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.

Lucie