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Need support in remaining in UK with my family. Can you help?

251 replies

englishgarden370 · 10/10/2015 23:31

Hi Everyone,

I am an American citizen. My husband and two children are British citizens. I am having to make an application for Leave to Remain in the UK with them and as a precautionary measurement I have started a petition to aid in my application to remain in them. It used to be that anyone who married a British citizen had the right to stay in the country with them but so many immigrants have taken advantage in the past just to gain citizenship that the government has made it much more complicated and expensive now. My three year old son had autism and Sensory Integration Disorder. I am everything to him and my family is my whole world. If any of you could possibly take a second to read my petition and if you were happy to sign it, in support of my application to remain with them, I would be extremely grateful!

Thank you so much for your consideration!

Need support in remaining in UK with my family. Can you help?
OP posts:
Guitargirl · 11/10/2015 07:59

You could ask your solicitor (if he/she hasn't already) to look into getting you leave to remain under ECHR (Article 8). You will need to provide evidence that your rights under Article 8 outweigh the government's right to exercise immigration control. You will need to evidence why your children could not live with you in the US and why your family relationship cannot continue by Skype (I kid you not).

In your case (am assuming you are probably already doing this) I would be putting all my energies into:

a) gathering the most water-tight medical evidence from health care professionals and children's specialists as to why your children need to remain in the UK and (more crucially) why you need to physically be present to help them. You need to prove (which am sure you can) the effect that you not being with them would have on their wellbeing

b) instructing the best solicitor that you can afford. Not one who advises you to post online petitions whilst your case is still being considered. If you need help with finding a good immigration solicitor ask any local refugee and migrant support group - they will know the best ones in your area

c) start sounding out your local MP and whether he or she may be in a position to help in the event that your application for leave to remain is refused.

Take down the petition. I can't imagine how stressful this must be for you on top of everything else you have to cope with. I wish you well OP.

Micah · 11/10/2015 08:22

I think what gets people's backs up, op, is that your story comes across as a cynical "oh if we have kids they'll have to let me stay", rather than any real effort at going through the proper channels.

Unlike films love doesn't mean you get to break all the rules, piano players and Betty's included.

The reality is if immigration let everyone with a sob story and child born here stay, there wouldn't be any need for immigration. Get yourself pregnant, get to stay. So there are rules, which, by the sound of it, you have ignored in favour of the "won't somebody think of the children" approach.

You are using your children to get round immigration. Pretty poor imo.

Stop with the emotional manipulation and start putting your efforts into satisfying the requirements of staying.

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore · 11/10/2015 08:56

I won't lie, it is irritating to see someone deliberately step around the rules. Yes, the immigration process is long and expensive. I know - I've been through it. Yes, there are a lot of hoops to get through, but there are websites where you can keep up to date on correct policy/procedure for the process (such as UK Yankee).

I think you likely know that getting married on a visitor visa is a no-no, and you went downhill from there in following rules. I'm baffled as you say you've flown back and forth, but it sounds like you've been here ever since you got married. I find it hard to believe that immigration didn't peg over 5 years that you were circumventing their rules. The dates in your passport would have given you away immediately. I suspect what you really did was get married and then overstayed for five years. Now you're looking at DLA and carer's allowance and things like this, and you've realised that you need to be here legally for things to be smoother for you to claim. Were your dcs born in the UK? you wouldn't have been eligible for free NHS care, so I'm curious how you bypassed all that, as I doubt you went to the US to give birth. And have your dcs even been registered as US born abroad? Likely not, as I imagine it would have drawn attention to your own immigration status.

Sorry if I come across as unbelievably cynical, but your petition is tellingly vague in saying what your actual actions were.

I'm not saying that you're a troll, I imagine you ARE in a difficult position at the moment. But I think you're being sparing with the facts, as it would then be pretty clear that you attempted to bypass immigration controls and got caught in a bind because of it. And that's really frustrating to those of us that jumped through all the hoops, no matter how expensive and frustrating and time consuming.

I hope, for your children's sake, that you get to stay with them, but I would also hope that you realise that this situation was of your own making and could have been avoided.

PatrickJaneIsRedJohn · 11/10/2015 10:23

Why would I sign a petition for someone who can't even stick to the most basic rules?

TitusAndromedon · 11/10/2015 11:15

I'm astonished by your actions, to be honest, OP, and I agree with Alice. I'm a US citizen living in the UK with ILR. I was first on a student visa, and then got a post-student work visa. However, because I hadn't had the required amount of money in my account for six months, I had to go back to America and apply from there, which of course was expensive and frustrating. Once I came back I lived and worked here, and then got a visa as part of an unmarried partnership, and then eventually applied for ILR after we got married. The whole process is incredibly time consuming, expensive and frustrating. I have a lot of sympathy for anyone going through it, because it has cost us thousands.

However, you have made decisions along the way which have made your life more challenging now. I don't understand why you got married on a visitor's visa rather than a fiancé visa, which you would have been able to convert afterwards into a marriage visa. I imagine it was to do with your husband's limited income. That's unfortunate, but the mature thing to do would have been to be apart until he was able to take steps to improve his income to allow him to support you as specified by the Home Office.

I do feel for you, and I hope you aren't separated from your children, but as someone who has spent time and money to ensure the legality of my residence here, I find it difficult to muster too much sympathy given that you seem to have ignored the legal requirements of residency every step of the way.

specialsubject · 11/10/2015 11:38

I'd get that petition taken down, OP. And this thread too - several here have worked out that you've already broken loads of rules. Even the story of repeated back and forth doesn't stack up with the very dependent child, so it does indeed look as if you've grossly overstayed.

and now it is all online with your real name. Not good.

what's done is done. But step up, grow up and admit fault and look at ways to remedy it. Which to me looks like moving to the USA.

and the 'only a mother would understand' thing just makes you a joke.

GiddyOnZackHunt · 11/10/2015 12:00

I imagine the repeated back and forth will have been short hops to EU countries or possibly the US. Remember we don't stamp passports on exiting the UK so it may look like the OP visits for a few weeks every few months or every year if there's a mix of overstaying too.
Of course the irony is that every time the OP presented herself at Border Control in the UK she ran a very real risk of being refused entry and possibly being deported.
Everything the OP has done smacks of cynically playing the system rather than being literally an innocent abroad trapped by love, disability and motherhood.

Morsecode · 11/10/2015 12:09

So many holes in this sob story I almost fell down one.

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore · 11/10/2015 12:20

She wouldn't be eligible for free NHS care either, but has had 2 children, although she doesn't say where she had them. If she'd had them in the US, her immigration status would have been noticed upon re-entry to the UK or when she was applying for their passports for US and UK. I assume then that she had them in the UK and has not yet registered them with the US, as again that would flag up her immigration status.

OP find a better solicitor. One that advised you to post this and the petition clearly isn't up on his game or understand the current political climate.

caker · 11/10/2015 12:29

Interesting that you got married in February 2012 and your son was born in August 2012. How did that work with flying back and forth in late pregnancy, as presumably you weren't here for the whole of your pregnancy and it's unlikely you left soon after giving birth. Did you give birth in the US?

Fairenuff · 11/10/2015 12:44

How would she have had the children in the UK if she wasn't eligible for free NHS care. Would she have had to pay privately?

caker · 11/10/2015 12:59

It may have been NHS care that was chargeable - around 5k depending on what kind of care and treatment was given. They can't refuse to treat you if you can't afford to pay, but would offer a repayment plan. Which the Home Office would want to know about as it's a debt of public funds.

CookieMonsterIsOnADiet · 11/10/2015 13:03

So you've started a petition as you broke the rules and now want to get round more.

You made your choices and now have to live with them. It was a known risk.

You've had years to get finances in order, if it meant that much to you both you would be working all hours to make it possible.

Alisvolatpropiis · 11/10/2015 13:07

I too am curious about where the children were born.

I suppose the op could have just slipped through the cracks with regard to NHS care?

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore · 11/10/2015 13:20

I have had hospital treatment a good half dozen times in the past ten years here. I was only asked about my immigration status once and the person was in charge of billing for people from other countries. She asked for my marriage license as proof I qualified for NHS care free and I told her she actually needed my passport with ILR stamp. She insisted on marriage license so when out of hospital I sent copy of marriage license, ILR stamp in passport, and a printout of the correct rules off a government website.

Fairenuff · 11/10/2015 13:23

It's a shame that OP doesn't want to engage with posters on her thread, just wants a signature from them Hmm

Although I suppose if she is currently in the US it might be too early for yet. Maybe she will post later.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight · 11/10/2015 13:24

Did you not get temporary leave to remain? How could you have been on tourist visas all this time? How could you have married on a tourist visa? That hasn't been allowed for a long time.

Personally I think a petition is a waste of time. I'm sorry for your situation but I don't know how you got yourself into it.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight · 11/10/2015 13:27

Just read your petition - come on. It's full of waffle and blah and will have zero impact on the UKBA

minifingerz · 11/10/2015 13:36

People are such nasty, mean spirited fuckers.

This thread is making me sad. :-(

BubsandMoo · 11/10/2015 13:37

Agree fairenuff - not exactly endearing herself to people who she's asking for support from!

I doubt she'll come back now. Although if she can't easily answer the quite fair questions raised here - about her apparent flouting of immigration rules & use of public funds to this point - then an emotional blackmail petition isn't going to help her cause is it.

hobnobsaremyfavourite · 11/10/2015 13:41

Yea so mean spirited Hmm we should be all
Ah hugz Hun you is so speshul ur bubz needz u they is all jus haterz

KittTheGreat · 11/10/2015 13:46

The OP's conduct at the border is not relevant to the question of the best interests of the children. As I said above, she can make an application within the Rules. That is not playing the system, it is complying with the system.

There are mandatory grounds for refusal relating to deception in previous applications but Appendix FM (family members) applications are specifically excluded, there must be aggravating circumstances in a family application for a refusal on the basis of deception. In addition the deception is not mandatory, it's discretionary. If she was applying for another type of leave to remain it would be a problem.

It is obviously wrong to deceive the Home Office. However, the Rules accept that in family applications previous poor immigration history is not necessarily fatal to the application without there being more serious problems. Children cannot be blamed for the mistakes of their parents. OP needs to make sure she has a good solicitor who will cover all this, with excellent evidence as pointed out by Guitargirl above. Doctors and social workers will carry weight, as would any court order establishing contact between your stepson and his mother if one exists.

OP, I didn't mention earlier, there is also an EU law point here. Your children are citizens of the EU and if they would be forced to leave the EU as a result of your departure from the UK (e.g. if your partner couldn't cope alone here) then that is also relevant. Your solicitor should explore this with you. It is called the Zambrano principle after the case establishing the principle but do not rely on that case alone, the law has moved on since.

So you have at least 3 areas of law to rely on: EX.1 of the Immigration Rules, EU law and an application outside the Rules. Human rights law comes into all three. Please ensure your solicitor has discussed all these with you. You shouldn't be under any illusions, this is going to be difficult, the law is not straightforward and the Home Office will not be sympathetic. A good lawyer and comprehensive evidence is essential.

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore · 11/10/2015 13:50

minifingerz we are not being mean spirited. The OP has presented a bit of a sob story and quite frankly the information can only be interpreted as "she deliberately flouted immigration laws and now wants that to be ignored and ILR handed over" using her children as emotional packaging. The petition is extremely short sighted of her, and quite frankly, so is her post.

The media browses MN - that's pretty much widely known. Would it help her case in any way for this to be public knowledge? No. Why? Because it's pretty clear that she and her DH were irresponsible and dishonest and ignored immigration laws - in fact, as she states she went back to the US basically to reset the clock on her time to stay here (which I highly doubt as immigration control at airports is very very alert to this!) regularly over the past 5 years - I would venture they didn't just ignore but actively defied/sidestepped immigration laws in order to have her stay in the country.

Add to it that she likely received free NHS care over those five years, despite not being eligible, which seems unlikely to be an innocent error in light of their other actions, well I can't see the general public being happy about that. She may well get quite a backlash of negative media coverage, in which case, she may as well start packing her bags now to move back to the US as it won't go well.

I think the OP needs to find a more alert solicitor and keep this low key. In her situation, I just do not think the media is going to be her friend.

Fairenuff · 11/10/2015 14:01

Kitt that is interesting.

There are mandatory grounds for refusal relating to deception in previous applications but Appendix FM (family members) applications are specifically excluded

It must be very difficult for the government to refuse anyone that has a child here then? Presumably only those that can't afford legal advice are denied residence?

FyreFly · 11/10/2015 14:10

I can't really say much more other than what madwoman, Kitt, Alice and Fairenuff have already said.

OP, if you're still reading this, I sympathise with your desire to relocate to another country, I really do. I would love to move abroad (to the USA, ironically) but I don't see it happening sadly, and I don't even have the factor of children which makes your case more complicated!

However, I will not be signing your petition. You haven't even been turned down yet and it smacks of ramping up the emotional guilt in order to railroad your application through the process. I would really advise that you remove the petition - if your application for ILR is turned down, then it would be more appropriate. As it is, your petition and story raise a number of very big questions and frankly makes it look as though you have been travelling to and from, and staying in, the UK illegally. It also undermines several of your key arguments (notably the one where your son cannot be separated from you). I would also recommend changing solicitor as I think you have been very poorly advised in this case.

I wish you luck with your application.

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