Lucie’s story

I am a British woman, and have been living in Thailand for about 17
years. 14 years ago, I met my husband, Atsadang, who is Thai. A few
years later we married, and we have 2 children, a son aged 9 and a
daughter aged almost 6.

I have worked for the last 10 years as a primary school ESL teacher.
But, due to new rules saying that all foreign teachers must have a
degree in order to get a work permit, as of next year I won’t any
longer be able to work at the only job that foreigners are allowed to
do here.

Added to this is the fact that I don’t have a lot of faith in the Thai
education system, and don’t want my children to go through it. And
then there’s the simple fact that I have had enough of living here. I
want to go home.

I am earning the equivalent of 8,500 pounds a year, and we live very
well on that, as the cost of living in Thailand is low. I can even
save some for our airfares back to the UK. Where I live, jobs simply
don’t exist that pay 18,600 – or even 13,000. And then there’s the
fact that I would also have to have a job offer in the UK before
arriving. Jobs like that aren’t doled out over Skype, you know.

So I am faced with the strong possibility of having to take my
children back to the UK, and leave my husband here on his own, until
such time as I can get a well-paid job and present 6 months of
payslips. How do you think that makes my children feel? And my
husband, who will be alone for months (or years) on end.

I am in a similar position to many other people – my parents own a
large enough house, and are happy to let us stay for as long as we
need to. I also am quite happy to forego any rights to unemployment
benefits when I arrive. I would rather live with my parents, and
survive on 2 low wages, than tear apart my very close family and claim
benefits while chasing after a well-paid job.

PLEASE, keep the rules that check if it’s a genuine relationship, but
remove the financial requirement. People in many parts of the world
simply cannot make that kind of money.



A wife’s story

I am a wife. I love my husband. I am American. He is British. The UK government thinks my husband needs to earn £18,600 so I don’t sponge off the welfare state, while the average UK worker earns about £13,000. They do not care how much I earn. They do not care that I have health insurance and doctors here in the US. They do not care that I own my own business and work as a freelancer, so my presence in the UK takes zero jobs away from UK citizens, it only allows me to spend money on their economy and contribute to their society through my taxes and just generally being a good person. They do not care that I have a Masters degree from one of the finest universities in the UK. They do not care that I have friends and a life and a home in the UK. They do not care about me. They do not care that I applied honestly and truthfully and with good intent. They care about the £660 pounds we don’t have to make that threshold. My family’s happiness is for sale and it costs £660. I did not factor into this decision at all, nor did my character, or my relationship with my husband. A number did. And that number has told the UKBA that I am undesirable. I am smart, I am kind, I am educated, I love, I work, I adore my husband and miss him and our home. But that doesn’t matter now. Because I am an undesirable. And I am devastated. The right to have a family life has been denied me. I am unworthy even of that. Because of a number. I am not a number. I am a wife who loves her husband. And I am angry.

Guy’s story

Guy, an author from Teeside, writes about his own encounter under the family immigration rules.

Married for 7 years to his US wife Stacey, and with a 5 year old, dual-nationality, son, he unable to unite his family in the UK under the income threshold.

I never thought it would be easier for me to emigrate into the US than Stacey to come here but there we are. I hope this sheds some light on the frustrations and outright outrageous unfairness we face in trying to reunite our family in the UK.


Full write up here:


The recently published report from the APPG on Migration has brought out many more people affected by these rules. Please do write to familyimmigrationalliance[at]gmail[dot]com if you have been affected.




The unnamed sponsor

My good friend married their Peruvian girlfriend in May 2012 and applied for a visa in the summer as they had lived previously together in Peru.

He had to take a second job in order to make the minimum income criteria. He was initially happy to do this until the tragic consequences became clear.

Earlier this year his wife fell pregnant. Knowing that even with 2 jobs he could not meet the minimum income criteria for a wife and child his wife was forced to terminate the pregnancy.

She is now back in Peru awaiting the next visa application and has no support as she is unable to discuss the tragedy with her catholic family, and her husband and UK friends are not with her.

I want to petition to end this disgusting infringement of pur basic human right. What kind of government would force women to have abortions to possibly save only pennies.

These laws are aimed at the wrong type of migrant and should be fought against.