"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Neil and Emily

Neil tells his story below. Neil's story has also been covered in the local press : http://www.lep.co.uk/community/shock-as-filipino-wife-faces-being-thrown-out-of-britain-1-5505434

Neil's story highlights the nature of the attack - from both the rules and the way the rules are applied -  on the concept of British citizenship; the rights of the British citizen to live in his or her homeland; as well as the core values of family and normal human relationships.

'MY NAME is Neil, a British Citizen married to a Philippine citizen, Emily. I first met Emily whilst working in the United Arab Emirates, and we dated for several years before finally deciding to commit to marriage. In October 2011, we were married in Abu Dhabi and, not long after the wedding, to our delight, we found that Emily was expecting our first child. Naturally, this joyous news saw us begin to plan a new future as we looked forward to embracing the challenges of parenthood.

After our beautiful baby girl, Lucy, was born, we decided to visit the UK and introduce the new arrival to my large family in the North West of England. As you can imagine, they were desperate to meet my wife and daughter. We applied for a visitor visa for Emily and, when the application was successful, booked our flights and returned home for a visit.

Unfortunately, I soon received bad news concerning my job and I was forced to leave the company that I worked with for 15 years, in London and the UAE. With a baby girl to look after, we had to rethink our future plans and find a way to provide for our beloved daughter because, like any parents, we want the best for our child.

After some discussion, we decided that the best option for Lucy would be to return to my hometown of Preston. Apart from providing a safe environment amongst my large, loving family, had the interests of our beloved child at heart. We felt that Lucy would benefit from the world-renowned English education system - the education system I was schooled in, in my homeland, as a British citizen. I soon found new employment and we looked forward to embracing family life in my hometown.

I researched the process of moving back to the UK and dutifully gathered together the relevant documentation needed. On November 20th, 2012, we submitted a visa application for Emily, asking for leave to remain in the UK as the spouse of a British citizen. After a long wait, we finally received a reply from the UK Border Agency, on Monday 11th March, 2013, and we were horrified to read that our application had been denied. The words “Decision to Refuse to Vary Leave to Enter or Remain,’ burned into my mind as the wonderful future we had planned tumbled to the ground.

The three spurious grounds for rejection were:

1. Our marriage is not recognised as a valid marriage in the UK

2. We provided no evidence of the existence of our daughter, Lucy

3. Emily was granted leave to remain as a visitor and, therefore, does not meet the requirements of E-LTRP 2.1

I protest against these three grounds for a number of reasons.

1) Firstly, according to the information given on the UKBA’s own website, our marriage is valid in the UK despite the denials of the Border Agency. According to the website:

“In most cases a marriage certificate will provide satisfactory evidence that a marriage has taken place.”

Our marriage meets all of the requirements for a legal marriage in the UAE and we also made sure that our marriage certificate was verified, approved, and stamped by the British Embassy. This cost us time and money and, as yet, the UKBA has not had the decency to return our certificate, which is an ongoing concern.

2) In response to the UKBA’s ridiculous claim that my daughter does not exist, I can prove her existence and also demonstrate that she is a registered British Citizen with a British passport. I have the original birth certificate, written in English and Arabic, and we also went to the extra expense and cost of notifying the Consulate General at the British Embassy in Dubai, for which we received an official certificate. My question is, if this is the case, why did the UKBA fail to find information which has already been submitted to representatives of the British Government?

3) I am perplexed by the third point because, according to the information I read on the official website, we did nothing wrong. I am still at a loss to explain why the Border Agency is using a technicality to punish us. I visited the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and they also struggled to understand this third point of contention.

In the words of the UKBA, they plan to ‘remove’ my wife from the UK and send her back to the Philippines  if we do not appeal against this unfair decision. They have also told us that, should the appeal fail, my wife will not be able to return to the UK for another 10 years. Emily is my wife and the mother of my daughter, so what are we supposed to do?

This decision forces us to make a number of stark choices: we either have to accept that our family will be broken up by the actions of the UKBA, or I will be forced to leave my own country in order to keep my wonderful family together.

Apart from the stress that this is causing us, the action is also costing a lot of time and money.

All I want is to end this nightmare, and this injustice, to me and my daughter. We are British citizens, and we should be treated as citizens. And our family, our values, should also be respected and cherished - not dismissed.'


  1. I had the pleasure of working with Neil for a short time in Preston and can say hand on heart that hes a tax paying, hard working, law abiding member of the community. Is it right that a man and family like this can be torn apart by idiots in suits when the same idiots allow criminals to stay.

    Keep pushing them Neil dont let grind you down.


  2. There seems no justification at all for this awful situation. Keep persevering, I hope you get through it OK.

  3. Hiya you could have another baby and hide away somewhere else in the uk until born, or move to the EU and take the EEA route don't waste money on the UK visa its a waste of time and money, where is your wife from my wife is from Ozamis city, Mindanao PH........ we starting our exile this summer if all goes well in France.