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To believe that breaking up this family is unjustified

(52 Posts)
TheBitchInTheHouse Thu 06-Dec-12 13:54:04

FancyPuffin Thu 06-Dec-12 13:55:22

What is it about?

Have learnt not to just click links <bitter>

TheBitchInTheHouse Thu 06-Dec-12 13:57:32

and here's the science bit:-

Firstly, I would like to emphasise that I am in no way suggesting an “open door” policy on immigration. I respect the right of the UK to implement immigration control.

I respect that there is a need to ensure that people who enter the UK as the fiancé, spouse or civil partner of a UK citizen are not a burden on the taxpayer, and that their relationship is genuine.

I would also like to point out that I agree with the family route immigration controls for spouses and civil partners that were in force prior to July 2012. I have been through this process and I believe that it is sufficiently rigorous.
When challenged regarding these new rules, The Home Secretary and UKBA always respond that the new rules are there to prevent sham marriages and to protect the taxpayer. However, partners sponsoring a non eu spouse had to prove their relationship was genuine prior to the new rules being brought in.

Whether a relationship is genuine or not does not depend on how much the partners earn. In addition, non eu spouses are not allowed to claim benefits, they have no recourse to public funds, and this is stamped clearly on their passports. In order to claim benefits, they have to have worked in the UK and paid taxes into the system for at least five years.
Before July 2012 the sponsor had to show evidence that they were able to live with their partner without relying on state benefits by providing their bank account details, pay slips, savings account balance etc, and show that they could provide accommodation by sending in their mortgage statement or confirmation from their Landlord showing the partner had permission to live with them.

Now, they have to prove that they earn at least 18.600. If given permission to come into the UK they have to prove at they still earn this income after 2.5 years. Then they may be given a further temporary visa of 2.5 years, at which point they have to prove the income once again. If at any point they become unemployed and find a new job, they then have to show that they have an income of at least 18.600 in employment that they have held for six months .

So, for example, if I am earning 18.600 when I apply in August 2012. I lose my job in September 2014. I find another job paying 18.600 in December 2014 and I apply for my partner’s temporary leave to remain in January 2015, I may be refused because I have not been earning 18.600 for long enough.
If the applicant and Sponsor are both in the UK at the time of first applying, both their incomes may be counted. IF only the sponsor is in the UK, only the sponsor’s income is counted.

Under the old rules, any savings were counted. Since July 2012, if you don’t earn 18.600 the first 16.000 of savings cannot be counted. On top of this, you need to have the shortfall X 2.5.
So, if I earn 18.500, I have to have £16.250 in savings to make up for the £100 shortfall.

There are very few people in the UK, even high earners, who have such a large amount of savings, and it’s unlikely that anyone on a low wage has that. So this is almost an impossible obstacle to overcome.

Under the old rules, it was necessary to pass an English test with classes in citizenship OR if you thought your English was good enough, a Knowledge of Life in the UK test. A high level of English is needed to pass the KOL. Whereas before July 2012, spouses could take either one or the other, depending on their level of English, everyone now has to pass both. All new applicants have to pass an English test BEFORE entering the United Kingdom.
I agree wholeheartedly that when moving to another country, it is necessary to know the culture and to try to speak the language. I speak five languages and have lived in two other countries, and I would not move to the other country without attempting to learn the language. However, I do think that the best place to learn a language is within the country itself. Experts in teaching English as a Second Language do not agree with the new language requirements and believe that rather encouraging integration, they are a barrier.

Some campaigners who oppose the new rules disagree with the extension of the temporary spouse visa from 2 years to 5 years. They believe that employers are reluctant to hire someone on a temporary visa. It could be argued, therefore, that it’s unfair to expect someone to earn 18.600, a wage much higher than the national average in most regions at the same time making them less desirable to employers for five years. It should be noted that UKBA themselves do not employ people on temporary visas, not even to clean their floors, and this is stated on their website.

It’s not only the content of the new rules that have received criticism. The rules were brought into effect without a debate in Parliament. Instead the “negative resolution” procedure was used. Given the potential impact that this has on couples and families, one would hope for a proper debate to have taken place before the rules were introduced.

More details are provided here.:-
Any new rules that are brought in have to undergo an impact assessment in order to minimise people unfairly falling foul of them. The Home Office’s own report admits that the personal cost “may be significant” but glosses over it.
There is evidence that since July 2012, a significant number of people have already been affected. Enough concern has been shown to trigger an inquiry on the new rules, and people who have been affected and their advocates have been invited to submit their evidence to the inquiry before January 2013.

A campaign petition in circulation includes many comments from individuals and their families and friends.

and there are two Facebook groups which provide emotional support to people affected and for campaigners to share information

quoteunquote Thu 06-Dec-12 14:02:52

That is appalling, thanks for sharing, I hope those boys get their mummy home soon.

TheBitchInTheHouse Thu 06-Dec-12 14:06:12

Wow. That was quick Fancy Puffin! Impressive! See also my second message.

It's about a Dad and his two kids who is having to be separated from his wife until he can earn 18.600, under the new family route immigration rules that have come into force in July 2012. They've been married for years and have two kids so are obviously a genuine couple. He now has a job earning the right amount, but didn't find it in time after returning to the UK to avoid her being sent back to China.

Any more questions please ask. I know my second post is long and boring, but I've tried my best to explain the rules before and after July 2012 the best I can, given that I'm not a legal expert. I hope that helps.

TheBitchInTheHouse Thu 06-Dec-12 14:08:56

Thank you so much for your kind words, quote unquote.

FestiveWench Thu 06-Dec-12 14:36:44

that made me cry sad

quoteunquote Thu 06-Dec-12 16:15:07

skype mummy should join MN, she needs to tell her story.

I thought there was a right to family life, I'm quite shocked that they are not allowed to live together, these children must be really suffering.

TheBitchInTheHouse Thu 06-Dec-12 16:27:40

I thought so too, quoteunquote, but Theresa May has other ideas! That's probably why the rules were rushed through the back door.

Probably also the reason for the attempt to repeal the Human Rights Act recently, which thankfully was defeated.

I'm not sure if she would have access to MN in China, but I'll let her husband know.

Thanks for the warm welcome. .

TheBitchInTheHouse Thu 06-Dec-12 16:28:56

Thanks for the empathy, Festive Wench. Unfortunately it's in short supply at times given the feelings against immigration in this country.

MrsHoarder Thu 06-Dec-12 16:40:27

It made me cry too. And did a petition link flash up? I missed it if it did.

LRDtheFeministDude Thu 06-Dec-12 17:10:33

It bothers me too. Well done you for highlighting this.

DH has a degree from Oxford (UK) and has lived here ten months out of twelve since he was 7. His English accent is posher than mine and his language skills are such that no-one ever knows he is not from the UK. He has studied English culture for years and frequently knows more than I do - and I'm doing postgrad study on it!.

He still had to revise for the life in the UK test and I could tell I would have failed it. This test discriminates against ordinary people who want to contribute to society. It is designed for those who can jump through hoops.

quoteunquote Thu 06-Dec-12 17:24:21

It doesn't make sense, surely he would be able to work more and earn more if the other parent of his children were here, It's hard juggling small children and work on your own.

tell him to join MN.(no idea why I suggested just skype mummy)

TheBitchInTheHouse Thu 06-Dec-12 17:46:29

I'm not sure if I'm allowed to advertise petitions, but I mentioned it because there are loads of comments by the people who have signed that can demonstrate the potential scale of the problem and the numbers affected. Given that it's only four months since the rules came in, and given that one petition is very much the tip of the iceberg. Here it is again.

If you want to sign and share by social media, that would be fantastic.
Thanks for your support.

TheBitchInTheHouse Thu 06-Dec-12 17:50:23


I wish you and your DH all the best. I really hope that you have a good chance of being approved? If you're not sure, or if you just want to support or find out more, please do join the Facebook groups.

Thankfully, my husband came in under the old rules. We're not out of the woods yet, and until his ILR is approved it's going to be hanging over us, but we're very fortunate.

LRDtheFeministDude Thu 06-Dec-12 17:52:29

That's very kind of you, thank you! We seem to be doing ok so far.

But I am glad to see other people drawing attention to it all, as it really is a bad situation.

I hope the rest of it goes smoothly for you and your DH.

TheBitchInTheHouse Thu 06-Dec-12 17:58:08

Thanks Quote Unquote. Yes you would think so! I know several mums who are now effectively single parents, having to claim benefits because their husbands have not been allowed into the country. They even get refused visit visas to visit the children in the UK, so the families are left with two options: separation for long periods of time, or exile for the British partner, with no idea when they would be able to return home permanently.

It's madness if you consider that with the partner there, the family could be off benefits with one or both parents working, and the non-eu spouse not allowed to claim benefits in any case.

That's how the gov wish to reduce net migration figures: not only by controlling who comes in, but by forcing low earning Brits to leave.

TheBitchInTheHouse Thu 06-Dec-12 17:59:32

Thanks, we're receiving more information each day, so when interesting things come up I'll add them here.

JaquelineHyOnChristmasSpirit Thu 06-Dec-12 18:11:57

My husband is from Zimbabwe and has been in the UK for 10 years. He has full PR of his daughters and their birth mother isn't allowed any contact with them.

We are married and I am expecting our 4th child. Yet in February we have to begin to fight against his deportation as his temp visa is up and we have to begin the process again.

He could be forced back to Zim to apply from there (where he would be at risk of attack from local government forces as his Dad was brutally beaten a few weeks ago) but I would never be able to earn the amount of money needed to get him here as I am a social work student and will then become a single mum to 3 with a 4th due in a matter of months.

I have no idea what it going to happen and I'm disgusted that any family can be put through this kind of distress purely so that the coalition government can try and win votes from Daily Fail readers. It makes me so angry

hazleweatherfieldgirldetective Thu 06-Dec-12 18:13:07

She should have instructed a decent legal representative. First thing that should have been lodged, if they couldn't meet the immigration rules, is a decent set of article 8 representations. If they failed, a judicial review, as frequently judges are a lot more understanding than home office reps. Finally, why didn't they move to a different EU country where they could have lived together with him exercising his treaty rights? Surely that's better than them being separated?

TheBitchInTheHouse Fri 07-Dec-12 00:38:00


I'm sorry to hear about your husband. If you need some support, please think about join the facebook groups (assuming you haven't already heard of them you may have done). We're doing lots of things to try to get these awful rules overturned, including some families who are thinking of taking legal action as a group.

No one should ever have to face stress like that and have to worry about their family being broken up at any time, but for you to be going through this while pregnant is just terrible.

I do hope that things work out for you, in the meantime it'd be great to be able to help support you through these tough times.

TheBitchInTheHouse Fri 07-Dec-12 00:48:52


I can't really speak for the family, but I am sure they are aware of all of these possibilites and have done all they can do to keep their family together. It's not easy to just relocate to another country, especially as the dad had to find that all important 18.600 job and do it for six months before Mum can join them again.

In any case, it is appalling that any British Citizen should be exiled to another country - even temporarily - or be separated. No one living in a supposed democratic country should face a decision like that in the year 2012. It's the insane rules which have forced this family apart, not any decision they have made.

That's one of many reasons why they need to be overturned.

It's not just about this family - there are thousands who are going through this.

It's maddening that EU citizens are able to bring their non eu spouses to the UK so easily while British families are being torn apart. The UK government has made British Citizens second class citizens in their own country. That is not acceptable.

(I'd like to point out I'm not anti EU, don't want to take their rights away, just wish we had the same!)

TheBitchInTheHouse Fri 07-Dec-12 00:50:15

@ Fancy Puffin

I promise you it's not a Rick Astley video smile

TanteRose Fri 07-Dec-12 01:10:52

the new rules are absolutely and utterly unfair

this could be me - if I had to move back to the UK (lets say, there is another massive earthquake in Japan and we became homeless here), my DH would not be allowed to go back to the UK with my DCs and me.

I've seen a FB page, but will check out the petitions etc.

thanks for posting, TheBitch smile

fenix Fri 07-Dec-12 03:29:01

I agree that the changes are unnecessarily draconian and unjust. My DH and I had to go through the visa process for a different country, and that was tough enough. If we had to deal with these impractical rules, we'd be buggered.

These requirements are clearly designed to offer a façade of open immigration, but ultimately one which severely restricts the class of people who are able to come. It's a sleazy way to draw in educated, English speaking people - if that's what they want, then they could up their game on skilled working visas.

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