Halima and Eric’s story

I am the non-EU wife of a British resident. My name is Halima and I am Kenyan living in Nairobi. My family is separated by the UK Immigration rules on spouse visas.

My husband Eric has lived in the UK for 25 years. He got ILR in 1989 . Basically he’s like any Londoner. When I met Eric, he was on a holiday in Kenya and we hit it off immediately. Six weeks later he made another trip to come and see me and we have been inseparable since then.

We have been a couple for 5 years though technically we have been married for two. To us we have beeJPEG Image (6068687)n married for five. We have two amazing kids together, 3 year old daughter and one year old son. Our son has never met his father. Both of our kids were both born in Nairobi.

In the five years we have been together Eric has made numerous visits some as close to each other as two or three months. Until eventually in 2011, he quit his job, left the UK and came to stay with us here.

He was with us for a year and during that year he tried to get a job, even tried his hand in business just to be closer to his family. Though he couldn’t find a job of his worth, he did not want to go back.

But as fate would have it, I got pregnant with our second baby, we started talking about the job and opportunities he left back in the UK. You see, Eric is a high end Chef, and has even once served food to former PM Tony Blair.

Anyway, the point is, he had a great career that he gave up for his family. So with the second baby coming, it made much more sense (financial-security-wise) to go back and pick up where he left. The plan was to have him settle, get a job and have us join him there. I was four months pregnant with our boy.

Two months later (February 2012) he started a job as a Head-Chef in one of London’s schools. We had to wait for him to work at least a year before we could apply; since there was no previous employment record for the year he was here. Our baby was born on 28 April 2012. He couldn’t make. He was new in the job.

On 02 April 2013, we applied for spouse visa. We were denied less than 48 hours after we submitted our application because we were £800 short. Since we were applying with two kids we were supposed to meet a minimum income threshold of £24,800. When we applied, on top of his basic wage of £23,124, he had earned up to £24,000 for the tax year 2012 in overtime and bonuses.

On top of the things telling us we can’t be together; e.g. my family has never approved of him because my family is Muslim, we are being told we can’t really be together because of £800.

My husband is on the verge of depression and if anything happens to him right now I can’t even get over there for a visit since I have already shown interest in settling there.

I have made a you-tube video sharing our story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KrMqtuvcck