Turkey, their relationship strengthening each time.
In July 2011, Dee needed an emergency operation - a terrifying, sudden prospect. Every day, Ozan sat
with her on Skype, providing support and helping to get her through this very difficult time in her life.
During the hours and days they spent together, Ozan helped to guide her through the recovery.
Their love deepened to the point they knew they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with each other.
Once Dee recovered and was allowed to travel, she married the man of her dreams in Turkey. It was a
beautiful wedding.
The new family had to make a decision - where to live. Initially, they decided that Ozan was to apply
for a visitor's visa to the UK, in order to decide if he could really be happy there. Unfortunately,
devastatingly, Ozan's application was rejected - 'You have nothing to go back to', in the bureaucratic
mindset of authority.
Ozan's mother has cancer - Ozan most certainly does have a life and a family in Turkey, but his priority
is his life partner, and his new family, as it should be.
Very quickly after hearing the news of the visitor visa rejection, Dee made a joyous discovery. Dee and
Ozan were pregnant. Dee’s lawyer advised her that Ozan should not appeal
the visitor visa rejection, but should instead apply for a different
kind of visa - a spousal visa.
Dee started to gather all the requirements
and documentation that are necessary for
a spousal visa application. She was able
to build up the funds for the application.
Ozan sat his English language test, and passed first time. They were
nearly
there.
Unknown to the family, and with very little warning, in June 2012 strict new immigration guidelines
were announced. There was never a debate in the House of Commons on these new rules; and yet they
were to be implemented only one month later, in July 2012, giving very little opportunity for anyone even experts in the field - to react.
Dee was having a difficult pregnancy spending large bouts of time in hospital – made even more painful
by not having her husband by her side. Made worse by the letter from UKBA stating that she did not
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This is despite Dee earning an annual salary of £16,300 - above the living wage; indeed, her family
income would be even higher if Ozan were with her, working, supporting and providing for Dee and
his stepson. Pictures show the incredible artistic talent which would not go unrewarded in the UK. Of
course, this would also mean Dee and her son would be less likely to ever be dependent on the state.
The government claims that the measures introduced reduce the benefits burden on the taxpayer. Dee's
example disproves that; a family together, with two earners, is far less likely to have to claim benefits now or at any time in the future - than a partner who is effectively forced to be a single mother,
supporting a family by herself).
Since having their baby daughter, Dee has had to lower her hours at work due to childcare and says if
her husband was in the UK, her tax credits claim would be lower as she could share childcare with her
husband and Ozan would be working and earning good money too.
There is however zero room in the rules for any discretion or use of common sense, despite the fact that
median incomes vary considerably across the country; many people even on lower incomes prefer to
live frugally – just as many despite being on higher incomes are in debt.
The point remains that forcing a family apart is in fact more likely to push people onto benefits – adding
economics to moral and common sense as reasons to make the rules fair.
Dee’s daughter – also a British citizen - cannot be with her own father. Yes she talks to her daddy every
day via a computer screen – very similar to the Skype Daddy video at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKrCUaKB4KM
.
Dee's son has a hard time too; he just doesn't understand why he can't be with the man he considers a
father-figure, as family.
Dee has no support except from extended family; she is working to support two children, and dealing
with another upcoming operation, all by herself.
Dee is very angry that her family has been divided through senseless rules and their ridiculous
application. With good reason.

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Ed & Anya
“I will exercise my treaty rights in order to live with my wife – a
right denied to me by my own government.”
Ed is a British citizen from Scotland, married to Anya, from Russia. They met in their early twenties
while studying at Edinburgh University in 2004, when they were both selected for a student-run
charity project helping a community in Manzini, Swaziland, build a soup kitchen. Not unlike many
international couples, their love was kindled in a shared experience of travel and living away from
home which has continued ever since.
They lived together back in Scotland, finding employment near Edinburgh
after graduation in 2007. Before long, a job opportunity for Anya took them
on more overseas adventures to Azerbaijan and then Nigeria. Juggling
individual visa restrictions gave them their first experience of forced
separation and relationship-by-Skype: traumatic, tiring and unsustainable for
more than a short time.
Luckily, Anya's job in microfinance also gave them the chance to save enough
money to fulfil a dream they'd both had since before they even met: a longdistance bicycle ride.
In May 2010 a group of friends and family cycled with Ed and Anya to the boundary of their
hometown in Scotland, waving the pair off on a journey that would last over a year. They explored
Scotland's border uplands, west coast and islands, before heading to France. They followed rivers and
canals to Switzerland and pedalled to over 2000 metres of altitude to cross the Alps into Italy. Facing
the expiry of a Schengen visa, they took a cargo ship to Turkey, which marked the beginning of an
Eastern world of hospitality, history, food and natural beauty unlike anywhere else.
Their route along the Mediterranean coast took them into then-peaceful Syria and on to Lebanon, and
then back into Syria, where they overwintered in a desert monastery near Damascus, working in return
for food, board, and the nourishment of community. In early 2011 they set off across the Syrian
desert, crossing back into Turkey just before the start of protests in Syria. Reaching the Black Sea,
they steered right and continued into Georgia and Azerbaijan, finally ending their journey at the
Caspian Sea in June 2011.
With her last UK visa long expired, Anya had to return to Russia; unable to get a Russian visa away
from home, Ed returned to Scotland. Ironically, it was only by staying on the road through 11
different countries that the two managed to avoid separation for so long. But now they had no choice.
They decided to make Russia their home for a while; Ed wanted to learn the language, and Anya
wanted to be near her family. Already trained as an EFL teacher, in winter 2011 Ed landed a great job
in Moscow which also gave him time to study Russian and pursue other work opportunities although
he now is a self-employed copy editor now. Anya worked at the British Embassy before leaving it to
write for an English-language newspaper and take some distance-learning courses from SOAS in
London. After the constant uncertainties of the bicycle tour, settled life in the big city held appeal for a while.
Russian bureaucracy is infamously slow and labyrinthine, but the pair knew there would be benefits if
they got married: Ed could apply for temporary residency in Russia and so no longer be tied to any
particular employer. They also naturally assumed that being married would make returning to the UK
pretty straightforward when the time came. After all, if you're married, you're family - right?
So the process of gaining temporary residency started with Ed and Anya's wedding in August 2012.

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The day itself was pure fun. The newlyweds rode bicycles from the registry office to the reception and
danced the night away to ragtime and swing, surrounded by their new families. But despite a
materially comfortable life and supportive family nearby, life in Moscow started to take its toll. It
seemed a metropolis worn down by social inequality, ingrained distrust, and an entrenched car culture.
Anya and Ed missed their friends and family back in the UK, and longed to live a more outdoor life
again.
While looking at the procedure for returning to the UK, they heard about Theresa May's new family
immigration rules, which effectively prohibit them from returning directly. How does the state have
the right to do this? Isn't it a citizen's right to marry whomever they choose and live in their own
country?
Ed finally gained temporary residency in Russia in July 2013. But by this time, he and Anya realised
their best option was to take the Surinder Singh route, probably via Ireland, in autumn or winter 2013.
Exercising treaty rights is something they can do as they don’t have careers in the UK which would be
disrupted, and no children to have to look after.
They are looking forward to the adventure of the next half year, while remaining anxious to get it over
with; they worry that the route will rapidly become more difficult, with more applications being
rejected by the UKBA on spurious grounds in order to force appeals and test the law.
However, Ed remains positive and feels lucky to be able to exercise rights afforded to him by the EU
– rights to a family life denied to him by his own government.

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Elwyn
“I am ashamed to be British but I will keep fighting these rules.”
Elwyn is a 55 year old British man. He has two children and four grandchildren. He owns his own
home in south Wales and is employed as a minister of a Christian church in the town. After nursing
his first wife for eleven years, the last five, 24/7 sadly she passed away in 2012.
In 2013 Elwyn married a Ukrainian national who he had known for many years as she worked as
secretary to a church he visited in Ukraine regularly. They looked into making their settlement visa
application straight away. However, Elwyn was confused by the information on the UKBA website.
He sought clarification from the passport office and British Embassy in Kiev on at least six occasions,
by phone and email. However the only thing that was forthcoming was that they were unable to
provide advice, and Elwyns pleas that he was asking for clarification not advice fell on deaf ears.
So the couple did what they thought was correct thinking Elwyn
could seek clarification when he was submitting the application in
person, before handing over nearly £1000 as the application fee.
All the documents had been translated and apostilled at an
additional cost of £500. Elwyn however wasn’t allowed into the
office and only his wife was able to go in and get the paperwork
submitted. While it was being looked over, she asked if it was all
right and was told that it would be submitted once the application fee was paid.
Three months later they received an email to say all the documents were on their way back and that
the passport was ready to be picked up. They had been refused, because although they had submitted
his wife’s diploma, along with her straight A grades as a graduate of Kiev university as an English
teacher, they had not submitted the Cambridge English Test certificate.
Elwyn is now living in Ukraine, managing with regular trips back and forward to UK. His father is 85
years old and seriously ill, having been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Elwyn’s father’s dearest
wish was to spend some time with Elwyn and his new daughter-in-law.
So while getting the extensive requirements and paperwork together for another settlement visa
application, they decided to apply for a visitor visa so Elwyn’s wife could come and spend most of
September with her new father in law. She sat the Cambridge exam and they still await the results of
that. But this was not needed for the visitor visa.
Elwyn applied with all the necessary paperwork and the £90 fee at the Kiev office. He submitted a
letter of support and itinerary for the time up to Christmas, when they were due to be in Africa on
humanitarian work for six weeks from October. It was clear that this was just a visit.
However, the visit visa was also refused. This time on grounds that they’d been “less than truthful as
it was obvious their intentions were not to return to Ukraine”. Elwyn has residency in Ukraine; they
own their own apartment there and he has changed work roles so that he can remain employed whilst
living in Ukraine until they are eventually in a position to be granted a settlement visa.
He finds it amazing that a civil servant would call a minister of the church untruthful! So Elwyn is
unable to take his wife to see my 85 year old sick father, or his 62 year old severely disabled sister or
his still grieving daughters and four grandchildren. Elwyn is now ashamed to admit he is British. He
is adamant though that he will continue raising awareness of the issues he has faced, it’s now a
personal crusade for justice.

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Emma & Haytham
“I will not be bullied into leaving my home, family, friends, job and
life.”
Emma is a British citizen married to the love of her life, Haytham from Egypt. They have known each
other since they were kids.
Their wedding on 29th of August 2012 was beautiful and was
followed by a wonderful honeymoon.
In October they applied for a six month visit visa as they did not
have all the paperwork necessary to apply for a spouse visa at that
time, namely the certificate to satisfy the new English language
requirement.
However the Home Office decided December 2012 to refuse the
application based on financial reasons, despite Emma being in full
time employment and earning above even the required threshold for
a settlement visa, and despite Haytham himself being in full time
employment in Egypt, owning his own property outright and having substantial savings.
They appealed this decision immediately. In May 2013 the Home Office failed to submit a decision to
the appeal by the due date, so Emma will now attend an Oral Hearing in October 2013 – a year after
the initial visa application for a six month visa; fourteen months into her marriage.
Emma has travelled to Egypt four times since getting married. Although it is wonderful to have the
opportunity to see her husband (as I am sure many don’t) it is not conducive to either annual leave at
work or the purse strings to be going overseas so regularly. It also gets more and more emotional to
leave him behind each time.
The process has taken an unacceptable amount of time for absolutely no reason at all.
Haytham has since sat and passed his language test exam and they fully intend to apply for a spouse
visa, and Emma dreads to think how long that process will take!
Emma is determined however to keep fighting for her right to choose to married whomever she so
decided to, and to have him live with her in her country. She refuses to be bullied into leaving her
home, family, job, friends and life here. She is a British Citizen and will not let the Home Office make
her feel, that in loving her husband, she has committed a crime.

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Emma
“I am in despair. My family has been kept apart for many years,
despite playing by the rules...which the government keeps changing.”
Emma is a British citizen. She met her now husband in Indonesia in 2001. She returned in 2002 and
they stayed together before Emma came back to the UK. They kept in touch via post and email over the
next seven months, before Emma returned to Indonesia to marry her husband.
Her husband applied for a UK visa, allowing him to move here with his new wife, following which the
couple moved here, and had a daughter and son. Both Emma and her husband worked in the UK, without
claiming a penny in benefits. This was in 2002.
In 2007, the family decided to try living in Indonesia. They set up their own business there. However,
some time later, they decided to return to the UK, where Emma felt that she could find better work.
However, they were in for a shock. Emma’s husband’s returning residence visa was refused as he’d
been outside UK for over two months in a two-year period. The British Embassy in Jakarta advised the
couple to apply for a ‘returning visitor visa’ as they were still within the rules. But they were in for
another shock! This visa was refused, wasting time and money. They were subsequently advised to
apply for a spouse visa – costing £800. This too was refused, on grounds of Emma (the sponsor) not
having a job in the UK.
The immigration officer advised them in the refusal letter that if Emma were to return to the UK and
make provisions for her husband to return – get a job, and a house adequate for family life in the UK –
she would be able to make a successful visa application for her husband. Emma returned to the UK with
her two children, arranged accommodation, settled the kids into school and started job hunting. This
meant, unfortunately, that she was juggling childcare and associated costs, effectively as a single
mother, making it incredibly difficult to secure full-time employment, despite securing job interviews!
It was ironic, because if her husband was allowed to be with her, the family’s child care problems would
cease to exist, as the couple could have organised their time to work and care for their little family
without having to claim any benefits.
In fact, Emma did everything in her power to avoid becoming a burden on the State. She set herself up
as an entrepreneur with her own freelance business, working from home. In desperation, she wrote to
her local MP explaining the situation, expecting some help from a person paid to represent his
constituents. The MP’s reply was unhelpful, expressing his sympathy for their situation and stating that
even another MP had had his wife’s visa refused entry to the UK – difficult for everyone!
Emma then wrote to the Prime Minister, receiving a standard letter expressing his sympathy, and
enclosing the immigration rules! As if she didn’t already know them!
She was featured on the front page of the local newspaper – which had initially contacted her about a
mural she had produced for the school, but were subsequently more interested in her family situation.
People stopped Emma in the street asking her how she was coping. Like many members of the general
public, they couldn’t believe her story – ‘But you are married!’ – and they could not believe how, at
this stage, she had been apart from her husband – and the kids from their father – for three long years.
Emma’s husband came into some money in April 2012 and applied yet again for a visa, only for it to
be refused yet again – this time on the grounds he hadn’t done his English test. They were aware he
had to do this test in due course, but the Embassy in Jakarta had informed him he could do it in the UK.
They lost another £820. Yet more time and more money lost..yet more heartbreak.

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Emma contacted a lawyer who told her the couple couldn’t appeal as it’s now a requirement to pass an
approved English test pre-visa application. Despite being incorrectly informed by a British Embassy cut
no ice – so hard-working Brits are forced to donate money to UKBA because of incompetence of UK
government employees.
Emma’s husband did his English test on July 20th. As of the end of September, they are still waiting for
the result. More time has passed, more money has been lost. And, brutally, the government has changed
the immigration rules yet again… .
Now, Emma has to be earning £18,600 – on top of whatever her husband earns – if the family is to be
reunited. The rule changes were announced in June, and introduced in July – hardly enough time to
prepare.
As of today, Emma is in despair. The family has been kept apart for many years, despite playing by the
rules. What hope is there for them?
The government has behaved appallingly. One part of the government (the Embassy) incorrectly advised
Emma on the rules. Yet they are prepared to take her money for each application, in a manner which
would make a lowlife street conman proud.
Another part of the government (the UKBA) introduces rules so arcane that, within a matter of weeks,
they would have made Kafka proud – indeed, rules so complex that even MPs getting paid £100,000
have difficulty grasping the key concepts and locating all the hidden annexes.
The new rules were introduced by means of ‘secondary legislation’ – meaning the House of Commons
didn’t even get to debate them, and doubtless many politicians remain unaware of all the intricate
Machiavellian details!
What an utterly shameful situation.

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Gillian
Mother, mother-in-law and grandmother.
Gillian is a British citizen from Scotland. She is mother to four British sons and mother-in-law to four
daughters-in-law, all from the USA.
Gillian has had to fight long and hard in order for her son, Kevin, to be able to live with Jamie, his
wife, and their two small children.
Gillian herself returned to UK from USA once she had retired, in 2006. Her third son, Kevin followed
in 2008 with his wife Jamie and their daughter Eowyn. They moved into a house in the same village
and the little girl went to the local school. All was going well. Jamie was working managing a local
farm shop and ice-cream parlour and Kevin went back to university to get his IT degree.
Jamie gave birth to a son in August 2011. In March 2012 she received news that her dad was seriously
ill in California and needed major heart surgery. Jamie was ‘settled’ here under the old two-year visa
program at the time and had been here for four years. She was due to apply for ‘indefinite leave to
remain’ in April 2012 but did not have the money needed for that as well as having money for the
airfare for herself and the two kids to fly to California to be with her dad. Naturally she chose to see
her dad.
Jamie’s father died in September 2012 and the family’s attention turned to Jamie returning to the UK.
Unfortunately, by this time the rules and changed and they found that because Kevin had been at
university and not working full time, he did not have the six months’ worth of pay slips and bank
statements needed to even apply for Jamie’s visa.
Kevin immediately abandoned his degree and got a job as a security guard working 60-65 hours a
week to make the minimum amount of £18,600 needed to get her home. His daughter already had
indefinite leave based upon Kevin’s citizenship and his son was born in the UK so neither of them
needed visa clearance. However, because his wife was caught up in this mess the children were also
prevented from coming home.
It took a further six months to get the necessary paperwork together to apply. All told, they had been
apart for a full year. His son, who had only been six months old when they left only knew his dad as a
face on the computer.
Jamie had no job in the US and they moved around staying with various friends and relatives for the
entire year they were there. The little girl’s education has been severely compromised as she has
moved from school to school during the years they have been ‘nomads’ in the USA and it is going to
take her several months if not years to catch up.
The happy part of this story is that, with the help of their local MP, some local press coverage and
some much deserved luck, Jamie and the two children were able to return to Scotland on 27th March
2013.
The family has found the immigration rules to be punitive in the extreme, as they punish British
citizens. It is clear to this family that the rules are purely down to a numbers game being played by
people without conscience and should be struck down.
The family was forced to pay a huge price for Jamie doing what any daughter would do. Kevin, in
giving up his studies to reunite his family, has paid the price of a more secure future for them all.

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Hayley
“Why is the income threshold such that nearly half of the British
population would not be able to meet it?”
Hayley is a British citizen who in April 2011 went to start the summer season working in Tunisia as an
entertainer where she first met her now husband.
From when they first met, all through the summer, they were inseparable and spent every day in and out
of work together. When in winter she had to return to the UK, they were both heartbroken. Hayley soon
booked two separate trips to ensure they would spend time in person together over the winter as well,
and not just through a computer screen on Skype.
She travelled back to Tunisia in January 2012; met all his family, and then again in March 2011 to
celebrate her birthday with the man she loved.
Returning to Tunisia for the second season in summer 2012, Hayley felt like they had never been apart.
At the end of the season she decided that she wanted to end her career as an entertainer, get married and
find a stable job in the UK.
She returned to the UK, once again booking trips back to Tunisia for January and April 2013. While
apart, they’d share jokes every day, keep each other company, share their days with each other, albeit
through Skype.
In June 2013 they got married – and what an amazing wedding day it was! All the preparing and sorting
out a wedding a thousand miles apart from each other was so stressful but paid off as it really was the
best day of their lives. Like any other couple they are looking forward to building and planning future
together as husband and wife.
Unfortunately due to the current £18,600 income requirement that allows no third party support, nor
evidence to show Hayley can support her husband without earning the magical £18,600 they still having
to live apart. It hurts. Most newly-weds are beside each other but instead this couple has to look at
each other through a computer screen hundreds of miles away.
Hayley is convinced that while she doesn’t earn £18,600 she can support her husband without any aid
from the state. She works full time, lives in a large family owned property and all her family work. The
income threshold is unjustified, unrealistic, irrelevant and therefore needs to change.
Hayley is firm in her belief that the requirements should not be such that around 50% of the British
population would never be able to meet.

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Jack & Shah
“Is my entitlement to live with my husband less than that of
someone earning a higher salary?”
Jack is a British citizen, whose husband is from Malaysia. The couple met when Shah was a student
in the UK. After two years together they chose to formalise their relationship and get married.
Shah returned to Malaysia to finish his studies after his time in the UK. Jack
joined him for ten months on a tourist visa and would have been happy to live
there permanently. However, it’s not feasible as in Malaysia, being
homosexual is illegal.
So the only chance this couple has to be together is in Jack’s home country,
UK.
Jack has only recently started his accounting apprenticeship, so it could be
years before he manages to reach the £18,600. Although his parents have
offered to support the couple and provide them with accommodation, this is not taken into account by
the Home Office, despite the fact that the couple does not need or desire to be on state benefits.
Shah is currently in the UK on a tourist visa and will have to return to Malaysia within a few months.
This couple is therefore facing a very uncertain future, with the prospect of being separated for years
to come.
A year and a half into their marriage, they are soon to be separated for an undetermined period of
time, simply because Jack does not earn £18,600.

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Jade & Luis
“As a British Masters student, I can’t live with my partner, because he is
Argentinean and I don’t earn £18,600 – how many British students do?!
However, international students coming to the UK from elsewhere in the world
can live here with their partner and kids, without needing to earn £18,600. The
UK is slamming the doors on its own people, just because we accidentally fall
in love with someone from outside Europe’s borders”.
Jade is a British citizen; 28 years old, a graduate and a former
advertising professional from Greenwich, London. She is currently
living in Argentina with her Argentine fiancé Luis.
A couple years ago, she took some time off work to travel. Whilst in
Argentina, she met and fell in love with Luis. Jade stayed in
Argentina for ten months during which time Luis and his family
financially supported Jade (she worked part time as an English
teacher but it wasn't enough money to live on). They then travelled
together, first living together in Rio de Janerio, Brazil for two months, then six months in London,
where they lived with Jade’s family.
Jade returned to her advertising job where she earned £22,000. As Luis was on a tourist visa, he didn’t
work and instead, spent time researching for his thesis. In September, they returned to Argentina for
Luis’s graduation. For two years one or the other has put life on hold, to be together.
In Argentina Jade can’t get can't work in a career progressing job, as fluent Spanish is essential and the
language and cultural barriers make it difficult for her to make many friends (they live in a small city).
Luis has a good job in an international winery. He put his studies and career on hold to spend time in
London as Jade was homesick, and now, Jade is putting things on hold while they are both in Argentina.
It's a complicated life but they really love each other and are trying to make it work.
Jade wishes to return home to study for a Masters in Sustainable Tourism; she has found the perfect
course. However, this is only feasible if Luis can also come to the UK and develop his career, whilst
supporting Jade in her studies.
In Argentina, a good salary is about £500 a month. There is no way she
could earn £18,600 a year whilst in Argentina, so it is totally impossible
for me to meet that income threshold from Argentina. Neither Jade nor
Luis want to get married if it means their marriage begins with a six
month separation, while Jade returns to England alone, returns to an
advertising career, just to make an arbitrary salary of £18,600.
Jade feels that her country has closed its doors to her. She is angry and sad; it’s scary to think that were
she to fall pregnant, she’d have to chose between pregnancy at home with family and friends around
her, or the father of her child. The choice is difficult but obvious – she’d have to stay in Argentina and
therefore live in exile.
Jade is aware she could move to Spain as part of the EU treaty. However this means putting her life on
hold; dreams of further studying are postponed and she’d continue to have to teach English as a foreign
language for another few years. Indeed, it’s odd that as a British Masters student Jade wouldn’t be able
to live here with her partner because she doesn’t earn the required income, but international students do
not face the same restrictions!
Jade just wants UK to not punish her for travelling around the world and falling in love with someone
from outside Europe's borders.

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Jas
“He is the man I am going to marry and it’s the government keeping
us apart.”
Jas is a British citizen, born and raised in the UK. She is currently in the second year of her pharmacy
degree.
She first visited India at the agre of three, and then every two years since, getting to know her heritage
and family in India. It is here she found the love of her life. Though they spent time together as kids,
she only really remembers him from when she was 9 and he, 13. A gorgeous boy who told her he
liked her very much. Jas was too young to understand what this all meant, but a few years later, she
did. Leaving India then, meant leaving him, and all she could do was cry.
As a teenager, when they met again, at first it was awkward but the chemistry that had been there from
the start, the attraction and the sense of comfort they got from each other, didn't take long to return.
This is when Jas started to fall in love and the pair vowed to not grow apart because of the distance.
They stayed in touch over the phone and email, speaking for hours.
When her boyfriend got into a motorcycle accident, Jas realised how hard a long distance relationship
was when you couldn’t be there for each other to share the good and bad times. So she let herself drift
apart from him. However, love knows no boundaries, and now at the age of 19 Jas can’t deny her
feelings.
She is determined that this is the man she will marry. However she wants to first finish her degree in
order to further her career, and also maximise her chances of earning £18,600 so she can sponsor him.
If she is not allowed to be here in the UK, Jas will emigrate. However, UK then loses out on the
positive impact she could make here. As more and more like Jas decide to leave our shores, it will be
to the detriment of our nation.

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Jay & Alberto
“We just want to live our lives together, without interference from the
state.”
Jay is a British citizen. He is in love with Alberto, from Brazil. They met in the summer of 2012, when
Jay was travelling to South America for holiday and adventure. As luck would have it, on the third day
of his trip, he met Alberto – a meeting which would go on to affect his entire life.
There was instantly something between them. Itineraries were amended to maximise time together.
They both knew they were in love and had found something special together. Jay asked Alberto to be
with him permanently, to marry him and to live with him in London. Jay naively thought the process
would be straightforward. He left Alberto in Brazil and returned to UK. As Jay had been travelling he
didn’t have a salary nor any savings. So they decided to wait for a few months so they could save up,
before applying for the proposed civil partnership six month visa.
They managed to get together the huge amount of documentation required for the application. They
filed the application in February 2013, and waited. In May they finally received a response. Due to an
error, Alberto had not sat the complete English test. He had scored almost 90% in the reading and
listening test but had not sat the speaking and writing side. Alberto’s high score and their obvious
communication in English was not sufficient enough.
This was heartbreaking and stressful following such a long wait. Jay immediately booked a flight to go
and be with Alberto. They had been apart too long already. They had lost the huge application fee and
were not given the opportunity to be able to prove Alberto’s level of English.
Alberto decided to visit the UK before returning to Brazil for
the re-application. Brazilians normally don’t need a visa to
enter the UK for visits up to six months, however because he
had been refused a visa already, they were advised to apply for
one.
However, in a catch 22, they were refused the visit visa
anyway, because they had already been refused the earlier visa!
This was incredibly frustrating. That someone could decide
Alberto would overstay his visit because he had had a refusal. Why after trying to do things legally and
correct would he want to be in the UK illegally? It didn’t make sense.
So now they’re going to reapply for the proposed civil partnership visa – another £900. It is upsetting
at the length of time they’ve had to be apart. Alberto still has not met Jay’s family after over a year of
their being together. Alberto and Jay’s grandmother will now never be able to meet each other.
Jay is a hard-working tax-payer. He exceeds the financial requirements, yet finds the process difficult.
Jay has never claimed any benefits. He has a good job and Alberto is a talented Graphic Designer who
should also be able to find work in the UK and pay taxes. With no recourse to public funds.
All this couple wants is to start their lives together, build a home, have a family, contribute to society
and the economy and lead the lives they want together – without interference from the state. There
should not be so many obstacles in the way.

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Jenny
Jenny is a British citizen living in Australia for the past nine years. She lives there with her Australian
husband and three-year old daughter.
She was 20 when she met her husband and never thought returning home one day would be a
problem.
Although her daughter qualifies for British citizenship, Jenny would still have to move to the UK
alone, and find a job paying a large salary before her husband was allowed to live here.
This is completely unrealistic for Jenny, who is a stay-at-home mum. She can’t leave her daughter
with her husband in Australia, nor can she bring her daughter to the UK without her husband, as that
would mean working full time in a job flexible enough to cope with the demands brought about by
enforced single parenthood.
Jenny does not wish to take her daughter away from everything that is familiar, and separate a child
from her father, just to then entrust her to strangers in day care.

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Jessica & Warren
“It feels like I’m trapped in South Africa, first unable to return home
because I was under 21, now because I don’t earn £18,600.”
Jessica is a British citizen. She met her husband Warren in the UK in early 2010 while he was on a UK
working holiday visa. When Warren’s visa came to an end in October 2010 they decided to go to his
home country of South Africa together. They married in November 2010 and in February 2011 decided
to return to UK. However then Jessica was only 18 and spousal rules required the British citizen to be
21 for sponsoring a spouse. The couple was devastated but that's the way it was at the time and there
was nothing they could do.
When the Home Office was taken to court on this issue, the rules changed to allow Brits over 18 to
sponsor a foreign spouse. Jessica was overjoyed and started saving to start a life back home in the UK.

In June 2012, Warren was granted a holiday visa, so they both could visit UK and attend Jessica’s
father's wedding. While here, they looked at properties and assessed the employment market. They did
return to South Africa after the visit - Warren is a law abiding citizen and adhered to the expiry dates of
his visas. Then discovered the immigration rules had changed virtually overnight and they could no
longer move back to the UK unless Jessica, and Jessica alone, was earning over £18,600.
Jessica is 21 years old. She is living in a country which is known for not being particularly safe. There
is no minimum wage like in the UK..how is she expected to earn over £18,600? Even as an IT Manager
for once of the largest ISPs in SA, she earns £6,000 p.a. Warren earns £12,000 p.a.
Indeed, Warren could easily get jobs paying over £25,000 in the UK as he is a specialised voice engineer.
There is no way Jessica can earn £18,600 living in South Africa.
This young couple feels trapped and are experiencing a lot of anxiety and tension because of rules
designed to keep British citizens with non-EEA family out of the UK.
Jessica lives in hope that the rules will change and her little family will be welcomed in the UK.

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Joel
“My parents are much older than my wife's and we wanted to be
closer to them, so my wife, our son and I could see more of them and
help them out in their old age. Not too much to ask, is it?”
British citizen, Joel, lives in Forest of Dean (in Gloucestershire) and his MP is Mark Harper, Minister
for Immigration.
Joel’s wife is from the USA. They’ve been married for five years, with a four-year-old son, also British.
As Joel’s parents are much older than his wife’s they decided to relocate from US to UK to be closer to
Joel’s parents, spend time them with them, allow a bond to develop between their son and his
grandparents and afford his parents the respect they deserve by looking after them in their old age.
All these are noble intentions the government should encourage. Instead, Joel and his family are being
penalised.
Ironically, Joel used to work for UK government departments in various locations in the world as an
Entry Clearance Officer. So he had sound working knowledge of the immigration rules, having
processed thousands of visa applications himself.
However, not having worked in immigration for over two years, it was only when they came to look
into making an application for his wife that Joel discovered how drastically the rules had changed.
Previously you had to demonstrate you could 'adequately' maintain and accommodate your spouse. It
was a common sense decision that the Entry Clearance officer could make themselves. Third-party
support (i.e. from parents, etc.) was perfectly acceptable; there was no statutory minimum income for
the sponsor to earn (although it was very loosely based on the level of income support amount for a
couple over 18, i.e. £111.45 a week). Also taken into account was the applicant's ability to find
employment in the UK and ALL savings were admissible, not just those over £16,000.
The new rules take all powers of discretion away from the Entry Clearance Officer. If you don't meet
the rules, you get refused. Simple as that.
Joel does not believe, in his extensive UK public sector service and immigration experience, that these
rules are lawful, or understood by politicians themselves.
Joel has had excellent jobs in the past, while his American wife has a post-graduate degree, an MBA in
Finance, has worked as an investment banker and is currently working for the US government i.e. she
is extremely well qualified and not someone who is going to switch countries to claim meagre welfare
benefits. Clearly, her chances of getting a job in the UK, with these qualifications, are very good, and
indeed she is exactly the kind of candidate we should be seeking to attract. But that's no longer taken
into account.
So, Joel has moved here with their son, and is living with his parents in Gloucestershire. Meanwhile,
his wife is on her own in Washington DC. Joel is desperately trying to find a job that will make the
required £18,600 a year. That's not a realistic amount to find easily in this area, so he is looking for work
in London. But then he faces the problem of who will look after his son and elderly parents.
If his wife were here, then the duties of looking after their child and his parents would be shared. The
burden would be halved, and the family would not be torn apart.
The ludicrous nature of this situation and the rule changes mean that, in theory, Joel could earn the
required amount but probably end up spending a huge proportion of that on living in London and paying
for care for his family. Yet he could find a job paying around £15,000 a year, live with his parents, wife
and child and not have the carer expenses to pay for. And his wife could find gainful employment.

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Josh & Edward
“It is a human right to be with your partner.”
Josh is a British citizen, who met Edward, from the India, in October 2013. They formalised
their relationship to become husband and husband in a civil partnership on December 12th
2014 in Josh’s home town in Somerset, celebrating their having found each other with family
and friends.
Edward was in the UK as one of the brightest and best international students we so want to
attract. However for Josh and his family, Edward’s contribution was much more significant;
Edward alleviated the depression Josh was suffering from, obliterated his suicidal thoughts
and helped Josh find motivation in life to pursue his psychology degree, and stop claiming
benefits. Josh felt loved, valued and encouraged to becoming a better person. He could
finally with Edward’s support, see that his career goal of becoming a clinical psychologist
was feasible. Josh felt more at home with his sexuality and thus able to break down the
barriers he had put up around him.
Not long after meeting, the couple moved in together and Edward truly became part of Josh’s family.
Josh’s mum travelled from our Somerset to meet the person who was responsible for her son’s
happiness in March 2014 and got on famously with him. Josh reminisces about those days together;
Edward cooked a delicious lunch and Josh’s mum was so pleased with the positive role Edward was
playing in her son’s life.

Edward subsequently visited the rest of Josh’s family in Somerset and Wales. He was
welcomed into the fold immediately and like Josh’s mum, all felt grateful to the man who had
rescued Josh, seeing that with Edward, Josh was the happiest he had ever been.
Josh and Edward were in love and couldn’t bear to spend a day apart. They met each other’s
friends, even Edward’s ones from India, on Skype, became a large part of each other’s lives.
Josh met Edward’s family as well, and was similarly welcomed into their ranks, particularly
getting on with Edward’s brother. Neither partner could have asked for things to have
worked out better in terms of being able to fit our lives together so well.
June 2014 saw Edward submitting his dissertation and the couple moved out of their student
accommodation and into Josh’s mum’s home, living also with the mum’s partner and Josh’s
younger brother. Getting to spend that time together as a real family made both realise they
didn't want this to end.
The couple made arrangements to settle down together in their own place and started looking
for jobs in order to support themselves and build a life together. They exchanged promise
rings on their one year anniversary and committed to a life together.
Edward was made two job offers, both in his field of expertise – but neither could provide
sponsorship. The alternative was for Edward to apply to remain as Josh’s partner.
Plans for their civil partnership were accelerated with the couple opting for a small and
intimate family gathering. The service at the registry office was followed by a celebration
party with family and close friends. It was very small and very personal, and perfect.
The couple researched on ways to legalise Edward’s stay in the UK beyond the validity of his

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student visa, also looking into options for Josh to move to India. However given Indian laws,
found that would not be viable in the long-term.
Edward left the country as per the terms of his
visa. Josh meanwhile is working really hard to
earn money and find a suitable job paying over
£18,600. The couple feels trapped because of the
financial requirements which are proving very
hard to satisfy and mystified when they’ll be able
to see each other again.
It is beyond their understanding why Edward,
with a Masters degree from a UK university and
as the partner of a British citizen cannot stay in
the UK. He would be a huge asset to the country,
would have no recourse to public funds, would
contribute by way of taxes and NI contributions –
and Josh, a British citizen, would be able to live
with his husband.

Josh saying goodbye to Edward at the airport

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Kathryn & Colin
“The policymakers neglected to allow for salary levels in developing
countries not being on par with those in the UK.”
Kathryn is a British citizen, born and raised in Wales. She went to teach in the United Arab Emirates
(UAE), where she met her now husband, Colin, from South Africa.
After two years in the UAE, the couple decided to move to Cape Town, Colin’s home city and where
they have been living for the last three years.
They recently decided to move back to the UK and came across the requirements of the immigration
rules.
Kathryn is a teacher with seven years experience and as a head of department when she returns back
to the UK she can expect a salary in excess of £32,000 – well over the £18,600 threshold.
However the rules require that Kathryn meet this threshold even whilst living in South Africa, which
given the weakness of the rand means she falls short by a long way. Despite the fact that her salary in
South Africa has increased currency fluctuations work against her.
Kathryn doesn’t understand why she has to meet the minimum requirements before even leaving their
country of residence, given she would exceed the requirements whilst actually in the UK.
She notes that the policy documentation includes case studies of people living in only developed
countries like Japan and Australia. The policymakers clearly neglected to take into account those
living in less developed countries where even as a professional, salaries don’t meet UK levels.
So Kathryn is faced with the choice of never being able to return home, or spending six to twelve
months apart from her husband – while she collates six months of payslips and goes through the
application process.

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Katie & Cliff
“What married couple wants to spend twelve months – maybe more –
living in separate countries?”
Katie is a British citizen directly affected by the new immigration rules. She moved to Cape Town, South Africa,
in February 2010 to be with her partner, Cliff, a South African. He visited England on three separate occasions
but has never lived in the UK. They got married in October 2010 in Cape Town after a 3-year relationship.
Katie’s father passed away in April 2012 after a long battle with cancer. Katie and Cliff feel now is the right time
to move to the UK to be with her mother, living alone in Norfolk and needing support of her family.
Katie is a qualified primary school teacher with three years full-time experience. She is also a qualified Health
and Social Care worker, having gained an NVQ Level 3. Cliff has many years’ experience in the finance sector
and has just gained his degree in Business Administration. They both have skills and experience to offer the UK.
In the course of their research, they were shocked by implications of the new
rules. They meet the criteria for a settlement visa however, believe the financial
requirements to be absurd and incredibly harsh. Katie already has a UK offer
of employment and there is no need to rely on public funding.
Katie has been working in Cape Town as an au pair for the past two and a half
years, earning a reasonable salary. However, taking the fluctuating exchange
rate into account and the fact that salaries are considerably lower in South
Africa, it has not been possible for her to command an £18,600 gross annual
salary. She is aware of the need for savings to cover the shortfall in salary but the amounts of money are totally
absurd – how many people have tens of thousands of pounds lying around in cash that they don’t need to rely on
for five years!
Katie has been told by an immigration consultant that she, as her husband's British sponsor, must take full financial
responsibility, a situation which seems totally hopeless at the moment. She has
also been told that, under the current rules, she will have to work for six or
more months in the UK in order to earn the required salary while her husband
remains in South Africa.
What married couple wants to spend six to twelve months living in separate
countries? Where is the logic in these new changes?!
Katie is livid that virtually overnight people are expected to have thousands of
pounds in savings if they do not meet the annual gross salary requirement
which she finds ridiculous as it will cause many families to break up if forced to live separately!
Update:
1) In early 2013, Katie was successful in obtaining a job paying over £18,600. The couple had to wait 6 months
(to gather required payslips) before applying for the spouse visa. During the months apart, Katie & Cliff felt
lucky to spend 3 weeks together when Katie visited Cape Town. “It was amazing to share quality time together”
with November 2013 seeing Cliff finally granted a spouse visa and the couple spending Christmas together.
2) Cliff joined several job agencies and after many interviews, in February 2014 secured a job in the finance
department of an oil and gas company. A job he loves and has settled into well.
Despite the uncertainty around future visa applications, the couple decided to try for a baby.
3) Caleb Thomas Frazer was born on 26th August 2014. The new parents are totally in love with their little man
and feel blessed to have him in their live at a time when they had already overcome so many other hurdles.
4) Cliff's visa is only for 2.5years so it is still at the back of our minds and they are aware they will have to start
saving
again
soon
in
order
to
cover
the
costs
of
next
application.
Although Katie is on maternity leave thankfully Cliff is in a job which pays over the £18,600 threshold.

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Kev & Barbara
“I never ever thought the day would come that I felt ashamed to be
British, but that day has come.”
Kev is a British citizen, 68 years old, retired, living in Yeovil and in love with his American fiancée,
Barbara, 65 years old and also retired.
They met on a pen-pal site about 18 months ago, and soon finding that they had a lot in common, such
as Barbara’s love of everything British, i.e. our history, castles, cathedrals, landscape and, indeed, us,
the British people.
Barbara has been to the UK a few times to visit Kev, each time staying with him. They fell in love and
decided they wish to spend what remaining years they have together, as husband and wife.
Kev and Barbara have been sensible. They haven’t rushed into marriage, they have assessed their
finances; with a pension totalling £1,200 a month between them plus their savings, they have enough
funds to provide themselves with an adequate standard of living without recourse to public funds.
This was more than adequate to meet the Family Immigration Rules prior to 9 July 2012.
So they decided to get married in late 2012 or early 2013. However, these new rules have played havoc
with their dream of spending their retirement together, with the person they love.
As a British citizen, Kev has worked here and paid his taxes diligently, yet now he is having his British
and human rights stripped away from him.
Barbara is finding it very difficult to understand how the British government can do this to one of their
own citizens, after a lifetime of work. Indeed how they can do this is beyond Kev’s comprehension.
Kev understands that we can’t have an open-door immigration policy; but restricting non-EU family
migration in this manner is not acceptable, especially when it represents such a small percentage of all
migration into the UK.
The fact that EU citizens can come into our country with their spouse, children, parents and
grandparents, even aunts, uncles and cousins, with none of the financial restrictions that are placed on
Kev, has made him realise how this government has turned him into a second-class citizen in his own
country.
Although he never thought the day would come, he now feels ashamed to be British.
Update: Kev and Barbara will be getting married in USA in December 2013, followed by a move to Ireland where
Kev will exercise his treaty rights. This will ensure that this couple will not be spending any further time apart.

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Kirsty & Karim
“This is not how I expected my married life to be, a fight to be with
my husband.”
Kirsty is a British citizen, married to Karim, from Tunisia. Kirsty and Karim have known each other for
over 11 years, since childhood, having met at a family wedding.
Over the years, they kept in touch and their relationship blossomed into something more serious; they
were always aware of the uncertainty of distance long-distance relationship, knowing Kirsty did not
want to live in Tunisia and it would not be an easy or cheap process to have Karim move to the UK.
However, love triumphed and they married in July 2012, after accepting that they could not live without
each other.
At the time, they were unaware that the new rules recently brought into force would require Kirsty to
be earning at least £18,600 per annum.
Kirsty could not believe it – how could such rules be brought in so suddenly?! Upon meeting with two
solicitors, Kirsty and Karim were told they had no chance –the visa would be refused again and again
and again, until the government was taken to the High Court. They advised her they would help her
fight the rules, but if they lost, the financial cost to Kirsty and Karim would be astronomical.
So this young married couple are stuck. Their only option at the moment is to continue as they are,
spending their spare money on visiting each other, not allowing them to save for their future, for a
deposit.
It is clear to Kirsty that this breaches her human right to a family life – the financial criteria discriminates
against those hard-working taxpayers who earn an average salary, and as this law stands, she feels very
much that when it comes marriage to someone from outside the EU for someone who wants to live in
the UK, is now only for the rich or EU citizens who are not British.
Kirsty feels frustrated – why is it that her husband’s potential income in the UK is not considered?
Karim has international diplomas in engineering, as a technician and in mechanics, as well as speaking
many languages, so he has a much better chance of getting a high-earning job than Kirsty.
Karim speaks English perfectly and has passed an English test at the British Embassy. The couple has
accommodation available from Kirsty’s parents, their aim being to live there to save up for their own
place. But none of this is taken into account.
Kirsty is angry. EU citizens can walk into this country and claim benefits even if they are unskilled and
can't get work. Her husband, with diplomas and a strong work ethic, is not welcome in the UK, because
he married a BritCit rather than a French, German or Polish citizen.

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Larissa & Nicolas
“It’s a shame the UK government is blind to common sense and so
averse to doing the right thing, in the interest of massaging some
numbers.”
Larissa is a British citizen, born and raised in London; she has lived and worked in Argentina with her
fiancé, Nicolas. They intend to get married in Buenos Aires, Argentina on April 9th, and then "fight"
their way into the UK. They are facing a fight because of both, the salary rule and the English
requirement – requirements which have been brought in on the basis of ensuring the foreign spouse is
not a burden on UK taxpayers and that s/he can integrate well into the community here.
Nicolas is the son of an English teacher – he has been learning English since he was a baby, studied it
in a private institute for over six years and received his own ‘Elementary English Teacher’ certificate,
allowing him to teach Argentinean school students English as a foreign language. Between them, they
earn more than £25,000 a year. Yet the rules are such that they are disqualified, despite earning enough
to NOT be a burden on the taxpayer and Nicolas being fluent in English.
Nicolas doesn’t have an issue with doing the test. He will pass it. The issue is that the test has to be
completed in very specific locations, with no thought to the time, expense and location issues it raises
for the couple.
To earn over £18,600 by herself, Larissa will have to get another job, to supplement her £14,000 income.
Not easy at the best of times, but especially in this economy – and she has been trying. And even when
she is successful in obtaining this job, they will have to wait six months before they can even apply to
be together. And then, going by statistics obtained from UKBA, up to another six months before the
visa would be granted. So the couple faces 12 months apart, even after Larissa obtains the elusive
£18,600 job. This despite the fact that their joint income is OVER £25,000.
Larissa has been told, "well, you're marrying someone from abroad, go start your life abroad then". The
issue is Nicolas speaks English, Larissa doesn't speak Spanish.
Larissa is really close to her family in London (as is Nicolas), while Nicolas’s family is scattered around
the globe. Nicolas can take his job with him, it doesn't matter where he is. Larissa’s job is less mobile.
So for many valid reasons, it is just NOT THE SAME for this young couple to start their family in
Argentina. It’s a shame the UK government is blind to common sense and so averse to doing the right
thing.

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Laura & Mohamed
“I would never wish for my worst enemy to be in the situation I am in
now. I feel like I am being told that I do not have the right to love
whom I choose or to start a family when I want to.”
Laura is a 25-year-old British citizen, living in Scotland and married to Mohamed a 28-year-old
Egyptian. They have been together for four years and married for two, but not been able to live together
before now as they were both at university. Mohamed has a degree in Business Management and Laura
has an Honours degree in Biomedical Science.
Laura has worked very hard to be able to establish a career in science. Her plan has always been to stay,
build a life and develop her career in the UK. She doesn’t rely on benefits nor does she ever wish to.
Since finishing her degree in 2010, Laura has worked full time in a permanent position as a Laboratory
Veterinary Scientist on £18,100, which in Scotland is at the upper end of those with similar
qualifications/experience.
Her salary is set to increase every year – with further scope for increases due to promotions. The starting
wage in science is, in general, quite low in Edinburgh where she resides. Laura has also worked for and
made contributions in science for the Scottish Government.
Laura manages to save £600 every month after all outgoings, which she knows would be more than
enough to support her spouse were he to be able to live with her in the UK. In addition, were Mohamed
given the opportunity to work and contribute to the UK economy, their situation would be very much
improved. Laura is also in the process of paying off her student overdraft to satisfy UKBA, so they
don’t frown upon her debt when this young couple applies for a settlement visa.
Laura visits Mohamed every few months, but her current job only allows for 11 consecutive days
holiday, meaning they cannot see each other as often as they did before. The length of time and
paperwork required for a UK family visit visa previously meant it was easier for Laura to visit Mohamed
in Egypt. Mohamed has also visited Laura in the UK (on a family visit visa) for a period of 2 months,
not overstaying on the 6 months permitted, in order to honour his own career commitments.
Had they however been aware of the new rules, they would have maximised their time together, and
Mohamed would have stayed for 6 months. This couple has tried so hard to do everything by the book
– following the guidelines set by UKBA in order to be reunited and live together as husband and wife.
They saved all their spare money for a spouse visa, only to come across a hike in the fees. So then, they
had to save more. Laura has gone hungry some nights; she doesn’t go out socially, doesn’t shop for
new clothes to save money for visas and flights to see her husband, while also paying off student loans.
It is incredibly frustrating that the income requirement is such that even someone with a degree working
as a Laboratory Veterinary Scientist is still unable to meet the required income level; it’s shameful that
Laura has had to take on a second job, working in Pizza Hut, to reach the £18,600 level.
When the government introduced the English language requirement, Mohamed sat and passed the exam
in the UK - with distinction. They were so happy, thinking they had overcome the final hurdle – only
to find that the government has now changed the requirements yet again, making it harder to harder to
not only deliver on what this government wants, but even to understand what they want.

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It is not feasible for Laura to move to Egypt to be with her husband Mohamed. She has a degree and a
good job with great prospects here in the UK. Were she to be forced to move to Egypt, everything she
has ever worked towards would be taken away. Laura does not speak fluent Arabic, meaning it would
be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find a job, especially in the science field.
Laura wants to start a family in the near future. She has cysts on her ovaries, so fears kids may not be
an option were she to wait very long. Concerns of poor education and conditions for her future children,
things other British citizens have a right to, also make moving to Egypt undesirable.
Laura would never wish for her worst enemy to be in the situation she is in now; she feels like she is
being told that she doesn’t have the right to love who she wants, or to start a family when she wants to.
She is being discriminated against for not having a “well enough” paid job and her life has been put on
hold because of these changes.
Laura is on anti-depressants to combat her depression and at times, suicidal thoughts as a result of her
frustration at finding that each time she thinks they have satisfied the criteria the goal posts have been
moved yet again.
How many people will have to sacrifice their life before this government realises the devastating impact
of these rules on British families?

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Les & Becky
“My wife is eminently employable, and would be a genuine asset to
this country, yet we have to face choices no one should ever have to
consider in a so-called "civilised" country – or any country for that
matter!”
Les is a British citizen married to Becky, a citizen of the USA and academic theologian with a PhD.
They met in mid-2008, two years after she arrived in Scotland to study for her doctorate, quickly
realising they wanted to spend their lives together. They clicked in a way neither had with anyone
before.
Les
and
Becky
are
best
friends,
lovers
and
partners
in
life.
At the end of 2010, they moved in together and eventually married in February 2012. Becky submitted
her thesis in July (ironically a matter of days before the new rules came into place). Originally, Becky
had intended to submit her thesis six months earlier, but due to more work being required on the content,
she had her student visa extended to allow for this, until November 2012.
Indeed, in hindsight, had Les and Becky been made aware of the new rules (which were brought in so
suddenly!), they could and would have applied for a spouse visa under the old rules. However, even
though Les works as an adviser with the Citizen's Advice Bureau, they missed the fact that these changes
had taken place – something to do with a distinct lack of publicity around the issue perhaps!
Les, apart from one or two freelance commissions and relentless job hunting, has failed to secure fresh
full-time employment – the status of the economy notwithstanding, Les can’t help but feel that, in a way,
it is his fault they are in this situation. If only he earned £18,600, if only they had applied for a spouse
visa earlier, if only, if only...
However, life doesn’t flow in consistent and convenient ways, especially in times of austerity, yet the
government set financial conditions which included cash savings of up to £62,500.
Becky even received a job offer only to find the barriers put up by UKBA were insurmountable. She
was offered a role by a well-known insurance firm for an initial three-month contract, later to be made
permanent. Although it didn’t meet the earnings requirement, it provided a platform for Les to expand
his job-search to make up the shortfall and, according to their lawyer, grounds for an appeal in the event
they applied for a family visa.
Even with Becky’s earnings alone, the couple would easily have covered their living costs without
recourse to public funds yet were denied the right to live together for not earning additional income
they don’t need. What’s ironic is that with Becky working here, Les would have come out of the benefits
system (a humiliating and soul-destroying situation to be in, whatever nonsense the detractors in
“strivers versus scroungers” camp might peddle), thus reducing the burden on the public purse.
However, UKBA’s reach even went as far as Becky’s prospective employer who withdrew the job offer
because UKBA refused to provide confirmation that Becky had the right to work here full-time, even
though she did. Months later, with help from their MP, Gordon Banks who used “in-house” channels
to get confirmation from UKBA that Becky under her then immigration status was free to fulfil her
contractual hours.
However, by then the company’s goal posts changed, their behaviour suggesting a wariness about falling
foul of UKBA. This despite the fact they wanted Becky badly enough to have completed credit checks
for her in USA. It certainly seems like the government has successfully found yet another way to
penalise migrants who would otherwise satisfy the rules by “encouraging” UK companies to favour UK
workers.

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The expiry date on Becky’s visa came and went; their lawyer told them that Becky would have three
months following the expiry to leave UK before being deemed by UKBA to be an overstayer. His wife,
best friend and soul-mate was now, to all intents-and-purposes, a tourist in his own country.
They spent what was to be their last Christmas together in Scotland (and possibly the foreseeable future).
Their friends and Becky’s family were incredibly supportive, as well as shocked, dismayed, angry and
incredulous at what had befallen us and what was to come. They received dinner invitations; delicious
food, selfless generosity, great company (and not a little malt whisky) provided a momentary cushion
against the looming reality of our enforced separation. Becky’s flavoured chocolate fudge was
consumed in excessive quantity.
Once this “festive” period had passed (in, if I’m quite honest, a somewhat anaesthetised haze) their
separation day – February 24th 2013 looked - four days after our first wedding anniversary.
Becky’s flight was booked: Departure from Glasgow Airport at 1pm with layovers in Reykjavík and
Denver. We booked a night in a nearby hotel to negate a needless rush with baggage across Central
Scotland, to break up the journey and spend last precious hours together. The tears were never far away.
Truth be told they’ve flowed almost constantly since last year’s sudden thump of realisation that this
day would eventually have to be faced.
Les’s last sight of Becky was of her passing through airport security, placing personal items into the
containers provided. He hoped to catch her eye one final time but she didn’t look back. Becky later told
me that she couldn’t do it. “If I had Les then I would have scrambled back over the barriers towards
you. I’m sorry sweetie”. Of course he understood. How could he not?
And so to today. Becky is lodged temporarily with her parents in Washington. They speak on Skype,
exchange emails and comments on Facebook. But it’s never the same. She can’t afford to visit, and
besides, could we go through the trauma of separation all over again? Because that’s what it would be
like, so thank goodness for the world-wide-web, despite it’s obvious limitations in conducting a full and
meaningful marriage.
The couple have decided their only real prospect of being reunited is to initiate the US immigration
process for Les to move there. Something they had considered much earlier, as there the income
requirement is much more reasonable, at 125% of the poverty level. However, Les has a daughter who
lives in the UK, and moving overseas would damage any prospects of a relationship between father and
daughter.
Becky may be American but her heart is in Scotland. She was settled here, she had found her “place” in
the World and she had much to offer this country by way of talents and skills. Les in turn has no desire
to move to the States, leaving his home and moving further away from his daughter.
Les is filled with anger and resentment that two people so obviously made for each other could be treated
so inhumanely – and that too by his own country He is embarrassed and ashamed and does not feel
British.
But, for all that, there will be pain, because I know, when this happens, he will most likely never see
again his little girl who turned 7 this year. Maybe she will demand answers as to why her father isn’t
here. While Les is now resigned to leaving UK, he knows he will be leaving behind a treasure - a
beautiful person by the name of Holly Rowan Hudson who will never be far from his thoughts. Les’s
message to Holly is that despite his being forced to leave because of rules designed to break up families,
while he may be leaving Holly, she will never leave him.

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Lisa
“It is ludicrous and unlawful to put a price on anybody’s marriage
and love. We are human and deserve to be together with our loved
ones.”
Lisa is a British citizen married to a man from Morocco. She has children with her ex-spouse who is
British. He has put in place a Prohibited Steps Order whereby she cannot take her kids out of the UK.
As Lisa does not earn £18,600, her husband does not qualify for a spouse visa.
She is strongly opposed to these immigration rules and wants some justice – she should not have to
choose between her husband and her children.
Lisa has to keep travelling back and forth to Morocco as a Prohibited Steps Order prevents her from
taking her kids from the UK. So now she is left with no choice but to live two lives and split up her
family.
Lisa demands that Theresa May be made to explain to innocent people here how she justifies such
extreme measures and insists that she will campaign until our basic rights as British citizens are given
back to us.
Lisa’s only family are her kids and husband – her parents and brother passed away. What will happen
to Lisa 20 years down the line when her kids are living their own lives? The pressure on and guilt felt
by Lisa’s kids knowing their mother had to sacrifice her marriage for them will be insurmountable.
Lisa will have given up her youth and her marriage to the man she loves in order to be a good mother;
or she will have to give up being a good mother in order to be a good wife.
What kind of legacy is being left for Lisa’s family and hundreds like her? All studies show that children
are better off in a two-parent family. Common sense dictates that Lisa making sacrifices for her kids or
for her husband will not yield good results years down the line, for her own sanity or that of her family.
Why is this government putting us in the position where we are essentially faced with a choice that is
no choice at all, knowing that whatever decision is taken will leave lives destroyed, with the
ramifications felt for years to come?

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Louise
“There are better ways of managing immigration than punishing
British citizens and the people we love.”
Louise is a British citizen from Manchester. Her husband is from Kenya.
They met in 2011 on a family holiday there. Their relationship started off as just friends, but by the
time she returned to the UK, she was so much in love with him, she decided to visit him for Valentine’s
Day. Since then, she has visited him three times a year with her family offering her financial support.
Louise lives at home with her family. They are supporting her while she works in a volunteer and lowincome role. She is also searching for full-time work.
The agony of being separated was tearing them apart but their determination to maintain their long
distance relationship grew more and more, communicating on bbm (everyday) and by talk home calling
cards.
A year later, they formalised their love and commitment to each other by getting married in a religious
ceremony in Kenya. At the time, neither Louise nor her family were aware of the changes to the family
migration rules – they were caught out like so many others. Unsurprising given the speed and quietness
with which the rules were brought in...they weren’t even taken through parliament in the proper manner!
However, upon finding out they remained unwavering in their determination to stay together no matter
what – to maintain their union as husband and wife.
The only family Louise has is her mum, step-dad and young brothers. Louise’s mother-in-law passed
away when her husband was only a child; her father-in-law is an alcoholic.
Love is blind and isn’t a conscious decision based on earnings or influence; nor family background or
nationality.
Louise and her family firmly believe that Theresa May's family migration policy is unfair and punitive.
There are better ways of managing migration than punishing British citizens and the people they love.

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Loz & Josh
“I am under the £18,600 threshold by a mere £6.40 a month. I served
for 10 years in the British army, went to Iraq. Yet I have to spend at
least another 12 months apart from my husband, because of £6.40 a
month!”
Loz is a British citizen who spent 10 years in the British Army and served in Iraq. She has a shortfall
in her salary of £6.40 a month when it comes to the £18,600 threshold. Her salary will definitely go up
by the annual increment in June, taking her over the threshold. But even this means a further 12 months
apart from her husband, Josh, who is from the USA.
Loz and Josh met through mutual friends and despite an immediate spark between them, Loz didn’t take
the potential of the relationship too seriously, given the 3700 mile distance between them. However,
having dated other guys in the UK, no-one made Loz feel the way that Josh, and over time, neither could
deny they had something special.
They didn’t enter into the relationship lightly – they were aware that a long-distance relationship would
take its toll, that it would be emotionally straining. They were also aware though that if it all worked
out, the money and time spent on flights between their countries, phone calls, Facebook and Skype
would be worth it. They were aware that the things that other people take for granted – a hug after a
hard day at work, the general support that a partner provides, physical intimacy – were things that they
would have to do without, but only for some time if the spark between them continued to burn.
Loz considered moving to the US, however as she has children, moving elsewhere would mean
depriving them of a parent. Loz however completely underestimated how difficult it would be for her
husband to join her in the UK. Not unreasonably, she assumed the fact they could prove their
relationship is genuine and that she works, would be sufficient.
Loz has been working at a British university for nearly 3 years now, after graduating as a mature student.
Before that, she had an exemplary 10 year career in the British Army, during which she served in Iraq.
Although she does not currently meet the financial requirement, she is a mere £6.40 per month away
from being able to do so.
In June her salary will go up by the annual increment, taking her over the financial requirement by
several hundred pounds. Despite this absolute certainty, she will still be required to wait another 6
months until Josh can submit his visa application, meaning that it will be over year before she can have
a normal family life with my husband – likely much longer given the UKBA processing times.
Loz firmly believes that the rules, as they stand, are too harsh. People in genuine relationships should
not be deprived of their partner and, in some cases, their children – it’s cruel and inhumane. Josh also
has a degree, currently works for a large multi-national corporation, and makes more money than Loz
– he is willing and able to make a contribution to the UK economy.
Even if he doesn’t find a job straight away, he has savings and has no entitlement to benefits when he
gets here – they wouldn’t be any kind of burden on the taxpayer (not forgetting the fact that Loz is also
a taxpayer). If their visa application is denied for whatever reason (indeed, the UKBA seems to thrive
on refusing visas for spurious reasons) Loz will be forced to choose between her husband and children
– no-one should ever be faced with choosing between their husband and children.
Loz just cannot believe that this sort of thing happens in a country like the UK to British people.

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Lucinda & Karim
“We will move to another country in Europe, aiding the net
migration target – it’s the only route to being a family.”
Lucinda is a British citizen with a 2:1 from Cambridge University. She is currently living with her
mum in Leeds because she has been forced into single parenthood only because her husband, Karim,
is from Albania and with whom she has a son, a British son. The couple have known each other since
Lucinda was 21. She is now 30.
She doesn’t remember the first time they met, though is told that he was there. She remembers the
second time though – they were sharing a house in Thessaloniki, Greece, as part of a big group who
lived together there for a couple of years. Lucinda was studying Greek and Karim was working as a
builder’s labourer.
Lucinda recalls how she used to complain about him to a mutual friend ‘I’m so sick of him’, ‘Why
does he do this?;, ‘Why is he always looking at me?’. “Can’t you see he is crazy about you?” her
friend would say. There were some nice times as well. Karim would meet Lucinda after work and
they’d go for long walks along the harbour, drinking cans of Amstel. Fond memories from a more
carefree time.
Eventually the entire group went their separate ways. Lucinda went to Cambridge to study Greek
language and literature and Karim moved to Athens. They stayed in touch online and a couple of
years later, on her year abroad in Athens, the couple met and this time, sparks flew. Karim came to
take Lucinda for coffee on a huge motorbike. He’d grown a beard, filled out a bit and looked very
handsome. Now it was Lucinda’s turn to swoon!
They talked and laughed all afternoon - and spent every day together from then on. Karim financially
supported Lucinda as the credit crunch was taking its toll and jobs were scarce. The couple talked
about their future, planning on Lucinda finishing university and then applying for a visa for Karim to
come to the UK. They wanted to be settled and have good jobs before getting married. Do things
properly.
However, things didn’t go as planned when on 9th March 2012 Lucinda found out she was pregnant.
She was thrilled and the couple brought forward their plans to marry. Lucinda left Athens to begin
antenatal care at home and continue her studies. They spoke on Skype every day and she sent Karim
regular pictures of the bump.
Throughout all this Lucinda was in the final year of her degree, working really hard, always focusing
on the point in the future when this would pay off; where she’d be able to earn over £18,600 and also
provide for her son. Karim was refused a visa to be there for their son’s birth, with Home Office
declaring that he would likely overstay and become a burden on the taxpayer, an illegal immigrant.
Of course he’d leave! The couple knew the repercussions for being in breach of visa regulations, why
risk it? Lucinda was adamant that the government was blurring the lines so entirely that now even
someone wishing to be with his wife for the birth of their son was being mistreated for trying to
follow the rules.
Lucinda has postponed indefinitely her desire to obtain postgraduate qualifications as she can’t
commit to anything until her family is together.
She doesn’t know how to function without her son’s father. If Karim was here, Lucinda would have
been able to study, or work full time. Instead she is stuck on benefits despite having graduated from
Cambridge University.

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She is on the homeless register and has moved house four times between June and October 2013. She
has used up her savings to travel to Greece, Italy and Albania this year alone, and is planning another
journey– but these are not holidays. They’re to ensure that her son and husband have a fighting
chance to get to know one another, to build a relationship, to spend time together. These early
moments in a child’s life do not come around again and they are little for such a short time after all.
Her son has travelled at the age of 4, 8 and now again at 10 months– and there is no end in sight. He
has never had a room of his own, never had his pictures on the wall or books on a shelf, everything
has been in and out of suitcases.
The couple is now considering moving to a country where they can be together. Greece? Germany?
Spain? Ireland? Malta? All have been discussed, all are possibilities.
But it won’t be easy. All of the baby’s stuff will have to be left behind – the cot that’s never been
unpacked, the highchair that she really needs but will have to buy from wherever in the world they end
up in. Her books and kitchen stuff she collected in dreams of creating a home with her husband and
child. She doesn’t know what she will do about her son’s next set of immunisation.
Lucinda believes the government should make a public health announcement as a matter of urgency
stating:
WARNING:
BRITISH CITIZENS PLANNING TO MEET, BEFRIEND OR HAVE A ROMANTIC
RELATIONSHIP WITH NON-EU CITIZENS ARE EXPOSING THEMSELVES AND ANY
CHILDREN TO SIGNIFICANT LONG-TERM DAMAGE WHICH CAN BE IN SOME
CASES, IRREVERSIBLE.
MARRIAGES TO NON-EU CITIZENS CAN RESULT IN SEVERE EMOTIONAL AND
PHYSICAL DISTRESS FOR ALL INVOLVED.
ANYONE KNOWINGLY TAKING PART IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH A NON-EU
CITIZEN DOES SO AT THEIR OWN RISK.

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Lyndsey & Paul
“When you marry somebody you love for richer or poorer, it should
mean just that. I shouldn’t have to choose between being a mum and
granddaughter, and being in love.”
Lyndsey is 29 years old and a British citizen by birth.
She is in the horrendous situation of having to choose between being with her kids and looking after her
elderly grandparents, or being with her partner.
Lyndsey’s situation:
• Two kids from a previous relationship (their father does not contribute financially)
• Looking after her grandparents – one recovering from bowel cancer, the other with a heart condition.
As neither is entitled to an attendance allowance she doesn’t receive a carer’s allowance. However
this does not mean she shirks her responsibilities or leaves the State to look after them!
Lyndsey and her partner, Paul (from USA) have known each other since 1999; they have been
romantically involved since 2009.
Her children consider Paul to be their dad and refer to him as such. He considers them to be his own.
Paul has made a greater contribution to their well-being – physical, emotional and financial – than their
real (British) father.
The kids’ actual father doesn’t make his CSA (child support allowance) payments! He has a family of
his own, a loving partner, children from that relationship ... a right that is denied to Lyndsey BY THIS
GOVERNMENT!
Lyndsey is not allowed to move her children overseas, the only option left being for Paul to move here.
However, Lyndsey doesn’t earn £18,600 and may never do so. She does not have the time to take on a
full-time job, earning enough to pay for childcare, and also look after her elderly grandparents.
So, according to this government, Lyndsey can’t fulfil her responsibilities to those she loves, if she also
wants to be with the man she wants to spend her life with! What country are we in again?
Paul’s situation:
• Owns his own home in America
• Would work full-time, allowing Lyndsey to work part time, which would ensure they share and fulfil
their responsibilities, like a normal British family.
Lyndsey’s requests:
• Make the rules fair so that honest, decent hardworking Brits aren’t kept apart from their loved ones
• Sort out the disgrace of the system called CSA and make absent fathers just as responsible for their
children as the mothers. If Lyndsey didn’t have to support her kids fully as well, she could easily be
working more, earning a higher income, and thus able to have Paul by her side.

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Maliha & Bilal
“My crime - I fell in love and exercised my right to do so.”
Maliha is a British citizen who met her now husband, Bilal, in March 2011 in Dubai. Maliha was in
Dubai for work, and in the process met Bilal, from Pakistan, through mutual friends. Almost instantly,
as in the movies, love blossomed.
Maliha was initially concerned about the 6 year age gap, but Bilal was so "with it" and mature, that
Maliha this concern quickly faded. She extended her time in Dubai to continue to be with Bilal, however
commitments intervened and Maliha ever too soon had to return to the UK.
They kept in touch through Skype, whatsapp and Facebook; spent countless hours talking over the
phone; each minute apart was like a life sentence.
Maliha returned in July 2011 to Dubai to spend more time with Bilal. They had an amazing three weeks
together. However, the double impact of the middle-eastern summer combined with the constant
exposure to air conditioning to escape from the heat wreaked havoc with Maliha’s asthma, and so she
was forced to return to the UK.
Both Maliha and Bilal spoke to their families about their love and desire to be married. Both their
families were against the relationship, for various reasons, including their different cultural backgrounds
– Bilal is a Pathan and Maliha a grandchild of an Indian migrant who moved to Pakistan during the
India-Pakistan partition.. Yes a reason that seems nonsensical to many of our generation, but one
nonetheless that their families held (and incidentally, one that this government appears to also uphold
given the £18,600 - £62,500 price on love they have put!).
Maliha and Bilal – in a modern Romeo & Juliet – continued their love affair in secret; in May 2012 they
decided enough was enough and so decided to elope. "Oh the shame" said their parents; however,
presented with a marriage certificate they had no choice but to accept the relationship which had been
recognised
both,
by
religious
leaders
and
the
government.
Bizarrely, Bilal – holding a good job in Dubai - was refused a visit visa to the UK. The couple since
have been caught in the £18,600 net, due to a measly six days.
Maliha has never claimed welfare benefits – indeed, not even the ones she is entitled to. The "no access
to government fundings" law from day one suits her just fine as she believes there are more needy people
who deserve benefits. However, she deserves to spend her life in the same country as the person she
loves.
To Maliha, being in the UK is important. It’s where her parents are – it’s where her mum who is disabled
is. It’s where her friends, family, life are. It’s where her home is.
Given she doesn’t claim benefits herself, given her spouse would not qualify for any benefits, she can’t
help but wonder why the ridiculously high financial requirement? In today’s financial climate this new
law is only an excuse to put people down and screams of a class system.
All she wants is to have a proper married life with her husband. Be with him.
What will the end for this modern day Romeo and Juliet be? If David Cameron has his way, this love
story will also end in tragedy.

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Mark & Mercy
“I don’t earn £18,600 but own two properties outright. Yet I don’t
qualify to have my wife with me.”
Mark is a British citizen. He was born in Surrey, is from Liverpool and was raised in South
Africa. Although retired now, Mark vividly remembers his days in the Royal Air Force, when he
risked his life for British citizens.
Mercy, Mark’s wife is a citizen of Nigeria. She similarly has a fairly diverse background. She grew
up in Sierra Leone, left it because of the civil war and moved to Dakar in Senegal. Through her work
in Senegal, Mercy gained the experience necessary to become a fashion designer. Mercy also speaks
six languages.

Mark and Mercy met online through friends in 2011. They stayed in touch and April 2013 saw them
getting married in a beautiful ceremony in Senegal.
Mark does not earn £18,600. Not many pensioners do.
Mark does however own two properties outright in Liverpool, which the Home Office does not
consider in assessing Mark’s financial position for the sponsorship of his wife. Properties which mean
Mark himself has no recourse to public funds.

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Megan & Max
“Love is and should not just be a privilege for the rich.”
Megan is a British citizen married to Max, from Ukraine. They are both performers, who met whilst
working on board a cruise liner…and fell deeply in love.
After two years together, they decided they wanted more than a ship life...they wanted a family; to build
a future on land; to be close to Megan’s family in south Wales; to be there for Megan’s mum who is
disabled.

So they married in February 2012, excited at a future together. Max returned to Ukraine to prepare for
the visa. Megan remained in south Wales and embarked on a new career as a carer, taking her NVQ’s
and climbing onto a promising career ladder. A role which the government is crying out for more people
to take on, and one Megan enjoyed immensely, in spite of, or perhaps because of, the long hours and
hard study it requires. In this, Megan felt like she has found her calling and thrived.
She rented a small flat and decorated it, expecting it to be their starter marital home. Not once did they
consider the option of any government handouts. Being together is their dream, their responsibility.
They are just a young couple in love.
So when they were hit with the July 2012 rules, it felt like their lives had been torn apart. As a carer,
Megan earned enough to support them both if needed, though Max would work as well, well able to
cover their expenses living in a small Welsh village. However, determined to be with Max, Megan gave
up her dream job in favour of a job in the insurance industry, paying £18,000 - a role she detested yet
one she was sad to lose due to her employer having legal issues.
Since then, Megan has been in two car crashes, suffering from anxiety and depression. A direct result
of the stress, pain and heart ache she has had to endure because of the immigration rules. Ironically,
rather than reduce the burden on the taxpayer, Megan’s medicines have required government funding –
an expense which would not have been incurred in the first place if the rules had been fair.
Megan loves her husband. He is her world, her heart, her everything. All she wants is for them to be
together. They have so much support from their family and a strong youthful passion to succeed. They
don’t want handouts.. They just want to be together.
Love is not and should not be a privilege for the rich.

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Mel & Mahmoud
“I work, but don’t earn £18,600 and so am condemned to a life in a
country where my physical and mental health deteriorate”
Mel is a 22 year old British woman married to Mahmoud, a 26 year old Egyptian man. They have been
married for two years, and have lived together in Egypt for over a year.
Mel found the lifestyle as a foreigner in Egypt difficult; she became ill, suffered from depression and
was harassed when she would go out with locals fascinated by her pale skin and blue eyes. It got so
bad that Mel found it easier to stay indoors, therefore isolating herself. Her body rejected the local
water, and the bottled water did not suit her either. The stress resulting in problems eating food and
subsequently Mel became familiar with the hospital in Egypt, having spent many nights there having
tests.
Throughout all this, Mahmoud stayed by Mel’s side and tried to help the best way he could. They had
not thought about living in the UK before, but with Mel not finding herself adjusting to life in Egypt,
they decided to apply for a spouse visa, to allow Mahmoud to try out living in the UK.
In October 2011 Mel travelled back home to Birmingham to begin the spouse visa process. She knew
she would have to find a job and work hard for 6 months so that she could once again be reunited with
her husband. She found a job within two weeks of being home as a Shift Leader in a well known
company and began work in November, working extremely hard and up to 60 hours a week in order to
earn and save as much money as possible. On top of this, Mel had a home ready for herself and
Mahmoud with her family also being very supportive in reuniting this pair.
The seven months they spent apart was the worst period in her life. She missed him so much, but
understood the rules required her to work hard to have her husband with her. Mahmoud passed his
English test with flying colours, also working in Egypt to try and save money so they had the best chance
of being successful with the application, and having funds for their life together in the UK.
In June 2012 Mel travelled back to Egypt to start the application, just before the rules came into force.
At this time, the new rules were only speculation and nobody, not even lawyers were clear on what the
rules were, when they would come into force and what they actually meant.
Mel and Mahmoud missed the 9th July deadline by days, having been delayed due to requiring collection
of Mahmoud’s army release paper so that he was able to travel.
As it turns out, the few days delay has completely ruined their lives. Now Mel has no choice but to live
in Egypt as she does not, and count not at the present time, ever hope to earn £18,600.
Mel has been living once again in Egypt since the new rules came into force; she was forced to leave
her job and family in the UK to be with her husband. Her health is suffering again and she has once
again been forced to isolate herself indoors. She does not speak Arabic so is completely dependent on
her husband. She begs him every day not to go out to work as she now fears being lonely. Very much
a case of being surrounded by thousands of people in the city, but being alone in a crowd.
They don’t have any choice but to continue their life here, with Mel exiled from her own home because
she doesn’t earn £18,600. Her husband won’t get to meet her family in person and her future children,
who will also be British, will be living a life of poverty – with the right to a decent education and
upbringing, denied to them just because their mother couldn’t earn £18,600.

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Michael (Malaysia)
“UK trained my wife to PhD level and now don’t want her expertise
in the UK workforce!”
Michael is a British citizen who met his Malaysian wife in Glasgow where she was studying for her
PhD.
They got married in February of 2011 after a year of trying to get the permission to marry from the
government.
They didn’t apply for a spouse visa straight away as his wife’s student visa was due to expire at the end
of March 2011 anyway, and she was successful in being offered a job in Switzerland.
So the couple moved from Glasgow to Switzerland in March 2011where they have lived ever since.
Michael has been working there too, in a combination of agency and self-employment, for over three
months. His wife has been working in the same company for the full duration of their stay on a
permanent contract.
The couple is now concerned. If for whatever reason, Michael’s wife were to lose her job, she would
also lose her right to live in Switzerland, leaving Malaysia as the only option open to them if they were
to continue to be together.
However, as their marriage is not legitimate under Muslim law, it would not be recognised in Malaysia
and they are likely to face problems living together there.
This is a couple who don’t need to be in the UK right now. But they can see their future threatened by
UK’s immigration rules, were their situation to change in the future.
They find it bizarre the situation UK has gotten itself into. It is happy training Michael’s wife to PhD
level, and now doesn’t want her expertise in the workforce.

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Michael (Singapore)
“I have been impacted by the abolishing of the PSW and the
financial thresholds.”
Michael is a British citizen who met his girlfriend while they were students at Warwick University. As
Michael’s girlfriend is from Singapore, he has been impacted by two changes to the immigration rules:
the abolition of the Tier-1 post study work visa (PSW) and the £18,600 financial requirement.
The couple’s original plan was for her to stay in the UK on her PSW for two years – something which
the UK government lured foreign students into the UK with, only to then abolish it, not only for future
international students, but those already in the UK with the expectation of being able to obtain two years
UK work experience following a successful UK qualification.
So his girlfriend returned to Singapore and Michael followed her for the summer of 2012, returning
home for his final year at university. They have been apart for over a year now, having only seen each
other for two weeks at Christmas.
Though the couple will try and meet as often as possible, it’s not easy as students to fund it. Michael’s
Masters course is expensive and his girlfriend will also be focusing on a law course in Singapore.
The couple has discussed marriage – but Michael is 21 and his girlfriend 22, so they don’t really want
to get married yet. However, even as a married couple they would not be allowed to be together due to
the £18,600 requirement.
Michael could apply for a high-paying graduate job which would pay over this threshold, however his
dream is to pursue a career in journalism, which would require another year of study. A much longed
for dream he doesn’t want to give up to earn money they don’t need.
These rules have led to a lot of unnecessary stress in his final year at university; he was even prescribed
anti-anxiety medication.
Despite this, Michael achieved good grades, but every day is an uphill struggle and he can feel his
productivity is not at its peak.
Things are not much better for his girlfriend who has had to have counselling in Singapore with her law
internship also showing signs of this.

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Muhammad
“My health or my wife?”
Muhammad is British citizen whose wife is from Morocco. He is also a lifelong patient of severe
atopic eczema which has made life difficult in many areas, including finding suitable employment due
to the complexities of this condition. However, he does have a job, albeit one which does not pay
over £18,600.
Muhammad met his wife in Morocco in early 2012. She is a decent caring woman who understands
his illness. Their friendship blossomed and soon after they decided to marry.
Unfortunately just two weeks after the marriage, Muhammad discovered UK’s immigration rules had
changed and now required an income of over £18,600 or a huge amount of savings in cash.
Due to the nature of his illness, Muhammad cannot work in dusty or highly stressful environments as
they exacerbate the condition which has severely limited his earning capacity. It is very unlikely
Muhammad will ever work in a job paying over £18,600.
Muhammad’s skin condition requires medication every three hours which can cause problems during
working and finding an employer who is understanding enough to allow Muhammad the required
breaks.
So he has been living in severe depression for about a year now, separated from his wife.
Although Muhammad does visit his wife often – culturally she would be ostracised if her husband
stayed away from her for too long.
Muhammad has tried to move to Morocco to live with his wife but unfortunately the Morrocan
climate isn’t friendly to his severe skin condition and he has experienced severe flare ups on visits
there.
Given Muhammad speaks neither Arabic or French, and he has a health condition, he is also unlikely
to find a job there, which means he can’t stay there for longer than three months at a time.
Overstaying his visa is not even a consideration with penalties including a jail sentence and monetary
fines.
Muhammad does currently have a job for which he is very grateful for as it allows him to work in an
environment which is suitable to his condition and allows him to earn an amount that would not
require him to claim benefits.
He also has third party support from his parents, but the rules do not allow for that either.
So Muhammad lives in limbo, seeing his wife when he can.

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Naila
“This government will be remembered as directly and indirectly
attacking the most vulnerable in society.”
Naila is a British citizen living in Bradford.
She got married last year on April 29th and had to wait until she turned 21 to apply for a spouse visa.
As she didn’t have a job here she moved to Pakistan to live with her husband there, rather than spend
the time immediately after her wedding living apart.
Naila is British. She was unable to adjust to life in Pakistan – the culture, expectations and rights of
women are very different to what she is used to. So she returned to the UK.
She is now working full time in a newsagent's, and has been doing so for the past three months, but
then the rules came in requiring her to earn a salary of £18,600 for at least six months.
So now she has wait even longer until she can apply for a visa. Under the new rules her right to live
happily with her husband has been taken away from her. It seems to Naila that now, in order for a British
person to marry someone from outside the UK, you have to be as rich as the government.
Naila’s husband is hard working; he owns a sports shop in Pakistan and they intend that when he is in
the UK, he will also work very hard here to support Naila. There is no way he will just sit back and do
nothing – he would not qualify for benefits so that’s not an issue either.
Naila has been married for nearly 16 months and still has not been able to apply for her husband’s visa.
The new rules for Naila and others in her position are unrealistic and unachievable. They are just causing
pain, misery and heartbreak across our country.

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Nick
“What a sorry state of affairs when loyal citizens are forced to
emigrate just to be with their partners and family.”
Nick is a British citizen who can trace his family’s roots in the UK back to the 16th century. However,
he is considering emigrating just because his partner happens to be from Thailand.
He is currently supporting two households – one in the UK and the other his partner’s in Thailand.
Their lives are being torn apart by UK’s immigration rules in circumstances which are not sustainable.
So Nick is now selling everything he has, in order to raise funds for the move to France, where he will
be able to be with his partner.
This is going to mean Nick abandons the business he has worked so hard to build up over the last five
years. He will no longer be paying taxes into the British system. It means he will be forced to leave
the country of his birth, his family, his home.
Nick sees this as a sorry state of affairs, when loyal citizens are forced to emigrate just to be with their
partners and families.

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Paul
“My life now is just about work, work, work ... and when I have time
off, I am too fatigued to do anything but sleep.”
Paul, a British citizen, married his partner in May 2012, in the Philippines. She is Filipino and the
decision to marry was based on the assumption that having met the visa requirements they would be
able to make a life together in the UK.
Suddenly though the rules changed, leaving Paul and his wife devastated.
The massive increase in the amount Paul had to earn before he could sponsor his wife has made it
impossible for them to be together.
He works full time in retail and doesn’t claim a single penny in benefits. Recently, he changed the
branch of the store he worked in to reduce travelling costs, and is taking on as much overtime as possible,
including working night shifts. Despite this, however, he cannot meet the income criteria.
His life now is just about work, work, work ... and when he has time off, he is too fatigued to do anything
but sleep and cope with the relapse of the depression he has suffered from, on and off, for many years.
Paul is not asking for handouts, he just wants to be able to live with his wife in the UK.
Paul’s wife is not entitled to any benefits, so the message being put across in the media by Theresa May
that the presence of non-EU spouses would be a drain on the benefits system is intended blatantly to
mislead the British public, as their rights are chipped away.
Paul does not have a fancy accountant. He has paid his taxes diligently for years. It is Paul and others
like him who have contributed to the system, and yet he is being told he cannot be with his wife as they
are a threat to the system.
MPs get a huge salary, they can claim all manner of household expenses ranging from food and their
TV licence, to interest on their mortgage and rent payments (blatant abuse of expense policies) and yet
they have the nerve to put restrictions on the lives of ordinary British citizens, and accuse us of being a
threat to the British economy?

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Paul &Connie
“No one should be punished for something as harmless as loving
someone from outside their borders.”
Paul is a British citizen living in Nottingham. He met his wife, Connie from California, USA when he
was pursuing postgraduate studies in response to the economic crash when jobs were scarce.
Now this couple is 6000 miles apart only because of UK’s
immigration rules.
Paul is in education – and neither he nor Connie come from
rich families. They feel the £18,600 is an arbitrary barrier
serving to punish the poor. Paul is firm in his belief that this
threshold has been erected under false pretence, the notion
that immigration is somehow responsible for the myriad
economic and social woes besetting the people of the UK is
actually a xenophobic smokescreen to confuse the public.
The couple has strived and struggled for the last three years, stuck apart, only seeing each other for a
scant few weeks but they know their story is far from the worst. Families have been thrown asunder,
punished for loving each other across petty political borders we uphold.
Paul and his wife have both suffered from depression, each of them undergoing therapy, just trying to
survive apart without any certainty of when they will be able to be together.
Recently though they received some good news. Connie has been successful in obtaining a well-paid
job despite the current economic conditions. So Paul is considering relocating to USA, although this
means being away from his family and friends.
No one should be punished for something as harmless as loving someone from outside their borders.

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Pete & Karima
“My wife has made coming home every day worthwhile and now the
government wants to take this away from me.”
Pete is a British citizen, from Sheffield. All his life he had been drifting along, drinking and generally
living an unhealthy life. Pete was lonely. Until he met his now wife, Karima. Karima had been a court
clerk in Casablanca, Morocco, hence is well educated and speaks English well.
Pete’s heart is however breaking. This government wants to keep Pete and his wife apart – the wife
who has made him a better man and made coming home every day worthwhile. Why?
Is Pete a criminal? No. Is Karima a criminal? No.
This government wants to keep Pete and his wife apart because Pete is a cleaner earning the minimum
wage. Pete admits he is not the most intelligent person in the world. But he goes to work at 4am in the
morning, works long hours, and pays his taxes. He works hard. He doesn’t flout the law. He believes,
especially as a Muslim, it is his duty to look after his wife, not the government’s. It’s a matter of pride
for him that he be able to support his wife, without claiming any benefits. Indeed, Karima would get a
job and pay taxes herself!
Karima is currently with Pete on a family visa, having been here since August. She has interacted well
with Pete’s friends and made some of her own, showing she is willing to integrate.
However, Karima will have to leave soon. Because she married a man who is on a wage stipulated by
the government as being sufficient to live on, yet now the government says it’s not sufficient for him to
be allowed to fall in love.

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Phil & Amanda
“As a British student, I can’t live in my country with my wife, because
she is American and I don’t earn £18,600 – how many British
students do?!”
Phil is a British citizen who met his now wife, Amanda in Scotland. Amanda is American and was
studying at Stirling University when they met, nearly three years ago.
Their relationship survived a long-distance relationship when Amanda had to return home to finish
under undergraduate degree in the US. She got in to the Masters program at Stirling University for
postgraduate studies. She accepted this to be with her partner and on the basis that UK provided Post
Study Work visas allowing those with degrees from recognised UK universities to work here for two
years.
Amanda started her course in September 2011. In April 2012, the PSW route was closed, not just to
new students, but including those students who had come here on the basis of the PSW. Indeed, students
who may have chosen to go to other countries over the UK if this had been made clear to them in
advance.
Facing a future apart, Phil knew the only way Amanda could stay in the UK was if she obtained a job.
However work visas have all sorts of requirements (like the job has to pay £20,000 or more, etc). They
became aware of the income requirement being brought in by the government for spouses; although not
married at this point they realised that even if they did get married they would not be able to stay in the
UK together. They did however get married in October 2011.
Unfortunately, they cannot leave for America immediately as
Phil is still finishing his degree; so they are facing months or
even years apart, as students don’t tend to earn £18,600 (well
except for those with rich parents).
Because Phil fell in love with an American, he has to leave his
family and everything he knows in the UK to be with his wife.
They both understand the need to curb immigration, but it is
absolutely ridiculous when the rules punish its own citizens to
such an extent.
Amanda & Phil on their wedding day

Update: Amanda returned to USA in January 2013, and they are working on getting a visa for Phil to
move to the USA to live. It’s likely it will be another year or so before this couple can live together
however. Amanda underwent surgery in March 2013, and Phil was luckily able to be with her then to
help her through that. It does however raise the issue that if the situation had been reversed, Amanda
would have been unlikely to be there for Phil.

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Rachel & Ahmed
“We haven’t applied for a spouse visa yet. The new rules have left us
fearful and in a kind of limbo.”
Rachel is a 23 year old British citizen, a university student reading Arabic and Art History. She is
married to Ahmed, from Egypt.
As part of her degree Rachel had the option of spending a year abroad in
Egypt, Palestine or Jordan. She opted for Egypt as three years previously
she had visited Cairo to assess the suitability of her degree, where she met
Ahmed during a flat search.
After Rachel left Egypt they kept in touch via Skype and three months later,
she was visiting him in Egypt once again. Three months after that, he came
to stay with Rachel and her family in Cornwall for Christmas. Since then,
they haven't gone for longer than 3 months without seeing each other, be it
in Cairo, during term-time in London or with Rachel’s family in Cornwall.
When they got engaged, they planned to marry during Rachel’s year abroad because a lot of her friends
from university would be able to attend and balance out Ahmed’s big family at the wedding!
Rachel had heard about some new changes to the rules at the time, but didn't really think anything of it
– she assumed it would be higher application fees or the like. She never expected they would raise the
income threshold to £18,600 p.a. and restrict financial support. Indeed, a friend who had married an
Egyptian was allowed to have her parents as providers of third party support for his visa (this was before
July 2012). As they knew Rachel would have her final year at university to complete, Rachel was also
relying on her parents to do the same (and they were happy to), with Ahmed staying with Rachel during
her last year in London.
Rachel is on course for a first-class degree and fairly confident of her
earning potential after she graduates – however she firmly believes it
should not just be her capacity to work and earn a decent salary which
should count. She finds it frustrating that neither the spouse's earning
potential nor his financial situation are taken into account.
If the government is so keen to ensure no burden on taxpayer, then
given Ahmed will already have a clear ‘no recourse to public funds’
in his passport – surely it’s his financials which should be taken into account? The same company that
Ahmed works for in Egypt are currently advertising for the same job in England, with an annual salary
of £36,000 - this is obviously much, much higher than the company pays their employees in Egypt.
Ahmed is qualified, has a good command of English and therefore good job prospects, which would be
of great help to Rachel as a final year university student, in terms of rent and other expenses which
Ahmed would help out with.
Rachel has never claimed benefits and has no interest in doing so, either. Both their families are be able
to help them out should they find themselves in a difficult situation – so no reason why third-party
support should not count.
After three years of going back and forth - though their relationship is more than worth all the travel
they have endured – they are tired. They want to be able to plan their future but at the moment, in
addition to the political instability in Egypt, everything seems so uncertain.

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At present they’re applying for Ahmed’s family visit visa so at least he can come and visit Rachel
while she is at university.
Rachel considered putting off her studies to go down the Surinder Singh route, but that would pose an
unnecessary financial burden – without much of a time saving on her completed her degree and going
straight into employment.
She has however postponed her decision to do a Masters!
Political instability in Egypt aside, Rachel needs to be in the UK. Her dad passed away, and she is the
only child and grandchild. While the government claim she can exercise her right to a family life with
her husband elsewhere, what about her mum and grandma’s right to a family life especially when her
grandma is not able to travel?
It seems to this couple that in their aim to bring down net migration, not only is the government keeping
foreigners out of the country, but trying to encourage British citizens to leave too.
Rachel and Ahmed married in March 2013. After spending an amazing nine months in Egypt, it's been
hard readjusting to life back in the UK without her husband. She barely feels like a newly-wed!
She considered staying back in Egypt for the summer, but
thought it would be best to come back and work and try to
earn as much money as possible to put aside for the future.
Ahmed is doing the same in Egypt.
It really is demoralising to know that despite the no recourse
to public funds, the couple may not be able to start to build
their lives together until at least a year from now.
It has put pressure on Rachel to find a job immediately after
she graduates, which in the current climate of internships and focus on the importance of gaining
experience (i.e. an acceptable form of unpaid employment) it is difficult for her to remain optimistic but it's all they can do in the face of these new rules.

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Ravi
“As a self-employed person, the rules are even more onerous…and
time apart from my wife even longer.”
Ravi is a British citizen. He married his wife in early 2013, in Mauritius. Like many Brits, Ravi as it
turns out, somewhat naively assumed that being a British citizen himself, having his wife with him
would be a mere formality.
For Ravi, the financial requirement of £18,600 is the stumbling block. He is self-employed and his
financial records for the 2012-13 tax year in their current form are unlikely to satisfy UKBA. Allowing
for solicitor and application fees in the thousands of pounds, he is of the opinion applying is not a risk
worth taking, given the higher than average likelihood of refusal for those who are self-employed.
Ravi is aware he could wait until after submitting the 2013-14 tax year accounts, making sure these
would meet with UKBA approval, but that means waiting till April 2014 before he can even apply, plus
the UKBA processing time which by all accounts just seems to get longer, and longer.
He is considering taking on a salaried/wage paying job paying in excess of the minimum requirement,
collating 6 months of payslips and applying then. However, allowing for the time to find a job and then
again the application time as well, it’s also a long time to be apart from his wife.
So he has several routes open to him. Another route he is considering is Surinder Singh. He has a
birthday later in the year and hopes he can have his wife with him then so this resort of self-exile is the
most appealing to minimise time apart, inconvenience and cost. A route to self-exile is the only route
the government has not been able to close.

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Rhys &Natacha
“All we want is the opportunity to live together; we are a family,
even if it is just the two of us.”
Rhys is a British citizen, and Natacha, Canadian; together they are common law partners. They met
whilst Natacha was studying in England as part of her undergraduate university degree; now they are
both in Canada, Rhys is working there. Four years later, they are trying to figure out a way they can
stay together in the UK to be close to Rhys’s family, who are desperate to have them move back here.
Rhys has a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and is working full time in
Canada, whilst Natacha is completing a Masters degree in Sociology
from Queen’s University.
Of the two of them, Natacha has the greater earning potential; however,
under the new rules, Rhys must be earning £18,600 for at least six months
before his wife can join him, regardless of the fact that Natacha might
earn much more. Indeed, Natacha was accepted by the University of
Birmingham with a full fees bursary worth $20,000. If a leading British
university sees Natacha as someone worth paying to have her in the UK,
why does the British government see her as a burden?
It strikes them as bizarre that Natacha’s earnings in the UK, and hence
her taxes, are completely discounted, as is any help from their family. If
the aim of the policy is to reduce the burden on the state, why not let Natacha’s earnings be counted
too? Why not let them show they won’t be a burden on the state?
Why not have requirements such as mandating private healthcare cover from migrants? This would
boost the healthcare system and UK companies, whilst reducing the reliance on the NHS. Their view is
that if the issue is about migrants being a burden on the system, then restrictions should be placed on
work permits, rather than on British citizens wishing to live with their family.
Rhys and Natacha are pleading with this government to understand and appreciate the difficulties these
new rules are producing. All they want is the opportunity to live permanently together; they are a family,
even if it is just the two of them.

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Richard & Kate
“My American wife is bemused. All visas for non-EU citizens are
stamped with a clear ‘no recourse to public funds’. So she doesn’t
understand why the burden on taxpayer is even an issue for the
British government.”
Richard is a British citizen. His wife, Kate, is from the USA. Richard and Kate met a few years ago.
They fell in love and got married.
Richard had no immediate ties keeping him in the UK at the time. Kate had two children from a previous
marriage who were partway through their education in America. So Kate and Richard decided the best
decision for their family would be for Richard to move to America while the kids were still at school,
and they’d move to Richard’s home country after the kids had graduated.
When these new changes were announced, Richard was shocked and now feels exiled from his own
country.
In America, both Richard and Kate have good jobs, earning an amount they live on comfortably. In the
UK, Richard’s family is from Grimsby, N.E. Lincolnshire where the job market is far from being at the
equivalent level. The median average is £16,500 while local papers and job searches show an average
salary closer to £14,000. However, living expenses are also lower than other places in UK.
For Richard, moving to the UK with his wife is to be closer to his family. However, trying to meet a
requirement of £18,600 in such an area is a near impossibility, especially with the ability for family
assistance now removed. The savings limit required is near impossible for most workers who earn an
average, or even above average wage, to achieve. After all, not too many people have up to £62,500 in
spare cash lying around!
Richard needs to be living and working in the Grimsby area to be able to provide assistance to his
mother. She suffers from a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis and her health is failing very quickly, to
the point where she is almost housebound.
One of the most common expressions throughout the changes has been that immigrants should not be
“a burden on the taxpayer”. With space at his mother’s house for Richard and Kate, accommodation
would not be an issue and meeting the previous income requirement would have been more realistic.
They want to allow his mother to keep her house, while also providing her with care and aid.
Kate is bemused. All visas for non-EU citizens are stamped with a clear ‘no recourse to public funds’.
So she doesn’t understand why the burden on taxpayer is even a concern by the government. The new
rules prevent Richard, a British citizen, returning to his own country; they force Richard’s mum to rely
on assistance from the state. Indeed, it’s embarrassing that after having lived for years in America where
he was welcomed with open arms, his wife is not afforded a fraction of the welcome in the UK.
Richard and Kate will work together until they can be in his home country, with his family. However
they are aware of many ex-pats whose situation is far more complicated or on a much shorter schedule.
Friends and colleagues who are being forced to liquidate all their assets, including selling their home in
order to meet the requirements. These actions seem to go against the general idea of the immigration
policy of bringing families together and strengthening the economy.
They, like other British citizens, hope that common sense prevails and there is a removal, or significant
change, to these rules that will allow Richard and others like him, to live with their family in the home
they love.
Update: Richard and Kate are considering moving to another EU country, in yet another self-exile
story.

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Rob (Indonesia)
“They rejected the spouse application because of a technicality,
knowing I would not meet the income criteria under the new rules, in
yet another attempt to extort more money.”
Rob is a professional British musician, with a first class degree in music. He has taught music and
performed at concerts. Rob has an eight-year-old son and lives in a detached house in Huddersfield. He
worked hard for everything he has without help from the state. However, Rob is not rich.
Rob fell in love with an Indonesian woman, and married her. They believe they are each other’s soul
mate. They made vows to each other, with God as their witness, to be together, for richer and poorer.
Rob is a standard Brit, never having needed to worry about the UK immigration system. In battling for
a spouse visa application, however, he realised how bureaucratic the process is, and indeed how unfair
and weighted towards the rich it is, given the application fees.
Rob and his wife applied for a spouse visa on June 26th, weeks before what he terms the ‘ethnic
cleansing type rules’ came in. They submitted accounts for three years (he is self-employed – not rich
but better off than many), bank statements, originals and copies, everything as requested ... no stone
was left unturned.
For over two months, the message from the Embassy was
‘Application under process at the British Embassy’, and then,
in early September, they received an email asking her to take
a SELT English test. The message in the email indicated that
if she did not submit this within seven days her visa would be
rejected. Despite the short notice, the managed it and this was
submitted
on
time
as
well.
About a month later, they received a message saying the
application was ready for collection; however, it was refused
because of the English test. This struck Rob as bizarre as his wife’s English is fantastic. Delving further
into it, the authorities said she had passed the reading, writing and listening requirements but had not
submitted the speaking part.
Although they put in an appeal, called a lawyer and asked what to do, they were advised that the appeal
would probably be rejected; and applying for a new visa would fall under the new rules requiring
submission of another £900 fee.
Rob was bemused - the authorities could have said, ‘..your application is ok, but you need to do the
speaking test, we'll give you another week’. Instead they rejected the application due to a technicality,
knowing Rob would be unlikely to meet the income criteria, in an attempt to extort more money.
Rob’s uncle fought in Burma in WW2, fighting the Japanese for the UK. He himself has worked hard
and paid his taxes. His great uncle was just a name tag when he came back from France in WW1. His
great grandfather died from the repercussions of WWI, also fighting for the UK.
Is this the UK that his family went to war for?
Rob now very much has to come to terms with the fact that he will need to sell his house in the UK and
relocate himself and his son to Indonesia. Another plus towards the immigration target but another loss
for Britain, our economy and our people.

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Rob (USA)
“Although not affected yet, I fear I won’t be allowed to be with my
girlfriend. I can’t leave my three daughters in the UK”
Rob is a British citizen living in Torquay, Devon. Although he is yet to be affected by the new
immigration rules, he anticipates it being an issue for him and his girlfriend, from Oklahoma, USA. It
is an issue that is already affecting Rob’s ex-wife.
They’ve only been going out a few months, but are considering their future in the event the relationship,
as they anticipate it to be, becomes more serious. However it hasn’t been plain sailing to date either.
Already they have had their brush with UKBA, who refused Rob’s girlfriend entry for the three months
visit they had planned; instead they only got three days together - sadly something for which they
consider themselves lucky, despite the disappointment.
Rob is a single dad with three daughters, two of who live with him full-time and another he sees a couple
of nights a week and every other weekend. He works for a charity, a noble employer and earns below
the £18,600 threshold required for the sponsorship of a visa in the event he were to marry his girlfriend.
He is lucky in the respect that he has a family locally who help out with childcare. It allows him to save
up for him and his girlfriend to meet each other again.
Rob has considered asking for a pay rise, but is hesitant only because he has been working for his
employer less than a year. The pay rise he would need to earn the magic £18,600 is 75 pence an hour.
Less than £1.
Rob is aware that his ex-wife is in an even worse situation. She is self-employed, earns very little and
is currently claiming benefits. Her partner also lives in the USA (in Maryland) but being in the financial
sector, has the potential for earning a comfortable income to support them both.
The daughter who lives with them both is aged 7 and has learning disabilities and speech problems. She
is a happy little girl but sometimes finds it hard to communicate and is at the sort of level of a much
younger child. She adores both Rob’s girlfriend and her mum’s partner – Rob tells her that both her
mummy's partner and his girlfriend are living in America for now but hopefully will be able to move
over soon.
At the moment Rob and his girlfriend have good and bad days; they keep in touch via Skype and e-mail
and when they can, speak for hours. Rob’s girlfriend doesn’t have the same ties to America which Rob
has here; they are not in a long distance relationship by choice.

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Rudi
“Splitting up my family is not an option.”
Rudi is a British citizen. As her husband is Jamaican, Rudi is finding the path to return home is paved
with thorns.
Rudi is currently living in Jamaica with her husband as
immigration rules don’t allow her to live with him in UK.
However, since receiving the news that they are expecting a baby,
Rudi – despite all the happiness, joy and love she is feeling, is
also very stressed.
She really wants their baby to be born and raised in the way she
has been, in the UK. To offer it the best that she can.
Looking into the current rules though, she is finding it impossible
that she’ll ever be able to return home. Living in Jamaica she
doesn’t have a job in the UK. Finding a job here from another country makes it hard enough to get an
interview at the best of times, but when you’re pregnant it’s nigh impossible.
Rudi is facing a horrible choice. She doesn’t want her baby to stay in Jamaica while she job-hunts and
then works in the UK. Nor does she want to end up being a single parent for months on end while she
works in the UK with her baby to look after, and her husband in Jamaica.
Rudi’s parents have offered to support them financially. They have also offered them accommodation
in their huge house. Yet this family is being faced with a choice of exile or separation.
Rudi however is adamant. Splitting up the family is not an option, nor should it be one that family is
forced to make.

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Ruth
“We live a simple life, yet I am being kicked out of my own country”
Ruth is a British citizen who earlier in 2012, married a citizen of Australia. Ruth and her husband are
both volunteers with a Christian charity in the UK and neither of them individually earns £18,600.
They live a basic lifestyle and don’t feel the need to earn a high salary for material possessions, which
they neither need, nor want. They have no reason to claim benefits, given what they have themselves,
and the additional support they receive from the church and their family.
They’re married, and they don’t want to be apart. They work as volunteers – is there any better way to
be contributing to your community? So Ruth feels like she is being kicked out of her own country.
A couple who isn’t crazy about the latest gadgets, or having the best house, or designer goods. A couple
who because of these rules have endured endless upset, stress, sleepless nights and fear, for what the
future will bring. A couple who because of these rules is being forced out of a country they contribute
to, selflessly.
Update: BritCits is sad to report that Ruth and her husband have decided to give up their fight to remain
in her home country. They are planning to move to Australia and are in the process of completing the
Australian visa application for Ruth. Australia will welcome with open arms a couple dedicated to
helping others in their community, rather than chasing after money.

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Sandra & Aftab
“I am being punished by my country for exercising my right to marry
who I want . I can’t be with my daughter and grandchild – I can’t
look after my grandma and parents because of these rules.”
Sandra is a British Citizen, she married her husband Aftab, an Egyptian, in Bournemouth.
Sandra and Aftab decided to try out life in Egypt; accommodation was organised and Aftab had work.
However, Sandra did not fit into life in Egypt and she missed her daughter and grandchild, who were
still in the UK.
Aftab agreed to move to the UK – while home for him is Egypt, he liked the UK and wanted Sandra to
be happy, understanding the importance of her family ties. Soon after Aftab enrolled on a business
studies course, Sandra found out she was pregnant.
They applied for a spouse visa for Aftab before 9 July, with £4,000 savings in the bank. Additionally,
Sandra’s father provided a guarantee, acting as a third-party sponsor, with a healthy bank balance and
proof of the deeds to his bungalow. Sandra and Aftab therefore had shown they had no intention to
access any welfare benefits.
Sandra succeeded in obtained a job in telesales, which was good as it did not put too much strain on her
body. Shortly after, Aftab found work in a restaurant, though he could only work 20 hours per week
because of legal restrictions. Between them, they earned £18,600 although this was not the requirement
at the time of application.
It became more and more important for the spouse visa to come through; Sandra was finding the
pregnancy difficult. Further complications meant she could no longer work full time and sadly they lost
the baby. It was a traumatic time for them both, but somehow, together, they managed to carry on.
More bad news was to follow, with the spouse visa being rejected because payment from Aftab’s bank
in Egypt didn’t go through. Sandra and Aftab were not given a second chance to make payment by
alternative means; and so, because of a fault of the bank, Sandra and Aftab now have now moved back
to Egypt. Sandra doesn’t feel she can earn £18,600 at this point and has been through a lot already, with
the loss of the baby. She has secured a teaching job in Sharm El Sheikh at least.
So their situation is this. Sandra cannot return to her own home with her husband because she doesn’t
earn enough. She feels she is being punished just because she chose to marry someone ‘different’. She
is being forced to choose between being a wife, and being a mother, grandmother, daughter and
granddaughter.
Sandra is pleading with whoever reads this to do what they can to change the current law to help British
citizens. She is a British citizen but now she cannot live in her own country.

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Sandra & Monaam
“This used to be a great country but the government’s attitude to
British people make us 2nd class citizens. Clearly, they want to force
us out to make room for rich people and EU nationals.”
British citizen Sandra has been married to Monaam for over two and a half years, having known him
since 2006 and been romantically involved since 2009. However immigration rules mean they are being
forced to live apart; Sandra in the UK and Monaam in Tunisia.
Sandra has been welcomed with open arms by Monaam’s family – his mother, father, grandmother,
sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews. They’ve taken Sandra into their fold.
Sandra however has family of her own in the UK, including her son who won’t get on a plane. Choosing
to live in Tunisia means leaving her family, friends, home, work, and her dog. She should not have to
be facing such a choice. The wages they would both earn in Tunisia would make even visiting the UK
financially prohibitive.
So she is being told by this government that in order to live with her husband, she has to give up
everything else she has, including her family? Just because she happened to fall in love and marry a
NON EU man? Every night they have been physically apart since 2009, they have been on Facebook
or Skype. Monaam’s visa has been refused on countless occasions. As a visitor to the UK he was
refused. When he applied for a visa to come to the UK to marry Sandra, the visa was refused.
They are battling the English test as well; Monaam takes English lessons in Tunis, yet he has not been
able to pass the English test even in three attempts. Interesting, Sandra – who grew up and was educated
in the UK, also failed some of the practice tests (which incidentally Monaam got through!). Indeed, is
the best place to learn English not the land of the English – England?!
Just when they thought they had all the paperwork sorted, the government has gone and decided to move
the goalposts yet again. As the spouse, Sandra being the British citizen has to work all extra hours she
possibly can – overwork herself, in order to obtain a wage over £18,600 .
Her MP indicated how out of touch with British citizens he is by suggesting the wage she was on –
before the extra hours taken on – was for part time work!! The amount Sandra earns for a 40 hour week
is below £18,600 which is standard for Dorset and above minimum wage. Just goes to show what
politicians sitting with their gilded salaries, pension and expense benefits know!
Sandra appreciates nonetheless, the support her MP has shown by providing a letter of recommendation
that in his eyes they are a genuine couple who should be allowed to live together in the UK, to submit
with their next spousal visa application. However, with the £18,600 hanging over their head and no
discretion allowed this letter may not be of much help.
So far the costs of applying for visas (visiting, spouse), flights etc are financially crippling them; indeed,
if their marriage was not so strong, no doubt they’d have given up by now. Sandra is heartbroken and
on anti-depressants to help her cope with the constant stress and enforced separation . Like others, she
doesn’t understand why this government thinks it’s okay to keep husbands and wives apart for
years especially when they otherwise profess to be pro marriage and pro family.
Sandra is being forced to constantly jump through moving hoops. How can anyone prove that what
they share is love for each other or that a marriage will last a lifetime? Sandra’s view is that the
government is turning this country into a racist, ageist, sexist state where the right to fall in love and
marry a non-EU person is only one afforded to the rich. It’s difficult to contest that.

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Sarah & Angelina
“All we want is to live our lives together, as a married couple.”
Sarah is a British citizen who first met her partner, Angelina three years ago when she went to work at
a USA summer camp in Texas. They are both 25 year old graduates.
The couple began their relationship a year later, when Sarah returned to the same summer camp, and
after reviewing their options, both decided to both apply for a year's work visa to live and work in
Canada, as neither USA nor UK allowed the other to apply for any a temporary work permit.
They lived in Canada happily. Although both on minimum wage jobs, this was sufficient for them to
live in rented accommodation comfortably; they could afford basic luxuries without any sort of
dependency on the government or anyone else. They planned to marry in the UK, but the visa
conditions (just to get married there, not for settlement) were so expensive and onerous that they
decided it was easier and cheaper to marry in Canada. They did, in a beautiful low-key ceremony in
Victoria, British Columbia.
Having thought about it long and hard, and discussed it between them, both agreed but in both our
minds we decided that living in the UK would be a happier life for both of us, for various reasons.
Angeline joined Sarah in the UK in July 2013. They planned that Sarah would find a job paying
£18,600, and after six months, they would get moving with the paperwork that would let Angelina
stay here, and finally begin their lives together with some permanence.
Sarah was even then concerned with the difficulties around obtaining a job paying over £18,600 at
entry level and wrote to her Conservative MP, Charles Walker. His response was that he could not
possibly imagine opposing these rules, and that she should turn her attention to getting a job as soon
as possible. Charles did however eventually relent and wrote to the immigration minister when Sarah
pointed out that this threshold was even harder for a single mum to meet.
Now Sarah and Angelina are three months into their time here, and despite applying for many jobs,
Sarah is no further to gainful employment than when she began looking. Every recruitment agency
she has liaised with has indicated that her experience will not get her this salary; every day marks
more time that she will have to be apart from her wife.
Feedback from four interviews was ‘lack of relevant experience’ which is difficult to get without a
job. A job that pays over £18,600.
The couple grows increasingly desperate for options as the job rejections roll in every day, and it
becomes increasingly apparent that Sarah may not be suitable just yet for anything that meets the
threshold.
What makes it increasingly frustrating is that Sarah’s parents are more than happy to be co-signers of
any paperwork – to be their guarantors. However the Home Office has this is not an option. The fact
that Angelina's work history, which is much more impressive than Sarah’s (although still not enough
to make her eligible for a Tier 2 visa) is not taken into account is baffling, and just another barrier. It
just seems that this is an impossible task for a British citizen to be able to sponsor their wife; the
person they love.
Despite the heartbreak, stress and intense pressure this situation has brought upon her life, Sarah finds
it comforting to know there is a support base for those in exactly the same, or even worse situations
than she and Angelina find themselves in.

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Sean & Mari
“I am keen for my small family to be near my parents, to gain
recognition of our family as a legal unit and be around to look after
my parents as they get older.”
Sean is a British citizen. He spent the first 19 years of his life in St Helen’s Merseyside, growing up on
a council estate. When he was 18, by a stroke of luck, he came across the love of his life.
One night he commented on an Oasis music video, something he did often. This time however, his
comment led to a discussion on music with Mari, in Chile. They spent the next year talking online
following which Sean managed to scrape together enough money to go visit her in Chile. It was a dream
come true.
Sean arrived in Chile on 12th August 2009 when he was 19 and had finished college. He has been living
there since - Mari needed to finish university and Sean was supportive of her wanting to pursue further
education.
Sean and Mari married in January 2013. It was awful for Sean not having his family there – but they
could not afford the journey. Sean lives with Mari’s family, for whom Sean is like a son. But living in
Chile has not been easy.
They experienced an earthquake measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale when their life flashed before them.
And Sean knew home was where he wanted to be in the long-term. They agreed to move to the UK
once Mari’s education was complete.
Sean is not rich nor does he pretend to be. He hasn’t been in UK since 2009 – hasn’t seen his family
since then. As Mari has now finished university, Sean and Mari are working together to save money
for their life together, hoping this will allow them a head start when they return to UK.
Sean has a dream. To see his family and have them meet his wife. He wants to have a small celebration
in UK so his family can be part of his nuptials. He wants to spend time with his mum who recently had
a heart attack.
But when Sean found out what the requirements are for a spouse visa, it’s like his heart stopped and he
hasn’t stopped feeling helpless ever since. Research he carried out showed the new rules prevent 40%
of the British working population from sponsoring a non-EU spouse.
Sean feels as if the rules allow only the rich to fall in love...a working class Brit dare not make that
mistake. Most people in St Helen’s don’t earn anywhere near this amount.
All Sean wants is to come and live in UK with his wife; to be close to his mum. This young couple will
work and pay their way. Sean does not think it’s right that he has to leave his wife for likely over 12
months it will take for him to find a job paying over £18,600, working in it for 6 months and then having
UKBA process the spouse application. He can’t be apart from her that long.
When they married they promised each other to be together, to live together.
Sean has received some positive response from David Ward, MP for Bradford East, who has told him:
“It is cases such as yours which have encouraged me to challenge the income limit on spouse visas. I
believe that these rules are unfair and that they prevent people in genuine marriages from being able
to live happily with their partner. The limit effectively rules out large numbers of people (particularly
in areas outside of London) from being able to afford to bring their partner into the UK. It effectively
rules out people in certain professions from ever being able to bring their partners to the UK."
Support from this MP is the only thing giving Sean hope that he’ll return to his home one day.

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Sharon & Wade
“Living with my husband and my English family is proving to be an
impossible dream.”
Sharon is a British citizen and married for over 4 years now to Wade, an American. Sharon and Wade
are both in their 50s.
Sharon returned to her home in the Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, with the intention that Wade would
follow her after spending one last Christmas with his family in USA. Sharon set up a home for them
and was successful in obtaining a job. Wade also had a job lined up for himself.
However, months later, Sharon is now in the UK, living alone on antidepressants for the first time in
her life. She is an emotional wreck, having been told she needs to be earning £18,600 per year for at
least six months, before UKBA will consider Sharon’s husband joining her.
She cannot see how she will ever be able to earn that amount of money on her own, especially now with
her own health in a poor condition meaning she is going to be unlikely to work the several jobs it would
take for her to earn that much. Wade was going to come visit her, cheer her up, however his visitor’s
visa was rejected on the grounds that he hadn’t provided "sufficient proof that he had reason to return
to the States". They have put in a second application (also at some cost), with supporting letters from
his boss, family, bank statements, letter from Sharon inviting him here.
The couple is now praying this time he will be allowed to visit his wife!!! Given their expenses and
need to save, Wade can only afford to stay 2 weeks but even that is better than not seeing each other at
all.
Sharon is not well. Some days she just wants to crawl into a corner and die with the hopelessness of it
all. She returned home to be with her family and to make a home here with her husband, but is finding
it is increasingly an impossible dream.

Wade and Sharon

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Sierra
“The message we are getting from the UK government is that we are
not rich enough to love.”
Sierra is a British citizen married to a citizen of the USA, and they are aged 21 and 25. They got married
after two years together, in the UK, and then the world of immigration horror opened up to them.
They believed that, being married, they would not be kept apart whilst arranging her husband’s work
visa. They were wrong.
Sierra’s husband became an overstayer on 2 July this year. They learnt that they would have to spend
£1,500 on application forms, and on a lawyer's fees, to help them through this maze, applying for his
Discretionary Leave to Remain.
As a legal secretary, Sierra earns £12,500 a year, with her savings having been spent flying back and
forth between the USA and the UK, and for the visa process.
Sierra has never claimed benefits.
As her husband is an overstayer, any potential application is likely to be declined. What however is this
couple supposed to do? They saved up £1,500 for the application only now to be told, ‘No, it’s not good
enough, you’re not rich enough to be in love.’
They are however lucky to have family members who have always been willing to help, monetarily, but
now the rules even disallow co-sponsorship. They have nowhere to turn!
Sierra is terrified that she is going to get a knock on the door in the middle of the night and be forced to
spend months or even years apart until she is able to earn £18,600, or whatever the new higher income
threshold might be.
She feels desperate and that she is being punished for being in love, for daring to get married whilst
being young and poor, despite not being on benefits.
These new laws put a price on love and they are disgusting; they are inhuman and carry no respect for
the sanctity of marriage.
Theresa May should be thoroughly ashamed of herself for abusing her power and misrepresenting
British citizens.

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Stacey & Yoshi
“I am British and should not be forced to choose between my home,
country and culture, and the love of my life.”
Stacey is a 24 year old British student. She is reading Japanese and public relations at university.
Stacey has been in a relationship with Yoshi, a Japanese citizen, since 2011.
Stacey never realised that falling in love with someone outside of the European Union would prove to
be such an ordeal.
When they first met, Yoshi was studying journalism at the same university as Stacey. They lived
together and fell in love.
Although he very much enjoyed his time in England, when the time came, Yoshi returned to Japan
and trained to be a language teacher (he is now fully qualified to teach Japanese). They Skyped each
other every single day, overcoming time differences to ensure they shared their life together.
As part of her course, Stacey spent a year in Japan on an exchange program. There she lived with
Yoshi and they both agreed that they’d prefer to settle in England. Although Stacey had an amazing
time in Japan she doesn’t see herself living there – and as Yoshi doesn’t mind moving to the UK it
seemed this couple found a happy compromise.
This is a young couple very much in love. They would marry today if it meant they could be together.
However as Stacey lives in northern England, even as a well-paid graduate, it’d be years before she
was earning this much money. What’s frustrating is that Yoshi as a non-EU citizen, would not be
entitled to any benefits; he’d be here as a qualified teacher..he would wants to, work.
Stacey feels that Brits with non EU partners are being discriminated against, just because they are on
lower incomes, or are younger.
Long distance relationships are difficult, regardless of visa restrictions. You have to be committed,
patient and prepared to endure long periods of time apart from the one person in your life whom you
feel you can share everything with. Everyone has their own issues to deal with in life and all Stacey
wants is to be able to come home to the one person in this world who makes her feel happy, loved and
secure.
Since the visa issues, Stacey has been diagnosed with depression. She has found that people don’t
understand how difficult it is to be in love with someone and still be unable to see them, hold them
simply because you don’t earn a prescribed amount of money.
When Stacey heard about a British woman who committed suicide because she could not be with her
Egyptian partner, Stacey cried and cried – for the loss of a young life, a family but most of all because
she could identify with this woman
Source: http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/rip-i-was-afraid-something-like-this.html
Stacey is being forced to choose between her home, her country and the culture she was brought up in
- and the love of my life. She has no doubt which is the most important of these things, but it upsets
her greatly that she’s being forced to make this choice.
She is British and wishes to live in Britain with the love of her life.

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Steven
Steven is a British citizen. His partner is from Australia, where they are currently living together.
Steven wishes to move back to the UK as his father was very ill last year, and his grandparents are
very elderly. He wishes to spend more time with them, as now they need him more, in their old age.
Steven is currently in the UK trying to find work to get a visa for his partner. However, he is
struggling to find anything paying above £18,600.
He is aware that in order to live in the UK to be here for his family, he will have to live apart from his
partner for a year or so. Else, live in permanent exile.
This is not the way a country should treat its own citizens.

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Suzanne
“UK puts a price tag on love”
Suzanne is British, with a fiancée from the USA, living in the north-east of England. They’ve been
together for nearly three years and planned to marry this year.
At £16,600, Suzanne earns just £2,000 below the required threshold. However, average wages in
northern England are lower than in the rest of the country and £16,600 is considered a very good salary.
The couple’s only recourse is to try and save up over £20,000 in cash – a figure the couple feel
government has plucked out of thin air, to make up for the £2,000 income deficit from the £18,600 per
annum salary requirement. An amount that will take years to save, if ever, evident of how out of touch
politicians are.
Suzanne cannot move to the US because the American government does not recognise same-sex unions.
So, their lives are on hold, and their right to a private life is held in check by two countries with equally
discriminatory laws. UK puts a price tag on love, and America has a gender requirement.
Since they have no idea when they will be able to be together, the separation is slowing chipping away
at their sanity as they struggle to stay on track; relationships are hard enough to maintain at the best of
times.
However, enforced distance results in additional frustrations, distress and depression.
Update: Unfortunately, thanks to the havoc wreaked by the new rules, Suzanne and her fiancée broke
up.
The positive change since 2012 was that the United States did overturn the federal law which previously
prevented American citizens from sponsoring same-sex spouses and fiancees, and it's much easier to do
so as well, as third party support is allowed, personal financial circumstances such as cost of living in
the state of residence vs income are considered, and the income level is at a reasonable level such that
anyone with a full time job would satisfy it.
Unfortunately, moving to the United States wasn't an option for Suzanne because both her parents in
the UK are ill. Suzanne felt it was her duty to stay and look after her parents, as there is no other family
nearby to assist. However as Suzanne still doesn’t earn £18,600, she couldn’t sponsor her fiancée
either. If she came here, it would be impossible for her to return to the UK with me, again because of
the financial requirement.
The more relaxed US laws on family reunification would actually for Suzanne’s parents to also relocate
to the US, so that their daughter could be with her partner; but their health condition prevents such a
move.
The couple were at an impasse with no resolution in sight, and unfortunately, both thought it best to
end things than continue in a long distance relationship with no means visible for their being able to
finally live together. Another family fallen victim to Home Office’s family immigration rules.

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Tracey & Gary
“It’s difficult to believe that UK makes wanting to live with the
person you love an impossible wish.”
Tracey is a British citizen. She met her husband, Gary – an American citizen, online in 2010. In 2012
they formalised their relationship and got married.
Between their first meeting and the wedding, Gary visited Tracey ten times in the UK. They were
originally going to apply for a fiancé visa in order to have the wedding in the UK, however then
decided to marry in USA.
Tracey did actually meet the financial threshold, however as this was from
the combined income from two part-time jobs including one in the form of
accommodation through her job as an onsite property manager, it was more
complex to demonstrate. So the couple engaged the services of an
immigration lawyer, costing them over £1000.
They were assured by the lawyer that their case would be successful as it
was obvious that Tracey was earning in excess of £18,600, although it
would have to be explained clearly given the complexity of her work
situation.
Hence the couple decided to put all their plans into motion. Gary gave up
his apartment and car in the US, along with his car and worldly possessions, flights booked and plans
for a civil ceremony made.
Throughout all this they gathered the information and documents needed to apply for the spouse visa –
the amount of evidence required was monumental.
Tracey and Gary married in the USA in December 2012 and flew to the UK together for Christmas.
Gary’s return ticket was for January 2013, when he planned on returning to the USA to submit his
visa application.
However, a week or so before he was scheduled to leave the UK, the lawyers made contact to say the
application would in fact not be successful because Tracey does not meet the £18,600 requirement.
After much to-ing and fro-ing, they spoke to the same lawyer who had provided the initial advice who
now admitted his advice initially had not been correct. The rent compensation received by Tracey
would not be seen as income; they were now told that the Home Office would need to see money
going into a bank account, with the value of the accommodation benefit provided disregarded
completely.
Their plans completely changed. Gary decided that rather than returning to the USA in January as
planned, he would stay for the duration of his visitor’s visa while they assessed next steps.
Their lawyer advised them of the Surinder Singh process. So Tracey and Gary exercised their treaty
rights by moving to Ireland in June 2013. Tracey has been working there from July and they are
hoping to one day return to the UK to begin the life they had imagined.
Tracey has worked since she was 16 years old. She has always been self sufficient and has never
claimed benefits, instead contributing into the system all of her working life. Gary is educated, speaks
English and plans to also work here as soon as he is able to. They are both an asset to the UK.
However because of these immigration rules the couple is having to start over in their late 40s – a time
when most people are able to be settled and comfortable with their family.

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The move to Ireland has not been plain sailing. They had trouble sorting out accommodation, dealing
with the different laws there around rentals and letting fees. Pressure to find a job meant effectively
taking the first thing on offer, even where for Tracey this has meant a job engaging in laborious work.
For Tracey, leaving the UK and her elderly parents was especially heart wrenching.
But it’s a means to an end for a couple who just want to be able to live together.
Though this entire process has been difficult and traumatic the couple persevered; they are grateful
that EU rules allow them to be together even where their own country has tried its best to keep them
apart.
It is ironic that now not only has the UK lost Tracey’s taxes, and those that Gary would have paid had
he been allowed to work, but also that when they return to the UK they will both qualify for benefits.
Although not so inclined, given their savings have been spent on the move to Ireland, they may well
need to until new jobs are found.
It's very hard for Tracey and Gary not to end up feeling completely cynical and embittered. One can't
help who one falls in love with, and it’s perfectly reasonable to want to spend your life with them. It’s
hard to believe that the UK makes that sometimes seem an impossible wish.

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Wayne & Daisy
"I didn't earn £18,600 but owned my 4 bedroom home outright. This
was completely disregarded by the Home Office. So I had to exercise
my free movement rights, else make a choice between by my wife
and baby in the Philippines or daughter in the UK."
Wayne is a British citizen.
He met his wife Daisy in the way many 21st century couples
do...online. At their first meeting though, Wayne knew Daisy
was ‘the one’. At the time, Daisy was working in Denmark as
an au pair. They soon became a couple but were refused even a
visit visa. Daisy moved to Norway after receiving a job offer,
when Wayne asked her to marry him. To his delight, she said
‘yes’!

As Daisy owns land in Philippines, they decided to
build a house there. She returned home for six months
to manage the wedding preparations (no mean
feat!). They got married and lived together in
Philippines for the next six months.
However, with news of a new arrival to come, Wayne
returned home to find work in Torbay. He wants his
baby to grow up where he did.

Although he couldn't meet the £18,600 income requirement, not a surprise in his part of the UK, Wayne
owns his four bedroom house outright – no mortgage! He doesn’t need a lot to live on - unlike someone
with a huge rent or mortgage. He contributes to the economy supplying valuable trade skills as a
handyman, window cleaner and builder. As Wayne proudly told us,“Daisy is a college graduate
midwife. She finished top of her class. She was also a sergeant major in her local reservists when she
was at school. That one made me giggle as she is so small bless.", nothing the UK is in desperate need
of midwives.
However Wayne's financial situation, his contribution to the community and Daisy's skills were all
disregarded by the Home Office.
Wayne thus exercised his free movement rights moving to
France where the couple on 3rd October 2013, welcomed their
daughter, Paris into the world. Wayne is confident that if
Daisy had not been able to give birth in Europe, she would
likely have died given the terror attack in Ozamis city,
Mindanao.

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Wayne’s experience of the French people is very positive and the couple is grateful for the help and
support of the local community, feeling accepted when hospital staff expressed a wish that the family
would permanently settle in the lovely town of Saint-Amand-Montrond.
However, with Wayne’s mum having been diagnosed
with cancer and his teenage daughter in the UK,
Wayne wanted to return home thus fulfilling his own
mum’s wish to be able to live long enough to welcome
Daisy and the baby into the family.
It’s not been plain sailing in the UK though.
Obtaining a NINO for Daisy proved to be a
nightmare and Home Office did not correctly apply
EEA regulations in Daisy’s Residence Card
application.
With Wayne’s MP intervening requesting Home Office correctly apply O&B vs Netherlands case law,
the couple hopes that Daisy will now finally be granted with a document to evidence her right to
remain.
Whilst they wait, Daisy proving to be quite an entrepreneur, has set up a cleaning business though she
is still hoping to work either in healthcare for OAPs or utilise her skills and continue to work as a
midwife. Paris is enjoying the love and attention received from the entire family, especially elder
sister.
The couple ensures that Paris, though British is in
touch with her Filipino roots too – she is being
raised in a bilingual environment, and the family
as well as immersing themselves in all things
British are involved in the local community in
Devon including attending the local Filipino PreNew Year party. Respect for all. These are the
British values – the human values - we should be
practicing.

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Wes & Erica
“We queue up films on DVD or Netflix to watch at the same time. It
makes us feel we are together even though we are thousands of miles
apart.”
Wes is a British citizen living in Glastonbury, where his family has lived and farmed for several
generations. West first met his wife, Erica, online through a friend’s band. Erica is from USA.
Despite his Masters degree and job as a Library
Assistant, Wes does not earn enough to sponsor his
wife. The library does not open for nearly enough hours
for Wes to earn £18,600 and even at the top of his paygrade, the full-time salary is £15,500 – well short of the
threshold. Wes is adamant that the government’s
careers guidance website indicating salaries for library
assistants as between £16,000 to £19,000 a year does
not reflect pay levels in his region.
Wes and Erica became close friends very quickly,
exchanging letters and emails and talking daily. They
first met face to face in 2002 when Erica came over to the UK to see the Manic Street Preachers on
tour. Erica loves British music.
The couple continued to stay in touch, but the seeming impossibility of a transatlantic relationship
meant it was 10 years before they ‘got together’.
In 2012, both opened up to the other about their feelings, for the first time. Erica subsequently visited
Wes again that year, and after a very romantic trip to France, and ten years after they first met, Wes
proposed to Erica underground in Wookey Hole Caves. Wes confesses it was a cheesy proposal –
literally, as cheese is made in these caves, and swears by the sacred atmosphere in the third chamber
of the caves, where he proposed.
The couple got engaged on 2nd July, exactly one week before the government’s new rules came into
effect. At that time, the couple thought that although there would be challenges to meet, surely the
UK would respect the right of a married couple, involving a British citizen, to live together. This
appears to be the general public opinion, even from ones wanting UK to be tough on migration.
The couple got married in a vineyard called Soaring Wings in Springfield, Nebraska, in May 2013. It
was a beautiful day attended by many of Erica’s friends and family. Wes and Erica, being writers,
wrote their own vows in poem form.
May 2014 saw their first anniversary, celebrated on Wes’s parent’s farm and a small informal
ceremony, so that the British friends and family could share in the celebrations. For most of them it
was the first time they had met Erica.
The couple is forced to spend most of their time apart, which is spent talking on Google Hangouts. In
order to maintain some togetherness, the couple even queue up films to watch on DVD or Netflix at
the same time. It makes them feel like they’re spending time together even though they’re thousands
of miles apart. Getting physical letters from each other is exciting, with hearts beating faster – like it
was when they first fell in love. But there is no one to cuddle, and talking and texting as much as
possible does not make for being able to hold hands.

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Wes is looking for another job that will meet the threshold but has not found one yet. Erica recently
completed her Bachelor’s degree with a good grade average and would look for work here – and pay
taxes - as soon as she was allowed to.
Supporting themselves is therefore not the problem. However, they also have a solid support network
who would be able to evidence third party support, but that of course is no longer allowed.
Wes has never claimed any form of benefits. He just wants to be able to live in the UK in the region
his family has lived in for hundreds of years.
The couple is confident they will satisfy this hurdle, but the time apart is forever lost. Wes sometimes
feel guilty for not being able to earn enough to sponsor his wife, even though he knows it’s the rules
which are failing them.
Wes, a prize-winning poet (he won Wells Festival of Literature’s first prize in 2013 for a poem titled
‘Catwoman’) has written a set of poems about their situation.
The Heart Secretary for the Home Secretary,
Theresa May http://bit.ly/heartsecretary
On the wall of the Heart Office there is an
embroidery
in patriotic colours, faded since 1905
to pink, cream and baby blue. It reads,
‘I SHOW ME HERE THE EARTH IS.’
It’s a famous phrase, but broken up;
letters apart that should be together,
together that should be apart.
A few metres in front of the work, at a simple
desk, sits the Heart Secretary.
She is sorting the beating organs that are her
concern, hands stained red with their juices.
Here are two that cling to one another as if
seeking to merge into one,

their valves and ventricles becoming
inextricable.
They are symbiotic. But the Secretary
coolly assesses their monetary worth;
finds one of them, in this case, lacking its mass just shy of the scales so sets to with her scalpel, slices through their
sinew,
severs them. The first is sent home.
Then she wraps the other heart, still beating,
in an application form,
places it with show of care
in a small wooden crate packed with sawdust,
nails it shut, and marks for shipping to a
single-occupant apartment
in a foreign city
four thousand miles hence over oceans.

Teresa
Santa Teresa is stuck through the heart,
in a moment eternally captured in art:
the angel is thrusting his hot golden spear,
right here, and right here, and again again
here.
Bernini has rendered the mystic nun’s marvel
in a chapel in Rome in dramatic white
marble
and has captured the rapture in each
downcast lid of
our saint, and the sting she’d “not wish to be
rid of” for Teresa revels in the exquisite pain
as her cherub inflicts it again and again
and she moans and she groans and she gasps
and she sings:
“It is love alone that gives worth to all
things”.

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May
We married on the 18th, in a vineyard in
Nebraska.
Matched cummings to Breton in our vows:
“i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart)” stood next to “My wife whose
wrists are matches
Whose fingers are raffles holding the ace of
hearts” In yellow sun and yellow dress
you looked like Disney’s Belle made flesh.
And you do. You carry and hold that card from
my deck, my darling.
But this game was written by a joker,
and the hearts are trumped
by diamonds
every trick.

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Wes & Rebecca
“We are not skivers and shirkers. The rules are excessively harsh at
the detriment of family life with Brits abroad forced into exile from
their own homes.”
Wes is a British citizen. At the age of 42, in the year 2005, he migrated to USA to marry Rebecca. The
primary reason for his moving, rather than Rebecca coming to UK, was for Rebecca’s son.
Through the years, with Rebecca’s son becoming more independent, the couple has spoken of moving
to UK. Wes suffers from ill health in extreme temperatures, however the couple opted not to rush back
across the Atlantic, as they always felt they could "go home" when they were ready.
The Home Office would of course recognise their marriage as legitimate given they had been married
for over four years; as Wes & Rebecca have enough income and savings to not require assistance from
the state financially they expected there would also not be any issues. Indeed, any doubts would be
covered with Rebecca’s American passport being stamped with “no recourse to public funds”. The
couple understood this. They understood that even before July 2012, governments have rules and didn’t
expect to just waltz in.
However, post July 2012 they find that they cannot move to the UK together, as a married couple unless they prove they have £62,500 in savings. Instead, they must endure a lengthy separation while
Wes returns here, finds a job earning over £18600 - and works that job for at least six months before
they can even file an application for Rebecca to be reunited with her husband.
Wes is a simple man. Rebecca is the breadwinner in the family. She has worked since she was 16 and
is the assistant to the Director of a large division (400 employees) of a mental health provider. Her
income in the US and the fact they have never been on benefits in their married life - does not count
towards the sponsorship requirements. Her future earning potential in the UK does not count.
Wes is what is known as a "carer". He attends to developmentally delayed individuals in a group day
setting. His work is valuable and necessary to society. He is good at his job - the individuals love him
and he loves them. But it doesn't pay the equivalent of £18,600. It wouldn’t pay £18,600 in UK.
Wes and Rebecca would be returning to a life in Northern Ireland - the odds of Wes getting a job in his
field paying over £18,600 are slim to none. But he could and would get a job as a carer - there are plenty
of those jobs out there, even in the UK's current economic climate. But those jobs, while would pay a
liveable wage in Northern Ireland, are insufficient under the new rules. The new rules don't just "punish"
those who are in lower wage professions - they punish people who live outside the south of England areas with lower wages.
This is not a couple that are "skivers and shirkers".
Wes suffers from polycystic kidney disease. Rebecca can’t let him come to UK alone to look for
work. He’s on a special diet which would be difficult to maintain as a "bachelor". His blood pressure
requires constant monitoring. While Wes cares for others, Rebecca is Wes’s carer, his wife & partner.
Rebecca has been active on immigration message boards across the internet for eight years now; she
advises on three boards and has written two articles for the Transpondia website. She understands that
there are always rules, and they followed those rules to bring Wes to the US. But the current rules in
the UK restrict migration at the expense of families, in an excessively harsh manner – much harsher
than the ones in the US, which Rebecca notes the Home Office misrepresented in its consultation report
to the public and to Parliament when referring to rules in the US).
Indeed, in her line of work, she has come across many British citizens who feel "exiled" from their own
home.

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Useful links
Our website: www.BritCits.com
Helpful documents: www.scribd.com/BritCits
Campaigns:
Adult Dependant Relatives working to challenge the Adult Dependant Relative rules in force since 9 July 2012.
Fundraising at www.justgiving.com/BritCits1 Contact us for more information.
Divided Families Campaign working in conjunction with JCWI and Migrants Rights Network.
Movement Against Xeonophobia aimed at countering vicious anti-immigrant discourse of mainstream politics.
Involves a coalition of organisations and prominent individuals to mobilise and inform people on issues around
immigration, particularly around the Immigration Bill, European Elections and the General Election in 2015.

BritCits also expresses its gratitude to:
APPG on migration: http://www.appgmigration.org.uk/family-inquiry
Migrants Rights Scotland - http://migrantsrightsscotland.org.uk/

Meetups:
Regular meetings organised by us, members and other groups. These are also scheduled online and members are
urged to register at the following website for details of future events: www.meetup.com/BritCits

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v20.01

Index
A
Afghanistan .......................................................... 59
Albania ....................................................... 131, 213
Argentina.................................................... 193, 205
Australia ..................................... 168, 196, 237, 245
B
Bolivia ................................................................. 169
Brazil................................................... 152, 173, 195
C
Canada ......................................... 93, 177, 179, 232
Chile ....................................................... 63, 84, 241
China .............................. 14, 60, 102, 116, 122, 135
Colombia .............................................. 72, 155, 158
Cuba ................................................................... 170
E
Egypt ..... 80, 137, 144, 156, 187, 206, 219, 229, 238
F
Fiji ....................................................................... 175
G
Gabon ................................................................. 133
Guyana ................................................................. 19
H
Hong Kong .................................................... 81, 178
I
India ... 11, 15, 16, 20, 26, 27, 28, 31, 36, 37, 40, 43,
44, 47, 49, 51, 52, 101, 105, 194, 199
Indonesia ...................................... 64, 103, 188, 234
Iran ..................................................................... 159
J
Jamaica ............................................................... 236
Japan .................................... 58, 104, 145, 147, 244

Kenya .............................................. 29, 70, 112, 211
M
Malaysia ............................................... 95, 192, 220
Mauritius ............................................................ 231
Mexico ................................................................ 172
Morocco ................... 69, 74, 86, 138, 210, 222, 227
N
New Zealand ...................................................... 163
Nigeria .......................................................... 68, 217
P
Pakistan ...............12, 32, 42, 57, 166, 171, 216, 223
Peru ...................................................................... 21
Philippines .................... 87, 100, 121, 176, 181, 225
R
Russia ..............18, 23, 34, 35, 53, 67, 153, 157, 184
S
Singapore ........................................................... 221
South Africa ...22, 106, 114, 165, 167, 197, 201, 202
Sri Lanka ............................................................... 46
Syria ............................................................ 110, 142
T
Thailand ...................... 77, 79, 96, 98, 125, 174, 224
Trinidad & Tobago .............................................. 108
Tunisia ........................ 141, 161, 162, 191, 204, 239
Turkey .................................... 91, 94, 129, 130, 182
U
Ukraine ......................................... 10, 150, 186, 218
USA ... 55, 62, 65, 71, 76, 82, 89, 115, 117, 123, 127,
139, 149, 190, 198, 199, 203, 208, 212, 215,
226, 228, 233, 235, 240, 242, 243, 246, 247, 253
Y
Yemen .................................................................. 83

K
Kazakhstan ............................................................. 9

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