“Despite being in a genuine loving relationship, the government has forced me into being a single mum and juggling work. Family life is supposed to be a right, not a privilege, but it sure doesn’t feel like it!”
British citizen Nikki is 32 years old and lives in Aberdeen, Scotland. She has a two year old son, Jayden, with her partner, Juan. Juan is Canadian. Nikki lives in Aberdeen with their son, while her partner lives in Canada.
Nikki and her partner are in a genuine and loving relationship; they have been forced apart due to the Canadian support system letting them down. Since leaving Canada three months after their son was born, Nikki has been spending half her life in Canada and the other here; six months in Canada, six in the UK.
Nikki’s partner was refused leave to enter to the UK in 2010 and therefore missed their son’s first Christmas. Subsequently, his application for a visitor’s visa and entry clearance were also rejected, despite their doing everything they were asked to – provided letters from employers, landlords, bank statements and showed their bank balance; but were still refused. Now Nikki’s partner has no right to come here to visit his son which has forced her into becoming a single working mother living on a part time wage and living between two countries.
Nikki has to earn at least £18,600 a year and have a home for them to live in before she can apply. This is impossible as at the moment Nikki works just to live every day.
Their lives are quite simple with simple goals – they want to work to provide for themselves and their son and to watch him grow. They want to be a family and do family things such as take him to Disneyland, enrol him in a good school and secure a future for him. At the moment they don’t see any of that. The right to live a normal life seem so distant – and living in two countries, they’re not even able to provide their son with stable life.
Nikki’s parents live in Aberdeen and have done all their lives. They both have secure jobs and have an amazing relationship with Nikki and their grandson. The support and comfort Nikki gets from her parents is exactly what she wants for her son; but she also can’t deprive him of growing up without his father. A great number of fathers and even mothers choose not to be part of their child’s life. However, in this case they choose to love and stand by each other and be a family – yet they are being forced apart by politicians.
Nikki and her partner do not want to live here illegally; they are not asking for handouts and they both have clean criminal records. They both want to work and pay their taxes. They just want to be a family.
Every year, Nikki has to resign from her job so she can go to Canada for six months. Every year she has to watch her son’s bond with his father being cruelly broken. Every year, she hopes the next will be different..