Martyn’s story

My name is Martyn a British Citizen working as a teacher in Cambodia. My wife is Thai and we have two sons who are also British citizens one boy is 5 and the other 1 year who is still breast fed. As we had bad news that my mother is not going to live long we decided to take the boys to the UK so my wife tried the English test, but failed. The next step we applied for a family visit visa for 6 months thinking that would give us time for my wife to learn English and then take the test again. My sister has enough income to support us. My wife has been refused on the grounds that she does not intend to return.

I am devastated of the outcome. How do I take a breast fed son who is British without his mother? Six months in the UK he will be settled but it is impossible to travel 20 hours on a plane without his mother although I will try. I don’t know what to do now. My work over here is without a contract and the immigration wants me to show I will return to Cambodia with my two children. Is this against all human right laws? I am British born and my mother and father are the oldest married couple in the UK – with three letters from HM Queen.

Four people were shot at the end of our street in Cambodia this week it is not safe here. I am 62 and can no longer work as a teacher so we have to part our family with great stress and upset.


Sheehan’s story

I am a 22 year old British citizen who is pregnant with my first child. A year ago I went to Cambodia temporarily where I met the father of my child, fell madly in love and ended up deciding to stay and live there to be with him. We are now expecting the birth of our first child and although we are both extremely happy about becoming parents the new immigration laws have gave me so much stress during the pregnancy (so much I have even had to consider if I can keep the baby or not.) Cambodia is a country where you can only make a tiny amount of money to live and the living standards are nothing compared to what I have grown up with in the UK. I now feel however unless the immigration laws are changed I have no chance of ever living in the UK again unless I am willing to break up my family and leave my partner to stay in Cambodia. I am increasingly worried about my lack of options and have come to realise if we cannot provide for our child sufficiently on a Cambodian wage (which is around £40 a month) I will have to consider leaving my family to come to the UK alone to earn money or rely on my British family for help. If it were possible for us to live in the UK neither my partner or I would rely on government hand-outs but as I have no degree or career it would be impossible to meet the £22,000 a year requirement to sponsor both my partner and child.  I am so happy to be starting my family but feel as though It is causing my exile from the UK.