Leila’s storyPosted: 08/07/2012
My name is Leila (I am a non-EU spouse) and my husband is John, he is British.
I arrived in the United Kingdom in 2007 on a student visa to pursue postgraduate studies. After my studies I worked at one of the universities (the home office always mentions about access to public funds, here I would like to emphasize I diligently paid all the required taxes for the whole period of my employment) where I met my future husband, John. We had been in a relationship for two years and got married in summer last year and shortly after this I had to leave to my home country following the immigration rules to apply for a spouse visa.
I applied for a spouse visa as soon as I arrived in order to join my husband in the UK and was refused after 4 months waiting. The application was refused on the basis of the requirements of adequate accommodation and maintenance even though we showed our bank savings (which were ignored) sufficient to maintain ourselves and we provided information from our third-party sponsor who was willing to support us if necessary. We appealed the decision and only in the end of March this year we learnt the date of the court hearing which was scheduled for this summer.
All this time after the visa refusal we went through technically and financially burdensome visa procedures and travel arrangements to unite in other countries due to impossibility to get settled in the UK. It was impossible for us to live back in my country because we could not obtain an entrance visa for my husband (due to specific political situation). Plus in this situation it is difficult to plan and get a stable job, to arrange a rent, to get a suitable ticket booking due to constant uncertainty! So you can imagine how much money we had to spend to re-book our tickets (due to late visa issuance or “million” other factors which we could learn only during the process), to pay extra money for rent/hotels (often while searching a short-term rent), to pay all the calls to home office/tribunal from abroad and of course to call each other (apart from £826 paid for the spouse visa)!
In the beginning of this year I got pregnant and in summer this year we decided to come to Europe because here we can be together (I had to obtain a visa) and in hope we can still obtain my UK spouse visa and fly directly to the UK (which is easier than from my home country) and this would also help us to avoid complications with formalization of the immigration status of the baby. But until today we can not resolve this visa situation – no answer from the court (time exceeds 10 day notification period), no specific answer from the home office as to how long to wait at this stage.
While in Europe we had to go through immense stress. To get an access to state healthcare I have to obtain a residence permission which can take up to 3 months! To apply for a dependent form for access to the healthcare system in Europe from UK it may take 8 weeks to process the application plus I am not sure whether I am eligible in view of my visa situation. Private clinics are extremely expensive plus the money I had to pay in one of the private clinics I still can not get reimbursed by the insurance company I purchased my medical insurance policy from before my travel. So private clinics are not a solution for me. Plus language restrictions – my husband speaks the language of this country but not at an advance level and most of the officials of the government bodies (we met) do not speak English.
So as a result we are completely exhausted, stressed and overwhelmed with the challenges we have to face almost every day. We simply would like to exercise our basic right to family life as we do not want to be separated and moreover we expect our first child and it would be in the best interests of the child to be born and grow in a full family and get care from both parents.
Why the home office does not take into account a human factor apart from the ££ value of your application? We are extremely unhappy with this inhumane approach to the family and marriage immigration law especially in view of the proposed changes as the changes could mean further struggles or even impossibility to exercise a family life there (especially it is frustrating to learn about the new changes after the year of endless challenges!)
Names have been changed to protect anonymity