Update: Lionel’s story and the Leaked Letter

You may remember Lionel’s Story from a couple of months ago, who’s wife from Russia was unable to enter the UK due to marginally failing to meet the pre – entry language requirement.

In response to the leaked proposals on family immigration, attempting to implement a £25700 minimum income threshold, Lionel has written a response which he’s permitted me to repost here.

And so after jumping through hoops to satisfy already implemented rules the rug is finally pulled from under my feet. I currently earn £19000 pa. Prior to redundancy, caused primarily by failed govt policy and a bias towards the haves of director level, my salary was £25000. I took work at over 50% less than my previous salary to avoid claiming benefits. I then continued my search for better paid work so lifting my salary closer to my original salary.

Had my wife and I made an application immediately after our marriage instead of waiting until I found a new job, at the time we thought this the right thing to do, my savings of over £19000 would maybe have been sufficient for a visa to be approved. Please note this was pre english requirement.

But we tried to do the right thing in all areas. I reduced my outgoings, sold my house and bought one with a lower mortgage repayment. Took into account the need to avoid overcrowding, stayed in a job that I truly dislike, paid for numerous English lessons and tests only for the questions to be absolutely ridiculous. Cambridge see an overall score of 4 in IELTS as level B1. UKBA see things differently and will not accept the overall band score as sufficient. My wife failed speaking by 1 point which in my mind equates to level A2 but not in UKBA’s mind.

Now the bar is to be moved so high that we cannot hope too meet the requirement.

I appreciate all the support gathered from reading other peoples encounters with the UKBA and its pathetic ministerial head but now comes the time to cut our losses.

I am not old but on the same score not young at 52. The new house is up for sale and I will relocate to a European country that embraces the idea of family life. A country where my Russian wife and I can live out the remainder of our lives.

Good luck to everyone else and roll on the day when these ludicrous rules and barriers prove to be the downfall of May, Green, Cameron and Clegg.


Lionel Barnes

(This was originally in response to the Migrants Rights Network article Leaked family reunion proposals: Tough if you’re an ethnic minority, a woman, suffer from a disability, or don’t live in London…..)


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