"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.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Thursday, 28 November 2013

British woman forced to live alone because husband cannot move to UK.


A British woman is being forced to bring up her daughter alone after her medic husband was denied permission to join her in the UK.

Elizabeth Celi Parr met Ramiro Alexander Celi Moreno in his native Ecuador - the couple have been married for two years and had their first child, Olivia, 21 months ago.

But despite his medical training, he has been banned from moving to Britain because the Home Office says the family does not earn enough to support itself.

Lizzie : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/lizzie

Bye bye Papa : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kN6vuL8vrhg


Air Charter Scotland (@AirCharterScot): Refuse to deport a dying man #IsaMuazu.


Isa Muazu is a Nigerian asylum seeker on hunger strike in Harmondsworth detention centre. He is set to be deported tomorrow morning on an Air Charter Scotland plane.

He refused to eat because he said his asylum claim has not been dealt with properly. He did not have access to good legal counsel when he first submitted his claim.

He has been on hunger strike for 90 days. He is now in a critical condition and weighs just 50 kilograms. Before his hunger strike he was surviving on cornflakes because no other food at the centre was suitable because of pre-existing medical conditions.

He is no longer able to see or stand.

Muazu is fearful of returning because he is being targeted by Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, who have already reportedly killed several members of his family.

Politics.co.uk | As I write this, Isa Muazu fades away. :

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Scotland’s liberal approach to immigration

Scotland would move away from Westminster’s aggressive approach to immigration if it gains independence says an independence white paper.

Details of an independent Scotland’s immigration policies were published by the Scottish National Party yesterday as part of a white paper on Scotland’s future. 

With independence, Scotland will create a system that better reflects the country’s migration needs, which are different to those other parts of the UK, says the paper.

This new approach to immigration is in line with the country’s economic rationale for population growth.

“We plan to lower the current financial maintenance thresholds and minimum salary levels for entry, to better align them with Scottish average wages and cost of living,” says the paper with regards to non-EU migration.

The current entry requirements for non-EU nationals are the same for migration to all parts of the UK despite regional variations in earnings.

In the event of independence, Scotland plans to remain part of the Common Travel Area between the UK and Ireland, which would remove the need for border checks between England and Scotland.

“As a full member of the EU, Scottish borders will remain open to EU nationals exercising their treaty rights,” says the paper.

“Migrants have played an important part throughout Scottish history in enriching and renewing our culture and boosting the economy of the country. We will welcome people who want to come to work and live in Scotland,” it adds.

Other Home Affairs’ policies laid out in the paper include a points-based system for skilled workers, post-study work visas for foreign graduates of Scottish universities, a humane approach to refugees and asylum seekers, and an inclusive approach to citizenship.

The referendum for Scottish independence is scheduled for 18 September 2014. 

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Norah says :
Does this look fake to you! I love my husband and he loves me. Alhamdulillah!

Norah in her local paper :

Lowering the minimum income threshold is not enough.


'I’ve been hearing rumours lately from multiple sources that the government is expected to lower the minimum income threshold required for a British citizen to sponsor their non-EEA spouse to join them in the United Kingdom. If you’re not already aware of the new requirements, introduced in July 2012, and the effects they are having on British citizens, please check out the Brit Cits blog here. The current income threshold stands at £18,600 and rises for couples with dependent children, which is a figure well above national minimum wage and means that in 2012, 47% of the British working population would not have been able to reside with their spouse in the U.K if that spouse was a national from a country outside the EEA. In other words, the government have prevented 47% of the British working population from marrying a ‘foreigner’ if they wish to stay in the U.K...'

Rachel and Ahmed : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/a-distraught-wadebridge-woman-is.html
Allow Colette Matthews to stay in the UK.


'I have lived in the UK legally for 9 years, worked the entire time, paid taxes, never claimed any benefits and not breached any of my visa conditions but the UKBA have denied my recent visa application expecting me to return to South Africa with or without my 7 month old baby....'

'If I lose my appeal:
I will be removed from the UK and I do not qualify to apply for any other type of visa.
I will be split up from my British partner
I will be forced to take our child away from his British father or I will be separated from our child
I will be split up from my parents, sister and grandmother whom have all acquired British citizenship
I will be sent back to a country with high crime where I have no accommodation, no family, no job and no means of transport.'

Colette fights to stay - Facebook campaign :

Facebook campaigns for divided families:
British immigration law: 'putting a price on family life'.


"It's been a long hard struggle with a system that puts a price on family life." A British woman is reunited with her Syrian husband, but restrictive family migration rules still separate others.

Christine and Ziad : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/ziad
Syria : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/syria

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Looking beyond the economic value of family migrants

The UK government’s move towards placing increasingly harder-to-meet restrictions on British nationals who want to bring their non-EEA partner to the UK emphasises a global pattern of equating the value of migrants with their economic benefit.

July 2012 saw the introduction of significant amendments to the UK’s family migration rules, including the introduction of an annual income threshold of GBP 18,600 for British sponsors seeking to bring their non-EEA partner to settle in the UK.

Other changes included a considerable extension on the previous probationary period, bringing the period in which a family migrant has no recourse to public funds to five years.  

Rather than being compatible with the Conservatives’ goal to strengthen families and the Liberal Democrats’ passion for protecting civil liberties, the rules have resulted in hundreds of families being torn apart indefinitely and many British citizens being unable to avail of their right to respect for family life.

By judging family migrants on their economic benefits only, we render those who don’t meet the financial requirement as undesirable.

This false notion is problematic since determining migrants on their fiscal value alone ignores their non-economic qualities and marginalises their, albeit uncertain, future and potential contributions.

When family migration policy is motivated solely by a desire for economically desirable migrants, the results are not just economic but social, too.

What is the price of forcing British children to grow up without one parent due to their economic value being deemed as insufficient to qualify for settlement? 

Or the price of making a British parent grow old and die alone as their British child cannot gain access to the UK as a family unit with their non-EEA spouse?

The inevitable collapse in the family, and consequently the community, which is sure to follow is certain to have profound, long-term effects on society in general.

The value of family life cannot be measured in terms of a financial threshold. If we want to create a society which supports family reunion and consequently, stable families and communities, it is time we moved beyond focusing on economic rationales when formulating family migration policies.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Immigration laws separate dad from wife and baby.


 'Keighley man claims harsh immigration laws are denying his daughter and son-in-law the right to a family life.

'Neil Ashford, of Greenhead Road in Utley, says the couple – who have a five-month-old son – can only live together for three-month spells.

'And he added his 27-year-old daughter Jessie’s prospects for living permanently with her husband are bleak unless the problem can be resolved.'

Politics.co.uk | As I write this, Isa Muazu fades away.


'While writing this article I've just read that Isa has lost his vision. He is suffering from severe chest pains and cannot breathe properly. He has never complained once to me about any of these problems. He is always thankful, grateful and concerned about my well-being.

'I can't help but feel that because he has been so uncomplaining that I myself have not even understood the severity of his health deterioration until it is almost too late. It is clear Isa is strong and determined - but not in an aggressive way. He has never raised his voice in anger. He speaks in disbelieved tones. And now he can barely whisper. '

Out of sight, out of mind - the heartlessness of the Home Secretary :

Freemovement | Bali (Family member: 3 month visit) [2013] UKUT 570 (IAC).


 ;I can’t help but note that the Syrian family member was left sitting in Syria for over a year as a result of the ECO’s unlawful refusal and the Home Office’s failed attempt to appeal the case.'

BritCits with Syrian spouses :

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Soldiers to be separated from spouses and children by new rules.


'... Immigration Minister Mark Harper went on rather disingenuously to imply that the rules would be of benefit to soldiers and their families:

    "I am pleased to announce these changes to the Immigration Rules, which will remove unnecessary differences in the treatment of the dependants of British and Foreign and Commonwealth HM Forces personnel. The Armed Forces community makes a huge contribution to this country and they deserve our respect, support and fair treatment."

'In reality the end of the concession means that any ordinary soldier earning less than £18,600 (more if the soldier has any children) will have to leave family behind when stationed in the UK. This may include British children, as it will not in practice be possible for the children to live in the UK unless the foreign national spouse is also admitted.'

Previously :


Spotted on Facebook :
'After months of getting documents, of planning and expense I still cannot meet all the visa requirements so have cancelled my wedding. Landlord refused to give permission for him to live with me partly because of worry about the implications of the new Immigration Bill - so it would be an automatic fail. SS is only way but is a long route necessitating a sabbatical from work. Taking time out from the relationship to lick wounds.'

Previously - 'No dogs, no cats, no Americans' :

Congratulations to for 20 years. Sorry I couldn't make it to the party.

The Forum | Welcoming migrants to London : http://migrantforum.org.uk/

Deportation of the valuable and vulnerable

Recent weeks have seen the media cover a number of cases in which the Home Office has unfairly threatened non-Brits living in the UK with deportation.

From a Fijian British Army veteran who was unaware he had to apply to settle in the UK to a highly-skilled Australian NHS therapist who was given days to leave the country, it seems neither valuable nor vulnerable migrants are safe from the overzealous Home Office when it comes to removals based on technicalities.

In some instances, the decision to remove is overturned at the last minute, often without an apology for the distress caused. However, we are increasingly seeing victories against deportation come about when the Home Office cracks under the pressure of public outrage rather than through any common sense or realisation that the deportation would be unfavourable to the public good.

Home Secretary Theresa May herself intervened in the case of Fijian Filimone Lacanivalu who was detained for more than a month after queries over his immigration status emerged. He has since been granted the right to settle based on his nearly decade-long service to the Armed Forces.

Scottish head teacher David McIsaac, who was initially refused the right to remain permanently on the grounds his five-year marriage was a sham, has been offered an extension on his stay on the condition he drops his appeal after his MSP put pressure on the Home Office.

Then there is the case of Vietnam War veteran Marx Hirsch, 74, who has lived in the UK for nearly 50 years. Threatened with deportation for breaking the terms of his right to stay by moving elsewhere for five years, Hirsch won a stay of execution just days before he was scheduled to be removed but still faces the prospect of removal should a review of his case not result in him being granted the right to settle.

But for each of these success stories, there are many thousands more which don’t result in extensions of stay or wide media coverage.

Take the case of UK-born Cher Siyamuanya, just 4, and his mother from Zimbabwe who were sent separate letters saying they were liable to be removed after the courts found her claims that she would face persecution if returned to her country of origin unbelievable.

And let us not forget the case of Harley Miller, an Australian NHS worker who was given less than a month to leave the UK despite having been a resident for nine years. Miller, having first entered on a spouse visa, was given leave to remain after her marriage broke down but was later refused discretionary leave to remain after waiting two years for a decision on her application.

Lastly, a seven-year-old Canadian, Jamie Leung, received a letter telling him to leave the UK. His British mother, initially unaware she needed to obtain a visa for her son to stay in the UK, was unsuccessful in obtaining legal immigration status for him from within the UK before the letter arrived.

While there are cases where falling foul of bureaucratic red tape might fairly result in removal, some of the recent cases which have made it into the limelight have seen a threat of removal issued without any prior request to the applicant for further information or evidence. Often no other options are given to those who face leaving their friends, family, job and property behind.

Most people who unknowingly fall foul of the UK’s complex immigration rules want to establish the right to stay voluntarily and play by the rules. The inhumane way the Home Office handles some cases is counterproductive since deportation should be something that is conductive to the public good, not just a case of hunting down those who slip up on technicalities.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

 Update from Daisy and Wayne.

Previously :

'Arrived in the UK today, very pleased to be here in my mother-in-law's for teatime tonight. '

Fantastic - another Surinder Singh success.

Reunited family. 
Surinder Singh for Newbies :

Wayne : 'I am just thinking how with all the ups and downs of our trip trying to become a real family together in a foreign country: France, Belgium , Holland. In our case moving from a lovely old farm house in the French countryside to travelling around the EU in our campervan. I hope with all we have learnt along the way we can help many others the future. If you missed it our video blog Wayne & Daisy Freedom of Movement on YouTube some funny moments some extremely worrying times. Good luck and ask us anything in future. '

Wayne and Daisy's YouTube channel : http://www.youtube.com/user/johnwayno1/videos 

Update from Jade and Merouane.

'Things are going well.

Glowing with happiness.

'Merouane has been here 6 weeks now. Where does the time go!

More good news, also via EEA free movement rights.

Previously :


Woman making a difference.

Divided Families Campaigner Sal Cardiff is speaking at Women Making a Difference on Thursday 26th :

Sal : https://twitter.com/SalCardiff

European Commission confirms, once again, the validity of free movement in Europe for people to be with their families.


Article 21(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) stipulates that every citizen of the Union shall have the right to move and reside freely within the  territory of the Member States, subject to the limitations and conditions laid down in the  Treaties and by the measures adopted to give them effect.

Thanks to Nate for sharing this.

Previously -

European Commissioner Viviane Reding writes to BritCits on Surinder Singh :

European Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom writes to BritCits on Surinder Singh :


Church Forced To Put Up Gates After Font Is Used As Wash Basin By Migrants  - part of the Young Vic's 'Theatre Uncut' season :

Mark Thomas, comedian and friend of the Divided Families Campaign, in 'a darkly humorous tale of a right-wing newspaper owner who finds himself in a compromising position when some disgruntled readers decide to pay him a visit.'

Mark and us : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/stop-sponging-off-migrants-httpstwitter.html

Meetup event : http://www.meetup.com/BritCits/events/151745092/

High court judge rules against Nigerian man Isa Muazu, who is near death after 90-day protest while awaiting deportation :

https://twitter.com/DetentionAction :
'We are deeply saddened by the High Court decision to refuse to release the hunger striker from immigration detention. We are very worried.
Isa came to the UK fearing for his life, it's heart breaking that he may die on a mattress on the floor of an immigration detention centre.'

https://twitter.com/EiriOhtani :
'Home Office can choose life. But is choosing death for this man in #detention centre by not releasing him. '
Divided families : Christmas cards

Here are some Christmas cards inspired by the Divided Families Campaign.

Buy this card : http://www.jcwi.org.uk/publications/xmas-cards-divided-families-campaign

 Buy this card : http://www.jcwi.org.uk/publications/xmas-cards-divided-families-campaign 

Some of these were designed by David B. (of Surinder Singh for Newbies fame) - you can check out some of his other work here.

More Divided Families protest art : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/flyers

Filipino groups in the UK relief efforts for victims of Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan

For all British citizens, and Filipinos in the UK, who have family members in the Philippines. How to donate, and also websites for finding missing family members.



An emergency meeting of the Filipino community last week was attended by different organisations to consolidate efforts from the community and individuals in the UK. We would like to share with you action points from the meeting.


 1.   Support Kanlungan Filipino Consortium’s online relief drive

All proceeds will be donated to Rural Missionaries Philippines (RMP), a non-government national organisation very active in disaster response campaigns on the ground. Please check the link for details:


You can donate in a number of ways:

A.     Direct to Rural Missionaries Philippines by following instructions on their website.
B.     Through Kanlungan’s PayPal (reference: Haiyan/Yolanda) here
C.     Through cheque payable to Kanlungan or via BACS (put reference: Haiyan/Yolanda) to:

Unity Trust Bank
A/C Name: Kanlungan Filipino Consortium
Sortcode: 08-60-01
A/C: 20063771

Post cheques to:

Kanlungan Filipino Consortium
Caxton Community Centre
129 St. John’s Way
London N19 3RQ

RMP are also working with other NGO’s and disaster response networks (such as SAGIP Migrante, BALSA, and SAGIP Kanayunan) to ensure that donations go directly to the needy, especially those who are devastated in the hard-to-reach rural areas.

2.    Donate in kind

A.     Pio Abad and RJ Fernandez are collecting donations in kind over the next week. The Royal Academy has kindly agreed to serve as drop off point for donations and LBC will send them to the affected areas free of charge
If you can donate any of the following, it will be much appreciated:
-        Clothing (for adults and children)
-        Flip flops
-        Blankets
-        Multivitamins for children and water purification tablets
-        Torches with batteries

There will be collection boxes at the reception of the Royal Academy Schools (entrance is behind the Royal Academy of Art):

Royal Academy Schools,
Burlington Gardens,
London W1J 0BD
Open Monday to Friday 8-9, Saturday 11-4

If you need collection, please e-mail pio_a@yahoo.com.

B.     The Filipino Domestic Workers Association (FDWA-UK) are also collecting donations in kind and have started their collection boxes last weekend. The relief goods will be coursed through Migrante International’s SAGIP Migrante
Kindly contact their officers for details:
Email: fdwa.uk@gmail.com or
Phoebe Dimacali     07400 222600
Shiela Tilan            07557 259146
Eva Mayor              07881 950184

C.    LBC Cargo Company free shipping of relief goods to Philippine Red Cross

LBC is requesting to bring the goods to their warehouse in London (North Acton) and they will pack them. They will have a group of volunteers on 30th November 2013 who will organise and pack all the goods. If the donors can pack themselves then it will have to be same items in each box ie: all tin food in a box, etc.  LBC said that it’s more manageable if goods are in boxes as once they arrive in the Philippines, Red Cross won’t need to sort them out again.
Red Cross Philippines is discouraging donation of clothes.
Contact LBC at 02031 100 074

3.     We encourage setting up your own initiative/relief effort in your local community

A.     Lingap Filipino Association’s Christmas Party – 6 Dec 2013
Lingap Filipino Association will be having their Christmas Party and there will be a fundraiser for victims of Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan
When: 6 December 2013
Where: Umi Hotel, 16 Leinster Square, London W2 4PR
Tickets: Adult £15 / Children 8-12yrs £8 / Children under 8 FREE
Estela         07714 255301
Pina           07912 652626
Nollie          07808881648

B.     Set-up collection buckets in your hospital or workplace. You can use this for the buckets. Please consider Kanlungan’s beneficiary Rural Missionaries of the Philippines for the proceeds.
NB: If you have any relief effort/initiative you would like publicised or need help with, please contact us


1.   Finding lost family members

There are helpful links and tracking services that have been opened which can be useful to you:

Viber and Skype also offer free calls to the Philippines.

Alternatively, you can email kanlungan96_uk@yahoo.co.uk, text 07538 797963 or message Kanlungan Filipino Consortium on Facebook with as much detail as you can about your relatives including:

Full name, Last known address including Brgy, Contact numbers, etc.
and we will forward them to Migrante International Home Office, which are currently trying every effort to help OFWs find their loved ones. To date, they have reunited 6 OFW relatives from this effort.

 2.   Compassionate leave/extended annual leave/other means of support from employers and your union

Kanlungan, in a press statement, called for compassion for Filipino migrant workers who are affected by the catastrophe.

A.     If you are a member of a union, please contact your union representative
B.     If you are a UNISON member, please contact  Susan Cueva, s.cueva@unison.co.uk, 07903024201
C.     If you are not a member of any union, please contact Kanlungan at kanlungan96_uk@yahoo.com or call us 07538 797963 for assistance.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Sara, Ryan, and Lilly

'My American husband, Ryan, and I married in 2006. We had our daughter in 2008.

'We tried a long distance relationship for a while trying to sort out our visa, but realised quickly that we would struggle with the bureaucracy involved.

'Ryan came to the UK just before the birth of our daughter, Lilly. My grandmother who raised me was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, so he stayed to support me. After struggling on with his father living with us, his father died of a heart attack.

'The police kept harassing Ryan for his passport. Frightened that he would be deported, he went back to the US.

'It's now been almost 2 years since we have seen each other because we are struggling to get the money up.

'We were young and stupid when we got married and we didn't do things the right way, but even so we will never get the money up that they ask. I can't even get a job here in England as no one wants to employ a 'single mother' as I can't work late/early or weekends due to childcare.

'The government are keeping me on benefits when I could be working full time.

'All I want is my husband, my daughter cries because she misses her daddy. We got married without even knowing what we were getting into, we had no idea about visa and income requirements, we just assumed you got married and lived happily ever after.

'In February it will be the second year since we have seen my husband. We have looked at many different routes but because of our situation it's not going to work for us. My husband is struggling to get an education but trying very hard. We plan that he will train to get his truck driving licence and that I'll move away from my family and everything I know to live with him.

'He has no family in America as they are either dead or estranged, so I'll be moving away from all my family to be with him.

'I will do it because I love him, but it's unfair that I've been forced into poverty with out him.

'I'm living in a one bedroom flat with my 5 year old daughter which has cockroaches and mold and it's making us ill.

'One day we'll be together, I'll never give up on him. For now I'll deal with the bad situation I've been dealt with and try to turn it around.'

La Pirogue


What a wonderful film. Sincere thanks to Migrant Rights Network for organising the UK premiere, which I was lucky to attend yesterday.

Illuminating the desperate and moving human stories behind lurid headlines about illegal immigration, La Pirogue is a colorful and compelling drama about a boat full of would-be economic migrants attempting the perilous weeklong Atlantic crossing from Senegal to mainland Europe. Capably directed by Moussa Touré, a sometime politician and bittersweet chronicler of his country’s social woes in several previous dramas and documentaries, this Un Certain Regard entry at Cannes is dedicated to the 5000 or so Africans who have died trying to cross to Europe in the last decade :
Run for my wife

On 15 February 2014, James Capon will run the streets of West Yorkshire in a bid to raise awareness of the negative impacts of the UK government’s new family migration policies.

Starting in Pontefract and taking in Featherstone, Normanton, Castleford and Knottingley, James will run 18 miles around five West Yorkshire towns to bring attention to the suffering caused to families as a consequence of the rules.

He hopes ‘run for my wife’ will inform others as to what British nationals with a non-EEA partner are being subjected to under the amended policies, and that this awareness raising will help to effect change.

The rules, which require British sponsors to have a minimum annual income of GBP 18,600 in order to bring their non-British partner to the UK, and even more for each non-British child, are resulting in the long-term, and sometime indefinite, division of many cross-border families.

The run for my wife movement is spreading quickly, with interest from other divided families across the UK in taking up individual runs in an effort to get the message out.

“I'd like for myself and all the people that are suffering at the hands of the UK Border Agency to have a voice. I'd like us to be heard, and I'd like us to be able to live freely with our wives, husbands and children regardless of what part of the world they come from”, said James.


James and Hannah's story :

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Undercover journalists publish firsthand account of asylum seeker journey to Australia.

This is gripping :

'An undercover journalist has detailed how he and a photographer posed as asylum seekers and took an epic journey from Afghanistan's shady currency markets to Jakarta and on to a flimsy open-decked wooden boat that delivered 57 desperate people to Christmas Island.'

Via Metafilter : http://www.metafilter.com/133886/From-Afghanistan-to-Christmas-Island

(On a similar theme, 'La Pirogue' is being premiered tomorrow - http://www.meetup.com/BritCits/events/145038692/ . 'Acclaimed at the recent Cannes Film Festivals as one of the most important works to come out of Francophone African cinema in the last year, it tells the harrowing tale of an attempted boat journey from West Africa to the Spanish territory of the Canary Islands.')

I also can't help but think of BritCits member Aisha's story as publicised here : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/aisha-my-partner-and-i-met-in-august.html .
I do understand thought that there are some positive developments with this family - and that all is well.
Afghan veteran threatened with deportation allowed to stay.


 'A Fijian soldier threatened with deportation after twice fighting for Britain in Afghanistan has been allowed to stay after the Home Secretary intervened personally on his behalf.

'Filimone Lacanivalu, who has served in the Armed Forces for nine years, was due to be flown back to Fiji on Sunday night but following a personal review of his case by Theresa May and Mark Harper, the immigration minister, he has been granted permission to remain.

'Mr Lacanivalu, 34, has been detained for the past month at an immigration centre near Heathrow Airport after he went to see officials at a Home Office centre in Croydon, south London, to clear up his residency status. '

MP in last ditch bid to halt Vietnam veteran's deportation.


'AN MP has demanded to see the Immigration Minister in a last-ditch attempt to stop a Vietnam veteran from being kicked out of Scotland.

'Jim Hood wants the decision to deport pensioner Marx Hirsch, who has lived here for 47 years, to be reversed.

'He hopes to plead the former navy petty officer’s case with minister Mark Harper on Monday – just
24 hours before Marx, 74, fears border agents will turn up at his door in Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, and march him off to the airport. '

Home Office issues 'end of life plan' to hunger-striking asylum seeker.


Decision to keep mentally ill Nigerian man in immigration detention centre seen as part of hardline approach by ministers.

"I was afraid, but now I am a skeleton and almost dead.

"There is so little of me left and I am not afraid. But they – the authorities – have not treated me as a human being and that is wrong."

Friday, 15 November 2013

Alexis and Miad : Update

Previously, in March, Alexis and Miad were a couple divided by the UK's immigration rules :

And today :

'Hey everyone today solicitor called to say hubby has been granted FLR spouse visa.

'This group and its members have helped me so much... The support is amazing before I found ilmfs I didn't realise so many people were in my situation. To be helped and to help others is an honor so I thank you all who have shared your knowledge and allowing me to share mine.'

Wedding day :

More 'a good day' posts : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/a%20good%20day
'We are a local Cornish family - my daughter is trying to bring her husband to the UK - Please support our petition and spread it to your friends - we need as many signatures as possible. Thank you.'


'In September 2011 our family was blessed with two weddings - our son married a lovely local girl and our daughter married her long time penpal from USA.

'We are a typical British Family living in rural Cornwall - we all work - we may not be rich but we are close knit and there for each other.  Even though my daughter works full time at a local business.

'Theresa May's immigration income rule means that many families like ours are being kept apart because they don't earn enough - not because they are out of work or not being useful to society - but they are the working poor.  

'Most people who know us did not know about these immigration rules where a wife is separated from her husband. I'm sure lots of you did not either.  

'Despite the Government's scrapping of legal aid - we have represented ourselves at Court and won our case against UKBA on 24 September 2013 - but are still waiting for our visa. 

'Please help us to help our daughter and others facing separation - just look at your significant other or somone you love and imagine how you would feel being torn apart  - for years. 

'Thank you.'

Via South West Divided Families : https://www.facebook.com/groups/442269102545299/permalink/445363358902540/

Friday evening links

Why I'm not telling anybody about my wedding, and my relationship is a big secret.


Via https://twitter.com/rantsandrights

Terrified teenager facing deportation gets help from Romford family.


A “terrified” teenager who has been living in England for almost 10 years is facing deportation.

Now his best friend’s family are fighting to keep him here...


Guardian : It's not all immigrants who the Tories fear. It's the mobile poor.

The real aim of recent policies is to segregate belonging according to income. The more you earn, the more rights you have.

Afghan veteran faces deportation.

A Fijian soldier who twice fought for Britain in Afghanistan faces deportation after missing paperwork deadline - he says, because the Army did not pass the correct files on to him.

Stories of families separated by the US/Mexico border.


Opendemocracy: The UK immigration minister Mark Harper mocked an Iraqi asylum-seeker on national television. Expert witnesses discover time and again that the Home Office fails honourable people who have valid claims for asylum.

Philippines typhoon appeal

Kanlungan, an Alliance of Filipino organisations in the UK and a UK registered charity (and part of the Divided Families Campaign), has a long standing partnership in the Philippines with the Rural Missionaries in the Philippines (RMP)  in relation to relief and rehabilitation work. The RMP is a progressive community development charity organisation which works with local community organisations in the typhoon-affected areas of the Philippines.

If you are able to donate, please go to website:  http://www.kanlungan.org.uk/2013/typhoon-yolanda/ and donate via Paypal link.

You can also send cheques to Kanlungan using the details below. By sending 5 or 10 pounds donation directly to Philippines bank account is expensive and complicated but small amounts could easily be collected via local Paypal set up by UK organisation. Kanlungan is in contact with a UK remittance company which will send the money to the Philippines for free.

Kanlungan would like to appeal to the Filipino community in the UK as well the British public to support ongoing emergency response and evacuation campaigns in the Philippines.

All proceeds will be donated to http://www.rmp-nmr.org/campaigns/2013/11/08/call-support-our-emergency-response, RMP a non-government organisation very active in disaster response campaigns on the ground. You can check their relief and disaster response operations on https://www.facebook.com/rmpnmr.inc?fref=ts. You can donate in a number of ways:
1. Direct to http://www.rmp-nmr.org/campaigns/2013/11/08/call-support-our-emergency-response by following instructions on their website
2. Through Kanlungan’s PayPal (reference: Haiyan/Yolanda) here (or button below).
3. Through cheque payable to Kanlungan or via BACS (put reference: Haiyan/Yolanda) to:
Unity Trust Bank                                          
A/C Name: Kanlungan Filipino Consortium
Sortcode: 08-60-01
A/C: 20063771
Email: kanlungan_96@yahoo.co.uk ;
Call:  +447 (0) 7538 7963

Kanlungan and the Divided Families Campaign, 9th July 2012 :

The Big Picture : Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan :

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Nigerian husband of pregnant Brit denied visa

The Home Office has appealed against the decision to let the Nigerian husband of a pregnant British woman remain in the UK.

The appeal follows the reversal of the decision to refuse her husband a spouse visa by a First Tier judge.

However, the Home Office believes the judge made an error of law by taking into account the best interests of their unborn child.

When British national Becky, 23, met her Nigerian husband-to-be in the UK in December 2010, she had no idea of the hurdles which would lie ahead when the time would come to establish family life together in the UK.

Uzo, Becky’s 33-year-old Nigerian partner, arrived in the UK as a visitor. His subsequent enrollment in the British Army as a trainee combat engineer allowed him to extend his visa more than once, with a view to applying for a two-year work visa at the end of his training. 

But Uzo turned 32 – the cut-off point for applying to join the army – before he could complete his training.

In May 2012, Becky and Uzo got married, and Uzo applied for Further Leave to Remain based on his marriage a month later. His application was made just before significant amendments to the UK’s family migration rules came into force.  

The new rules, introduced in July 2012 and the cause of much anguish among couples such as Becky and Uzo, require British nationals to have an annual income of GBP 18,600 in order to sponsor a non-EEA spouse to settle in the UK.

After a 10-month wait, Uzo was refused a visa on the grounds he had taken the wrong English language exam and that his visa at the time of application was valid for less than six months. The fact Uzo had been in the UK legally for two years prior to application was not considered. 

The couple lodged an appeal against the refusal since they had no way of successfully reapplying under the new rules due to Becky, who was a fine art student in Liverpool at the time, not being able to meet the income requirements.  

A few weeks after giving notice of appeal Becky discovered she was pregnant. “Although we knew our situation wasn't the best to bring a child into, we could not consider an abortion as this was not a decision we should feel forced into because of the immigration laws, and we hoped that our appeal would be successful before our baby was born,” said Becky.

At 25 weeks pregnant, their case was heard and two weeks later, the appeal was allowed under Article 8 due to the best interests of their child. “We breathed the hugest sigh of relief”, said Becky.

But the relief didn’t last long. Four days after the allowed time limit for giving notice of appeal, the Home Office appealed the decision based on the notion the First Tier judge had made an error of law by taking into consideration the best interests of the couple’s unborn child.

Despite the lateness of the application, which the couple later discovered was due to the case officer being on sick leave, the appeal was allowed.

The process has taken its toll on Becky’s heath and well-being, “I have became so distressed and ill with the thought that we have to continue this fight,” said Becky. “At a time when it is of the utmost importance for a woman to be looking after her health, I am experiencing panic attacks, my blood pressure has shot up and I can not sleep,” she added.

The couple has since discovered their baby has a kidney problem and possibly a chromosomal disorder.

With just two weeks to go until the Upper Tier Tribunal hearing, at which time Becky will be 37 weeks pregnant, Becky and Uzo are bracing themselves for the possibility of a ruling which will require Becky to move to Nigeria should she wish to enjoy family life with her husband. “Why should I leave my entire support system, culture and family behind?” asked Becky.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel to Abia, the southeastern Nigerian state where Uzo comes from.

“We just don't know what our future holds right now,” said Becky. “My husband wants nothing more than the right to work and support his pregnant wife and future son, and to pay taxes and contribute to UK society,” she added.

The immigration rules make no concessions in cases which involve children. Applicants who are parent to a British child must endure the same five-year route to settlement as other applicants, regardless of the length of the couple’s relationship. 

Successful spouse visa applicants are given the right to work but have no access to benefits during the probationary period, during which time the couple must demonstrate they can meet the financial requirements a further two times.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

British citizen forced to choose: your country or your family

A British citizen has been forced to renounce his birthright - his British citizenship - to be with his loved ones.

He is a Northern Ireland resident, which entitles him to Irish citizenship. Obtaining an Irish passport and going through the process of renouncing British citizenship - which he has held all his life - has allowed him to become a non-UK, EU national in the country of his birth. This has allowed him to live with his wife.

He says :

'Just got my wife's EEA Permit, finally this ordeal is over, I am no longer a UK Citizen, being born in Northern Ireland I renounced my UK Citizenship, cost £187, it took one month. We then applied for the EEA Family Permit, that also took a month, plus a two week delay while DHL decided to go slow on an express parcel to China ! So after an initial lengthy wait for a visa refusal as a UK/Irish dual citizen, I decided a UK passport has no benefits what so ever. I'm Irish now and damn proud to be sure!!!

'I wish all of you good, decent, genuine people who are going through this terrible ordeal of separation or a expensive temporary move abroad all the very best of luck and a speedy return to normal life.  '

If this seems like a bizarre twist, it is. It really does highlight the absurdity of these rules.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Armed forces to face family visa restrictions.


Servicemen and women will have to reach a minimum income threshold in order to sponsor a non-EU spouse's visa.

The rules, which have applied to most families since 2012, will come into force from 1 December.

Home Office threatens boy, 7, with deportation.


The Home Office has written to a boy to tell him he must leave the country as he was born in Canada, despite the fact that his mother is a British national.

Sara Leung, who has dual Canadian and British nationality, moved her family to Southport, Merseyside, in June 2012.

Southport MP John Pugh said asking Jamie, 7, to leave his family showed a "lack of humanity and common sense".

This letter is the product of a warped mind.


Headteacher wins deportation row reprieve.


A HEADTEACHER who was threatened with deportation is celebrating the news that the Home Office has granted him a reprieve.

David MacIsaac, who has lived in Dumfries and Galloway for nine years, enlisted the help of local MP Russell Brown, who raised his case with the Home Office.

More :

He met and married his Scottish wife Susan nearly five years ago. She has since been diagnosed with cancer.

When it came to renew his papers Mr MacIsaac sought permanent residency as her spouse, but the Home Office turned him down, refusing to recognise the relationship as genuine.

Last week, officials admitted that was a mistake but said the visa refusal stood because he had applied for the wrong type.

This is an insane position for 'officials' to take.

Harley Miller in the UK.


On 31st October my renewal application for residency in the UK was rejected after legally living here for 9 years. This page is about this experience.

Previously :

Campaign Central. Case study : BritCits


'BritCits was formed in 2012 in direct response to the attack on British citizens and residents with non-European family members.

'As part of their campaign, BritCits prepared a pack of case studies of those affected - currently standing at around 200 families. Many of these stories can be read on their website and forum.

'They lobby MPs and MEPs, and their packs contributed towards evidence at the recent All Party Parliamentary Group inquiry on family migration. They work closely with other campaign and community groups and attend meetings on this and related migration issues.

'They have built a self-supporting community where those affected can support each other, and share information on the various options available, such as legal options, free movement rights and local media.

'Their aim is to change the rules, whilst working with each family, one at a time, as they continue to work to raise awareness of these situations.

Thanks for the write up!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Pregnant British woman faces exile to Nigeria


'A pregnant British woman from Liverpool is facing effective deportation to Nigeria under harsh new family migration laws.

'Becky, 23, met her Nigerian husband Uzo, 33, in a Liverpool club when she was a fine art student at Wirral Metropolitan College and working part-time in a garden centre.

'Uzo had originally come to the UK to visit his aunt, but decided to stay and join the British Army as an engineering pioneer.

'The pair married in May 2012 and applied for Uzo’s spouse visa as his job with the army ended, but they were refused due to two mistakes on the application...'

Don't make me give birth to our daughter alone : Amy's story

Facebook campaign :

'My name is Amy Jelassi. I am 33 weeks' pregnant, expecting our baby daughter on the 30th December 2013.

'My husband's court hearing for a family visit visa is the 30th January 2014. I would just like the court date to be sooner so that my husband can be with me to support me through the birth of our daughter. That is all that I'm asking for.

'Please give us the chance to do what any other family can do - easily!!!

'This should be a right for any family. We are a married couple who are expecting our first child. I am a BRITISH woman married to a Tunisian man. I don't see why it should be a problem for my husband to be allowed on a family visit visa.

'A visa that will let him see the birth of his daughter. Just like any other father!

'It's devastating and heartbreaking for us to be going through this, and we are hoping someone can hear us out there. And that we can stop being judged, or categorised, as not genuine, or overstayers.

'Everyone deserves a chance. This is happening to me and to many other families because of new immigration rules and regulations.

'It's sickening. It's so stressful for a pregnant woman like me!'

New Facebook campaign : Mothers of multinational families


More Facebook campaigns :
Kanlungan : Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda response.


'Kanlungan would like to appeal to the Filipino community in the UK as well the British public to support ongoing emergency response and evacuation campaigns in the Philippines.

'All proceeds will be donated to Rural Missionaries Philippines, a non-government organisation very active in disaster response campaigns on the ground. You can check their relief and disaster response operations on https://www.facebook.com/rmpnmr.inc?fref=ts.'

(Kanlungan, the Filipino community coalition, has been a great friend and ally ain our struggle for family justice).

The day the goon squad came for Newbury's illegal immigrants.


British immigration laws accused of dividing families.


'Immigration laws brought in last year are dividing families, forcing British citizens to live in exile to be with their spouses from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or to live apart from them in order to try and fulfil stringent visa application conditions, according to organisations that work with immigrants and international families in the UK.'

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Typhoon Haiyan: at least 10,000 reported dead in Philippine province


Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda crisis and relief map :

Organizations offering relief to Typhoon Haiyan survivors :

Sunday links roundup

Are you in a sham marriage?


Border Agency officials ruined a wedding last week, but maybe we should all take their test…

9 Was your recessional music
a) Something classical?
b) Written especially for you by a pop star?
c) The theme tune from Green Card?


Jews in Britain sound the alarm about rising hostility towards migrants, asylum seekers, Gypsies and travellers.


...75 years after Kristallnacht, racists and fascists inspired by the Nazis continue to attack minorities in Europe. In Hungary neo-fascists target Gypsies and Jews. In Greece Golden Dawn members and supporters brutally attack migrants and political opponents. Here in Britain, minority communities, especially Muslims, have been targeted in an atmosphere that is increasingly hostile towards migrants and refugees.

The Daily Mail on immigration in the 1930s : https://twitter.com/eurocrat/status/383958584843067392

Kristallnacht, 75 years :

Economist: Britain's brightest future is as an open, liberal, trading nation, engaged with the world.


Britain could emerge from all this smaller, more inward-looking and with less clout in the world (and, possibly, with its politics fractured). Or it could become more efficient, surer of its identity and its place in Europe and more outward-looking. Call them the Little England and Great Britain scenarios.


Home Office still failing to get to grips with backlogs.


Full scale of border failings revealed.


The failed UK Border Agency has left a massive backlog of cases that will take five years to clear, a new report by MPs reveals.

Home Office blunders criticised.


Previously... : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/the-trials-of-roseline-akhalu-httpwww.html

'Such was the inefficiency of this operation that at one point over 150 boxes of post, including correspondence from applicants, MPs and their legal representatives lay unopened in a room in Liverpool.'

UK Border Agency has backlog dating back 10 years, inspector finds :

Guardian: The dreaded flood of Romanian migrants isn't going to happen.


Obstacle to better life: anti-Roma sentiment in France. Karina's story.


Karina is 30 year old, but looks like 16. She came to France in 2010, from Galati, a town situated in eastern Romania. This was the first time she saw this country, in which she was looking for a better life: a better paid job and a better situation. However, this was not as easy as she was expecting it to be. As she walks on the street or sits in the metro, the people pull their bags away from her. Many times the police stopped her to ask her what she is doing, even though she is doing nothing suspicious. 

HuffPo: The Daily Express's latest campaign flirts with Fascism.


The most recent front-pages from the Daily Express demonstrates their retreat from reality into the realm of myth. Last week, their front-page read, 'Britain Is Full and Fed Up' and their response was to launch a 'crusade' to stop a 'flood' of Romanian and Bulgarian migrants from entering the country next year. 

Pictures from 'stop sponging off migrants' demo outside the Express offices :


Immigration Insight : Weekend roundup.


Twitter : https://twitter.com/Immigration_In