Mary’s story

In year 2013 I was pregnant for first time (I am a 34 year old British-Iranian ). I like many other first time mothers wanted to have my family with me at the time of birth or shortly after I invited my mom from Iran to come and be with me. As there is no UK embassy in Iran my mom had to travel to turkey to apply for visa. I booked her hotel and paid for her visa application which was about £340 as well as flights. She went there, stayed for three weeks and shockingly she was refused.

She has been to the UK 11 times has always been given two year family visas has always only stayed one or two months and has always returned to Iran. She has a house and a flat that rents and she showed £7000 in her savings account and a regular income. My dad is 74 and he was not even travelling. They said my mom is not trustworthy and might stay in the UK and access public funds. My mom has always brought money to the UK. In fact in 2006 my mom sold one her properties in Iran and brought £165000 to UK. In the 1990s she brought £70000 to the UK. Later in 2009 she sent £40000 and it has never been an issue.

When I heard my mom was refused the visa I gave birth not having any of my family with me. I became depressed after giving birth. My child is the first and only grandchild. My mom has not seen her and neither have any of my family. The story comes more dramatic when my marriage in Iran was not approved and my child counted as illegitimate according to Islamic law. I can not take my child to Iran unless my husband goes to the Iranian Islamic centre in London and convert to Islam: a religion that nor me not my husband believe in or practice. All this in order to be allowed to apply for a visa to take my child to Iran. I feel trapped in a prison  and back in Iran I felt the same I don’t know where on this planet I can go to live a simple life and feel free.