My name is Emily and I am 22 years old. I graduated last year with top marks, I found a full-time job fairly soon and all the while have been supported by my wonderful boyfriend of 2 years.
My life now feels like I’m stuck in a nightmare. This is our story.
As I am half British, half Italian, I grew up in Italy, visiting the UK regularly as I have family here. In the summer of 2010 I got a job at my local Burger King here. It was there that I met and fell in love with Pukar, a Nepalese student from Kathmandu.
We got on right away, and when I moved back to Italy to continue my studies (I was currently completing my bachelor’s degree in Milan) we continued our relationship through social media like Facebook. I returned regularly to the UK to visit him, and he came to spend Christmas with me and my family in Italy in 2011.
It never bothered me that he was from Nepal and in an admittedly weaker position than myself, due to his visa status and ineligibility to have a full-time, higher-paid position. I loved him and he loved me, and we both stayed strong during those times when we were separated. We told ourselves that soon we would be together, and finally in September I moved to the UK to be with him. These months have been bliss, to be finally close and in the same country and to be able to have a “normal” relationship.
We made plans, we dreamt of our future, travelling, going out, living together, marrying, having children.
Two days ago, our application to extend his visa as unmarried partners was refused on the grounds of us not having lived together for at least 2 years. We knew this and we intend to move in together soon; we explained this to the UKBA but there seems to be no compassion or human understanding in their decision-making.
If he has to now leave the country because of his student’s visa expiring, what will happen to us? What will I do in this country without him, my reason for being here? How will we ever be together?
I am at my wit’s end. I am 22 and he is 24. This should be the time of our lives, not a horror movie. Our only crime is having fallen in love when he is not a British or EU national.
This is my mother’s country, but I had never realised how cruel a country it could be. What country is this, where two people in a genuine and loving relationship cannot be together because of the nationality of one of the couple? What place is this where people’s lives are ruined and destroyed over their choice of partner? I have read so many stories similar to our own, all equally sad and terrifying.
Why is this allowed here? What about the right to love whoever you wish to love?
My name is Lisa.
I met my husband to be, an American citizen, in 2008. In June 2010 we married in the States.
We are now approaching our 3rd wedding anniversary, (and we haven’t been together for any of them so far) and my husband and l are still living in separate countries, he’s in the US and I’m in the UK, even though we have been together for nearly 5 years.
I have read the testimonials of so many other people in my situation and frankly it makes me sick! I cannot believe that the government has the right to keep families apart simply because they don’t meet their criteria!!! Who made them Gods? Who gave them the power to decide who has the right to live as a family and who should live apart??
My husband lives in Palm Springs in the US with a good job, l don’t earn £18,600+ a year, but l own my own property with a mortgage, am able to pay all my bills, but according to the UK Border Agency rules, this isn’t acceptable!! Time has shown that this is a genuine relationship; we are both Christians and believe that marriage is sacred and that the marriage vowels are sacred. But this situation is putting a strain on our marriage, as if life isn’t stressful enough.
I have spoken to an immigration lawyer and he himself is sickened by the laws in this country.
What American would choose to swap Palm Springs for the UK without a legitimate reason?? I have 3 children from a previous marriage, they have a strong bond with my husband and miss him like crazy, every time he goes back to the States after spending time with us, they get really upset. My husband is also 8 years younger than me, and yet he is willing to give up his country and family to be with me and the children, all incredible values that you don’t find today, but in the eyes of immigration in the UK, this isn’t good enough, they’re only interested in a family’s finances, it’s so wrong, especially as they’ve opened the floodgates to people who don’t have money. I really hope with all my heart that they re-think these rules and treat everyone as an individual with feelings, rather than a statistic that has to fit in and comply with their rules or live unhappily apart from the ones they love because they don’t meet their requirements. I think it’s absolutely appalling and l truly sympathise with everyone who is living away from their spouse simply because they met and fell in love with someone who didn’t come from the EU.
Like a lot of people my husband and I have been affected by the new financial rules for spouse visas. I met my husband in Australia (I was working, he was studying) in 2008 – I am British he is Brazilian. In 2009 we got married and moved to the UK – I wanted to be closer to my family. He was granted his indefinite leave to remain visa and from 2009 until 2011 we lived in the UK. My husband had been apart from his family for over 4 years and was missing them terribly so we decided to move to Brazil and therefore did not proceed with the second part of his residency visa because (a) we were not intending to return and (b) we thought if we did we’d be able to apply for the same visa as they had granted it once and we were now even further into our committed relationship so we never dreamed it would be refused.
Unfortunately, our time in Brazil was not as we had hoped. It was impossible for me to get work. I teach English as a foreign language but the schools I applied to work for wanted American English only (slightly confusing but if I only speak British English what can I do!). My husband was also struggling with living back in Brazil. After 8 months we made the decision to return to the UK. I was very lucky and managed to find work immediately. My husband was in the middle of helping his father modernize his shop so we agreed I would go to the UK so I could start work and he would follow. With the Olympics in June/July 2012 we knew flights would be expensive so we were looking to apply for his visa after the Olympics for him to join me September.
I returned to the UK middle of May 2012.
When it came to apply for my husband’s visa I was shocked at the new rule. To be honest we didn’t know what to do. I did not meet the financial requirements of earning £18,600 the previous 12 months because for 8 months of that I was living in Brazil and not working. We decided we would apply anyway and explain our exceptional circumstances and provide financial evidence dating back even further to show the money I DO earn when I am working. Also, in the meantime I was offered a permanent job with a salary of £35,000 which I started in November 2012. My contract for this job was enclosed. I would have thought current earnings would mean more than past earnings.
The application was refused as we did not meet the requirements. So now we have to choices (1) wait until November when I can then show payslips and bank statement showing the money I am earning or (2) appeal. Both options mean we are to be apart for a significant period of time. I have not seen my husband for 9 months and luckily I have magnificent parents who are letting me live with them. However, neither of us was expecting it to be as long as this. My job is working from home so I am waiting for my husband to return to the UK so we can visit some towns before deciding where we will set up home. My husband even has inheritance which we can use as a deposit for our first home! We want to bring money into this country and yet we are being told no!
I find it ridiculous – as I know you all do – that I am a British citizen asking for my husband to join me in the UK. I am working, with a decent salary and pay my taxes. He is not entitled to benefits anyway and during the two years he lived here before he was always working and also paying taxes and National Insurance. EU nationals can enter our country with their families no questions asked. I appreciate the government need to be strict with immigration laws but they are targeting the wrong people. As a British citizen my family – my husband – should have more writes than EU citizens. We were going to start a family this year as I will be 35 in November and am worried about my eggs, but this will now have to go on hold. They are playing with our lives and it is an overtly stressful situation for people affected.
Surely if we (Britain) are pro-family then the visa should be decided on the legitimacy of the relationship and not how much money they have/have not earned. And if they financial requirements are not met surely reasons why they have not been met need to be taken into consideration rather than a refusal given. Looking at individual cases and their reasons would create a much fairer system.
I am just so lucky to have such a connection with my husband, despite our distance. I won’t lie, it is incredibly hard and many tears have been shed at my loneliness but I know we will get through this and it will make us stronger. My heart goes out to everybody affected and we must all believe that justice will prevail!!
Good luck x
I met my husband four and a half years ago, after a 2 year long distance relationship we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together and were fed up seeing so little of each other. We got married in October 2010 and I moved out to Turkey to live with him March 2011, his work was only seasonal and we would have struggled during the winter months. As such we decided to move back to the Uk, which would allow us both to work and to live closer to my family who I’d missed alot, to prevent us eating into to our savings I moved back in with my parents in the UK November 2011 while we sorted out all the paperwork and my husband took English lessons to enable him to pass the English requirement test. The first few months were hard but bearable, we thought it would only be for a year, two at most before we would be able to continue our lives together in the UK, it was this belief that allowed us to come with the separation by making plans for the future. Unfortunately the new regulations were brought in before we were able to submit our application, I work full time but make significantly less than the £18600 and have no where near the amount of savings required to meet the requirements. Suddenly all our future plans seem impossible and we had no idea what our options were. The support we can offer each other while we are coping with this is limited because we are living in different continents! I was made to feel like I was being forced out of my own country and you’re only entitled to your human rights if you earn enough. At the same time the government claims to be family friendly, pro marriage, pro human rights yet they are forcing families apart, why isn’t the media highlighting these double standards? After over a year living apart we have had enough and I am now preparing to move back to Turkey to live with my husband, where our marriage is valued and I can get a residency permit. I have been shocked at how little media attention and support this issue has been given, I only wish I had discovered this site earlier as it is very easy to feel you are fighting this alone and not being heard, it is uplifting to see some positive steps are being made and I hope the regulations are changed to be more fair and value everyone’s human rights!
My US citizen wife and I married in October 2009 and after applying for a spouse visa, she entered the UK in December of 2009. She lived and worked here until March 2012. Her spouse visa was up for renewal and she was needed to go back to the US to help care for her mother who had kidney failure. We chose not to apply for the Indefinite Leave to Remain as we assumed we’d have no concerns with obtaining another spouse visa when she was ready to return. As her mother’s condition improved, we sought immigration legal advice in order to extend her expired spouse visa or apply for a new one. Little did we know the new changes would force us to endure such sadness and hardship in order to live together as a family. As we don’t qualify for the spouse visa at this time due to the financial requirements, my wife is attempting the work visa route. My wife has had several job offers but unfortunately all are from independent opticians or high street opticians that are not on the work visa scheme with the government.
I am a British Citizen and live in the UK with my 16 month old son, my husband has missed out on over half of our son’s life. We are married and have been together for over 5 years. After a visit visa to the UK we applied for a settlement spouse visa; this whole process took 6 months and I even appealed in court. I was told my rights to a family life were not being interfered with as I could take my son and go live with him abroad.
Is that the answer for all British Citizens with foreign partners? It must look good for statistics and bring down the number of foreigners entering the UK if we (the partners) all just left! I am not giving up a fight. This is our life, but just an application in a pile at an office. I will continue to support migrants rights as my family is affected. One rule for the rich and another for the rest of us.
The figure: £18,600 …. Is that the price to put on a family life?
My partner and I would like to get married and settle in the UK, but because of the family migration rules we are not eligible for a fiancee visa. My partner has accepted a new job doing supply teaching to give him the freedom to work on a new business that he’s set up (I also invested in this company and I am a shareholder). The problem is that we were told by a lawyer that he needs to be employed for 6 months before we can even apply and it wouldn’t matter if he took an income out of our business because that wouldn’t count either. This leaves us in a difficult position. Also, we were told that my savings, income, and property (which totals up to about $225,000) does not count at all. I’m frustrated because, while 6-8 months may not seem like a long time, I have to plan my life around the government. I am not able to have children and so we need to adopt and will likely have to be married for two years before we can even apply to do that. I was also told that financial help from parents is discounted. This whole thing is just crazy. I’ve read time after time about known terrorists that can not be deported from the UK based on their human rights and yet I can’t marry my partner because I wasn’t born in the UK (I am a United States citizen). Isn’t not being able to marry who you want a violation of human rights?