Zara’s story

I am British and I met my Dominican husband in January 2011. I was living and working in the Dominican Republic and he had just started working at the Canadian company I was working for. We now have a 16 month old son, who was born in the Dominican Republic. We decided the UK would be the best place for us to raise our family, also I wanted to return due to my mother being very ill. Due to the minimum income threshold being set at £18,600 we were not quite sure how we would do this. We decided in May 2013 we applied for the UK 6 month family visitor visa, to enable us to return to the UK, and for me to try and find employment in the £18,600 area, which proved impossible and I have had to settle for a job earning £14,100 a year. The 6 month family visitor visa was granted and we came to the UK on 15th July 2013, and my husband returned to the Dominican Republic yesterday 7th January, we got to spend out son’s 1st birthday together as a family, to spend Christmas, New year and our 1st wedding anniversary together, which we are ever so grateful for. But now what do we do, we just have to sit and wait until March to see if the government lower the income threshold to £13,400 a year. Last night was our 1st night apart as a family, and our son woke 8 times during the night, our son never wakes during the night, all I can put it down to is that he must know something isn’t quite right. I just wish the government would think of all these families torn apart because they don’t seem to have been born with a heart. I am praying everyday that the threshold is reduced is March, if it isn’t then I am not sure what we will do, because there are no jobs where I live that pay £18,600 a year, unless I work every hour God sends, and I refuse to leave my child not seeing his mother when he already has been seperated from his father, and I also refuse to kill myself, for a selfish government.

Jade’s story

I am a British Citizen and live in the UK with my 16 month old son, my husband has missed out on over half of our son’s life. We are married and have been together for over 5 years. After a visit visa to the UK we applied for a settlement spouse visa; this whole process took 6 months and I even appealed in court. I was told my rights to a family life were not being interfered with as I could take my son and go live with him abroad.

Is that the answer for all British Citizens with foreign partners? It must look good for statistics and bring down the number of foreigners entering the UK if we (the partners) all just left! I am not giving up a fight. This is our life, but just an application in a pile at an office. I will continue to support migrants rights as my family is affected. One rule for the rich and another for the rest of us.

The figure: £18,600 …. Is that the price to put on a family life?

A sponsor’s story – Christmas 2012

For British/non-EEA families and couples, Tuesday the 25th will mark the first Christmas under the new family migration rule changes – and a painful reminder of what is missing most this festive season. For our contributor, Christmas 2012 is another separate experience from her son.

Here’s hoping 2013 brings about progress in the courts for a genuinely happy new year.

– Chris, FIA

Christmas is a time for family, a time to be happy but mine serves as a reminder of the six years that I haven’t seen my son. People wish me a happy Christmas and I smile and wish them a good one as well but I know mine will be filled with worry and a sense of helplessness. What mother fails to provide for a child she brought into this world. I would give anything just to hold my son in my arms again. I have missed the milestones in his life and it breaks my heart. I find it difficult to sleep everyday because I can’t stop thinking. It’s after 01:00am and even if I tried I couldn’t sleep. Friends and family ask me to look after their kids while they go to work or run errands and I say ok for the company but its a catch 22 situation as their kids just remind me of the time I am not spending with my son. I pray everyday for a miracle that one day the home office will say you are a free person and you can work and provide for your family. This year the UKBA has really shown me who is boss, I have to sign on exactly on Christmas Day, I thought England was a Christian country, but i can’t think about going to church because I am supposed to be at a police station signing on. All my life I have lived a straightforward life but now I feel like a criminal, I feel like a prisoner even though am not actually in prison. I am worse off than a prisoner because at least they know when they will be free. Sometimes I cry but then I dry my tears again. Should I leave my husband and just move back home so I can see my son, if I do that I bet that’s the last time I will be seeing my husband again because he doesn’t earn enough to sponsor me to come back here. I can’t ask him to leave his job and son and daughter here to come with me when I don’t have a job in my home country. I have a bachelor of science degree but now I am now just a housewife . I have nothing against housewives but I just thought my life would be different from my mum because my mum was born in a generation where it wasn’t deemed important or necessary for a woman to have a carrier. I pray that my anguish will stop because I fear for my sanity. I look fine on the outside but I am burning inside. I pray for a miracle otherwise I don’t know how long I can take this pain for.