"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 13 September 2015

Evidence that the Government is Failing British Families

Family Friendly?
The impact on children of the Family Migration Rules: A review of the financial requirements by the Children's Commissioner was launched on Wednesday.

Author : Mark Stokes Source :The Children's Commissioner/JCWI/Middlesex University/Divided Families et al Report

On Wednesday we saw a large turn out at Parliament for the launch of the Children's Commissioner's report into the impact of the family migration rules that were introduced in July 2012. 
The Boothroyd room was packed with families and those impacted by the rules.

In recent weeks serious questions are now being asked about the humanitarian face of immigration control both in the press and in Parliament. Compared with previous meetings this meeting had a very different feeling about it due to the wider debate of how we should treat migrants now happening in society in general. It was as if people suddenly had learned to listen and were now not afraid to support positive changes instead of just offering empty political gesturing . 

Despite many of the panel attending other events and previously hearing of the problems and the suffering that many British families with non-Eu partners faced under the new rules, they looked genuinely shocked at what they were reading and were moved by the personal accounts contained in the report.

Some of the more memorable comments from the panel were:-

"We have seen the rejection of the Little England approach to immigration over the last couple of weeks"

"Families are meant to be the bedrock of society"

"The minimum income rule discriminates and does not reflect the contributions the families make"

The general consensus of the panel of speakers was that the rules need to change and this is some of the evidence that is needed to help that happen. Which was summed up by them saying:-  
"the report tells a powerful story with strong imagery that should lead to change"

Some of the key findings contained within the report were:-

  • "…..at least 15,000 children have been affected by changes.
  • Children, most of whom are British citizens. are suffering distress and anxiety as a result of separation from a parent….
  • The financial requirements affect British citizens….who have started families with foreigners from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and who wish to live in the UK. 
  • The income level would not be met by almost half the adult population…
  • ...many families with children may never be able to meet them. 
  • The financial requirements are inflexible.    
  • The threshold is too high and is discriminatory.
  • British citizens who have lived and worked abroad and formed long-term relationships abroad are particularly penalised and find it very difficult to return to the UK.
  • The financial requirements do not meet their stated policy aims………The Immigration Rules and accompanying guidance do not comply with the duty to safeguard and protect the best interests of all children in the UK. 
  • …the Rules as drafted breach national and international law. 
  • ...decision letters are often legally and factually incorrect. 
  • In relative terms, the UK income threshold is the highest in the world and is the second highest in absolute terms. 
  • Applications are expensive and difficult to make. This report calculates that the total costs for a single applicant to move from application to settlement are likely to exceed £6,000. 
  • Applicants who cannot meet the financial requirements are refused visitor visas and cannot be with their children and partners for even short periods of time. 
  • It is not only an immigration question but engages the fundamental rights of British citizens….. 
  • In a small number of cases, respondents mentioned that the emotional and psychological strain of the separation had caused irreversible damage to the relationship with their partner."

"British citizens may also form relationships with those they met on holiday or during gap years, internships, study abroad schemes or similar. Global travel is now a normal part of life for many people including those of modest means, who may nevertheless be well educated (66% of the sample had degrees or equivalent qualifications). They do not understand why they cannot exercise what seems to them to be a straightforward right: to establish their family life in their own home country."

"This report concludes that the financial requirements do not strike the right balance and breach Article 8 ECHR"

Where to get a copy of the report?

The full pdf of the report can be downloaded from JCWI's web site using the following link or from the Children Commissioner's website using the following link

Based on the report a smaller discussion paper of 8 pages was also produced called 'Skype Families' it also can be downloaded by using the following link

Now we have this report with its damming evidence make sure your MP knows about this report and gets to read it. The more MP's that know about this the harder it will be for them to ignore the evidence.

Will the rules now change?

We do not know if, when or how the rules will change but the evidence and recommendations in this report will add to the growing pressure for change that can not be ignored. It is most probable that we may have to wait for the new immigration bill or the conclusion of the MM case in the Supreme Court before changes happen. Both of those are now only months away.

Some news articles and coverage about the Launch and the Report



















  1. This is a big blow to Theresa May and her net migration target which is the real reason behind these inhumane rules.

    I hope the whole family migration rules including the language requirements are declared unlawful soon.

  2. Sign this petition on the parliament website to help push for a change that will allow British families to stay together.

    Please share the link on social media or wherever you can to boost this petition.

  3. Does anyone know if this applies if you are on disability living allowance

    1. You might want to join the 'I Love My Foreign Spouse' Facebook group as questions about DLA come up from time to time : https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=139807999382936 .

      From gov.uk https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/257359/soi-fam-mig.pdf page 21, you can see the following quote : ' An applicant whose sponsor is in receipt of any of the following disability-related benefits
      will be exempt
      from the financial requirement in respect of that application stage: ' - and gives DLA as an example.

      However, you should check on this (obviously the comments page of a blog isn't the best place to go into detail) and I do suggest joining the Facebook group.