Phoebe’s story

I met my husband four and a half years ago, after a 2 year long distance relationship we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together and were fed up seeing so little of each other. We got married in October 2010 and I moved out to Turkey to live with him March 2011, his work was only seasonal and we would have struggled during the winter months. As such we decided to move back to the Uk, which would allow us both to work and to live closer to my family who I’d missed alot, to prevent us eating into to our savings I moved back in with my parents in the UK November 2011 while we sorted out all the paperwork and my husband took English lessons to enable him to pass the English requirement test. The first few months were hard but bearable, we thought it would only be for a year, two at most before we would be able to continue our lives together in the UK, it was this belief that allowed us to come with the separation by making plans for the future. Unfortunately the new regulations were brought in before we were able to submit our application, I work full time but make significantly less than the £18600 and have no where near the amount of savings required to meet the requirements. Suddenly all our future plans seem impossible and we had no idea what our options were. The support we can offer each other while we are coping with this is limited because we are living in different continents! I was made to feel like I was being forced out of my own country and you’re only entitled to your human rights if you earn enough. At the same time the government claims to be family friendly, pro marriage, pro human rights yet they are forcing families apart, why isn’t the media highlighting these double standards? After over a year living apart we have had enough and I am now preparing to move back to Turkey to live with my husband, where our marriage is valued and I can get a residency permit. I have been shocked at how little media attention and support this issue has been given, I only wish I had discovered this site earlier as it is very easy to feel you are fighting this alone and not being heard, it is uplifting to see some positive steps are being made and I hope the regulations are changed to be more fair and value everyone’s human rights!