“As a citizen of this country, I did not expect such a raw deal. I had good intentions going overseas to work. I left with my wife, never thinking she’d not be allowed back into the country to settle with me.”
Craig is a Scotsman from the Highlands. Ann is a young Chinese woman who has relatives in the North but her life was in Hong Kong.
On one of her visits here, Ann met Craig and over six years ago, they got married in Inverness. They hadn’t planned to stay in Scotland as Craig had secured a teaching job in Hong Kong. They left right after the wedding to start their lives together and Ann continued in her employment there.
Early in 2012, Craig and Ann decided to return to Scotland, not realizing the immigration conditions were in the process of change. The English language test was already a requirement so Ann made sure she took it, as she needed to take it in the country of origin. She passed. The couple gave up their apartment, sold their things and both left their jobs, hoping to start afresh in Scotland, perhaps even start a family.
Since Ann and Craig got back in October 2012, their lives have been a nightmare.
As a British citizen, Craig had had no idea his relationship would be under such scrutiny, that his marriage would be judged so severely judged. His hope to return ‘home’ has put their lives in a precarious position. Craig has not been able to find work. He is training to be a hazardous substances lorry driver as it is the only thing he can find, but he is not guaranteed work. In any event, he is unlikely to reach the required £18,600 minimum income to satisfy the UK Border Agency when applying for Ann’s visa to remain here. Ann’s potential to earn is not even considered. They are currently living with Craig’s parents.
Ann and Craig face a stressful, uncertain few months ahead. In 2013, she will have to leave when her current visa expires. There are no easy solutions for Ann, except in UKBA terms, family separation. In a civilized country, they can have no expectation of a private, family life any time soon.
IF YOU ARE ALSO AFFECTED BY UK HOME OFFICE FAMILY IMMIGRATION POLICY, GET IN TOUCH WITH US TO INCLUDE YOUR CASE IN OUR PORTFOLIO TO THE FAMILY MIGRATION INQUIRY AT THE WESTMINSTER PARLIAMENT. Email email@example.com or see www.migrantsrightsscotland.org.uk
For further details on the new Family Migration Rules, please review the June 2012 Home Office Statement of Intent on family migration rules. Also read the overview by Migrants’ Rights Scotland and the Migrants Rights Network briefing.
If you are experiencing the same or other issues as a result of the new family immigration rules, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also get in touch with Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association.