A Sponsor’s StoryPosted: 21/01/2012
I found your blog through the Migrants’ Rights Network and wish to share my story. It may not be one that you agree with however. I have frequented, shared and advised on the spousal visa route on immigrationboards.com. I believe that the UK is pushing people into a strange spot; they seem happy to have foreigners here in the UK for economic gain, but dissuade them from falling in love with British citizens. The hoops that people have to jump through are maddening.
My story is not straight forward, and you may not morally agree, but here goes.
We first met in 2008 and I was well aware that he was an over-stayer before we got together in 2009. Little did I know that this man would become my husband. His youth and ignorance led him to this situation; my husband is from a non EU country, with no opportunities in the country and limited freedom to go elsewhere. Since he had arrived in the UK, he had always worked. Though this was unlawful, I feel too that his employers are also partly to blame for this, for not fully checking whether he had the right to work in the UK.
Our relationship strengthened quickly, since we had known each other before, and we are both quite honest and direct people. Did I have my doubts about this man and his intentions? Of course I did, and so did my father, but I went with my instincts. I was also planning to move to Asia for some new experiences and a break from the UK and he said he would come with me. After our relationship became more concrete, we got married in Jan 2010 in is home city, because it would be easier and cheaper and I wanted to meet his family before we married.
So it was done, I moved to Asia, and he followed on 3 months later as I wanted to settle before he came over. We lived in there for a year but encountered intense pressure 6 months later when I started to research how to regularize my husband to get us back to the UK. I certainly did not agree with the decisions he had made and wanted to correct them. I read many forums and cases available online to guide us on what could be done. We thought we could apply from Asia and come back together but in the end we decided that it would be best if I came back and settled to gather all paperwork and he could apply in his home country.
So in April 2011 we were separated. As the English language requirement ruling had just come into force, it meant that he had to travel to Ukraine to book then next available language test a month later. We then had to wait 6 weeks for the certificate, so a total of 10 weeks just to sort out the language test. We thought this was appalling when financial evidence was a lot quicker to process. I had read up on every detail in order to make the entry clearance application. Our file was over 40 pages to justify all 4 sections. My husband admitted to overstaying and working during this time, a risk we had to take – otherwise it could have resulted in a 10 year ban. The visa took only 12 days to process!
I was unemployed at the time but I had significant savings. He came back to the UK in Aug 2011 and again has been working ever since; it’s me who can’t find work at the moment! We now fear a ruling that would extend the entry clearance visa from 2 to 5 years. Life in the UK is expensive, so if a job opportunity came up for me abroad I wouldn’t be able to be separate from my husband and take it since I am his sponsor. It throws uncertainty on our family life and extra demands that could be placed upon us to prove that we are productive enough to stay in the UK. We don’t want to live in the UK indefinitely, but if he is to get British citizenship in order to live elsewhere, then we must. Since his arrival he is facing the financial difficulties of any 18 year old; for example trying to build up his credit rating and his driving history as his years in outside the EU and in Asia do not count.
It will take us longer to build a life here but he is now looking forward to starting up a business. We do feel more optimistic about the future, the recession is pushing us to become more resourceful and self-reliant. He has firm friends here and we feel that UK is a place we can make a life for now.