Amanda’s story

My case is a little more complex than most. As this is my second non E.U marriage.

What I would like to make clear from the start is that I am not marrying from outside the E.U just to bring these men here.

Abuse
I married my first non E.U husband at the beginning of 2010.

At the time I was in deep beaverment over the death of my brother.

I was not really aware of the pit falls that can happen when meeting someone and marrying them from outside the E.U.

Anyway it so happened that this man was violent and abusive and 2 days after his visa application was denied he phoned me and told me that he wanted a divorce.

I subsequently reported him to the embassy as it was obvious that it was all a sham to get into the uk.

Contact with friends
So after this I swore that I would never get involved with anyone from outside of the uk.

But I still maintained contact with friends I had met via the internet; one being my present husband.

Imed had watched all that had happened with my previous husband and was, as were many others, a very good friend.

After talking to him for over year I went to Tunisia to meet him, in Summer 2011.

I went with no expectations at all but found that he was exactly as he had been in all our conversations.

We had a fantastic week together and I decided to return a few weeks later. This time I went to his family home and met his family.

Engagement
We got engaged in October 2011 and set a date to get married in June 2012.

But in the mean time I would invite him to the U.K on a visit visa.

This we had to abandon as my mum was terminally ill. I became her full time carer and felt that it would be unfair to Imed, as I did not know how long my mum would live and would not have been able to spend much time with him.

My mum died 6 weeks after we abandoned the visit visa.

So I went to Tunisia for a month to grieve.

I have been back and forth to Tunisia on many occasions to visit my husband.

We planned our wedding. my family and my best friend joining us for it.

One day too late
The plan was that as soon as I came back from Tunisia on July 8 that we would start the settlement visa.. I was 1 day too late..

The job I had did not pay anywhere near the amount that the government has set down. So I applied for hundreds of new jobs until I got an interview with my present company…still this job does not pay the amount that the government requires; I am still £2400 short.

Since these new laws have come in to affect it has but a massive strain on our marriage as we see no end to this exile.

Loss
In the last 3 years I have lost so much…

My baby niece was still born, my younger brother died of cancer followed by my aunty, my mum,my grandmother, and my cousin.

Now after all that I this I am being punished for marrying someone whose religion and race do not fit in. As much as the government says that this is due to the interest of the economy…it has nothing what so ever to do with that.

Because for many years the ukba has stipulated that anyone marrying from outside the E.U will have no access to public funds.

My husband is not asking to be kept by this country. He has always worked; and I might add hours that would not be tolerated in this country for a wage that many would not even get out of bed for. All we want is to have the right to live in the same home in the same country…that is our only crime.

A Cruel Choice
People say to me why do I not go to Tunisia to live?

Firstly I have a home here.

Secondly I have 2 grown up children who live with me but are finically independent.

Thirdly I have 2 grandchildren.

And lastly I have a decent job now.

So why should I be forced to choose between my family my home and my husband?

No one who is married to a European is asked this question.

If I were to marry someone inside the E.U I would not have to pay an exorbitant fee to ask that he be granted the right to live with me also he would have access to every benefit my government allows.

Why is it that there is one rule for  Europeans and another for a British citizens?


Kelly’s story

Hi, my name is Kelly Walker, im a 27 year old British women and am married to a man called Mohamed (26) from Egypt. We met in December 2009 while I was on holiday in Egypt. After meeting Mohamed I spent almost a year traveling to Egypt for 2-3 weeks at a time to see him, and to meet his family. We got married in October 2010 and have just celebrated our 2 year anniversary, but sadly we was unable to be together this year to celebrate. After we got married I returned to England to tie things up at home to be able to move to Egypt to be with my husband. As I was self employed this took a little time and was unable to move to Egypt until October 2011. We lived together at his families home in the village that he grew up in, although I had visited on a number of occasions I don’t think I was really prepared for what life would be like to live there. It was a huge culture shock but tried my best to make it a home, but that wasn’t as easy as I would have liked. In a village where everybody knows each other and being the only white non muslim there I felt very isolated pretty much the whole time. My husband would try to make me feel at home as did his family but in a place you don’t feel comfortable even to step out the front door on your own which I cant do it is very hard. Even when I venture out with my husband I feel very conscious as I know that I will constantly be stared at and feel very uncomfortable.
Soon after moving to Egypt I fell pregnant, although I was extremely happy to be pregnant and was so excited about becoming a mum for the first time I couldn’t enjoy the pregnancy like I would have hoped. For the first 3 month I had a doctor that I was unable to communicate with although I did eventually find a doctor that spoke English and that made it a little easier. I had made the decision to go back to England to have the baby and my husband and I applied for a visit visa so my hubby could be there with me, but unfortunately the visa was refused. At that point I had doubts about going home as I didn’t want to deprive my husband of being there for the birth of our first child. But in my seventh month of pregnancy I developed a DVT that took almost 4 weeks to be diagnosed correctly and was hospitalized in Egypt for a week, so at that point my husband and I decided that I had no choice other than to go home to the UK to make sure I received the proper treatment in case there could be any complications.
Our son is now 3 and half months old and is still yet to meet his father, it is a very hard situation to be in knowing that not only my husband is missing out on our sons life but my son is also missing out on getting to know his father.
I would like to return to be with my husband but am having to finish treatment, and am very cautious about raising my son in a place that I know he wont be able to have a normal childhood. As it stands at the moment I am facing the prospect of being a single mother having to raise my son away of his father. With the current immigration rules I will find it virtually impossible to ever be in a situation where I could earn the £18,600 i would need to be able to sponsor my husband for a visa. It really saddens me that my family is being torn apart because our government is putting a price on being a family just because I fell in love with someone from outside the EU, and am know being forced to either live without my husband and only visit a couple times a year or move back to Egypt where I my son wont have the life he deserves.
I am now at a point that I don’t know where to go from here. I spend all day thinking of a way that we can be the happy family that I have always wanted us to be but am running out of options. All I have left is hope that one day these rules will be relaxed so that I and so many others will have a chance at the family life we so desperately want.