"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.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Jay & Alberto

“We just want to live our lives together..without interference from the state..”

Jay is a British citizen. He is in love with Alberto, from Brazil. They met in the summer of 2012, when Jay was travelling to South America for holiday and adventure. As luck would have it, on the third day of his trip, he met Alberto – a meeting which would go on to affect his entire life.

There was instantly something between them. Itineraries were amended to maximise time together. They both knew they were in love and had found something special together. Jay asked Alberto to be with him permanently, to marry him and to live with him in London. Jay naively thought the process would be straightforward. He left Alberto in Brazil and returned to UK. As Jay had been travelling he didn’t have a salary nor any savings. So they decided to wait for a few months so they could save up, before applying for the proposed civil partnership six month visa.

They managed to get together the huge amount of documentation required for the application. They filed the application in February 2013, and waited. In May we finally received a response. Due to an error, Alberto had not sat the complete English test. He had scored almost 90% in the reading and listening test but had not sat the speaking and writing side. Alberto’s high score and their obvious communication in English was not sufficient enough.

This was heartbreaking and stressful following such a long wait. Jay immediately booked a flight to go and be with Alberto. They had been apart too long already. They had lost the huge application fee and were not given the opportunity to be able to prove Alberto’s level of English.

Alberto decided to visit the UK before returning to Brazil for the re-application. Brazilians normally don’t need a visa to enter the UK for visits up to six months, however because he had been refused a visa already, they were advised to apply for one. However, in a catch 22, they were refused the visit visa anyway, because they had lready been refused the earlier visa! This was incredibly frustrating. That someone could decide Alberto would overstay his visit because he had had a refusal. Why after trying to do things legally and correct would he want to be in the UK illegally? It didn’t make sense.

So now they’re going to reapply for the proposed civil partnership visa – another £900. It is upsetting at the length of time they’ve had to be apart. Alberto still has not met Jay’s family after over a year of their being together. Alberto and Jay’s grandmother were never able to meet each other.

Jay is a hard-working tax-payer. He exceeds the financial requirements, yet finds the process difficult.

Jay has never claimed any benefits. He has a good job and Alberto is a talented graphic designer who should also be able to find work in the UK and pay taxes. With no recourse to public funds.

All this couple wants is to start their lives together, build a home, have a family, contribute to society and the economy and lead the lives they want together – without interference from the state. There should not be so many obstacles in the way.

No recourse to public funds - as seen in fiance, spouse and civil partner visas.
Jay and Alberto

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