"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.

Sunday 11 August 2013

Good news

Facebook message says it all :

Andy Russell's period as an enforced single dad ends next Tuesday (August 14th). I had hoped someone with a steady hand would be there to take pictures and better yet, video, and I got my wish. Channel 4 news will interview him and the boys on Monday and they will be at the airport to capture the reunion, showing it on their early evening news broadcast that day.

Andy : Molly Mei... make sure you pack your hair brush because Channel 4 News cameras will be filming your arrival at Heathrow airport next Tuesday.

Andy was one of BritCits' very first 'clients' :


Married for 6 years, has 2 children with his wife, Molly. Doesn’t meet the income criteria, so having to be a single parent. A new job which would satisfy the income criteria means he is travelling a lot and therefore unable to live with his kids. What does this mean? A British husband apart from his wife and children. British children forced to live apart from their mummy and daddy...
British citizen, Andy, has been happily married for six years, and he and his Chinese wife have been patiently waiting for him to find the golden job paying £18,600 so that they can once again be reunited as a family.

Andy met his wife while teaching English in China. They have two lovely sons - Dylan and Devon. Andy returned to the UK, hoping to bring his wife with him, then fell victim to the very sudden, very draconian rule change.

Andy made a video about his family's situation - 'Skype Mummy' - which has been acclaimed :

Situation now : Andy is now earning the required income. He's had to go through huge heartache and upheaval to achieve this - effectively travelling around the country to meet it, and leaving his two sons with their grandparents - Andy's parents - to care for them. Dylan and Devon have seen very little stability in their young lives. And this has created huge strains in the family, as they have all been through so much.

Naturally, the whole process to get the visa was onerous as well, with many paperwork requirements that weren't obvious. (A couple of months ago I was getting emails from Andy while I was on a train between Germany and Belgium, asking for help on the forms for the accommodation requirement - and the evidence he needs to produce!).

Nevertheless, Andy meets the income requirement, Molly got her visa, and the family will be reunited in a few days. So this is a success story - but huge obstacles had to be overcome to get here.

Nevertheless - this gives hope for divided families. More and more families are reuniting despite the obstacles being put in their way because it's not possible for any government to deny such a fundamental human need.

And this is why the rules will fail.


  1. Bless you all Andy. I am so happy that you will all finally be allowed to be together and I am so saddened that you had to be apart because the BRITISH Immigration system failed you. Wishing you all lots of happiness for the future XXX

  2. So glad to read this good news. Best wishes to all of you. I hope to be reunited with my family in a few weeks, fingers crossed. William

  3. I'll remember to watch the news! Well chuffed that people are starting to get the right given back to them.

  4. Thanks Steven and fellow Britcits who commented above.
    It feels amazing being part of a family once again and I honestly haven't stopped smiling since my wife arrived last week!
    Best wishes to you all in reuniting with your loved ones.
    Andy x