"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, 7 March 2016

Salli, Izzat and Layla - Family of the Week

"I have never been so stressed and depressed in my life. Even if I work I would be extremely lucky to get a job offering a salary of £18,600"

Salli is a British citizen.  Some time ago, Salli went to South Korea where she worked for several years.  Over there she met and fell in love with Izzat, from Uzbekistan.  Izzat was a student at a local university there.

Izzat and Salli

In the natural course of a relationship, the couple planned their lives together - to get married, live in England, progress with their careers and then have children.

In December 2014, Salli went to Uzbekistan for the marriage with his parents blessing.  At the time, she had no idea that the immigration rules had changed.  Salli was assured by her friends that as a British citizen she would have no issues living in England wiht her husband.

It was while Salli was in Uzbekistan that she found out she was pregnant; however she had to leave Uzbekistan as her visa there was nearing its end; she no longer had a valid visa for South Korea either, having left her job there.  So Sally returned to England.

Once here, Salli and her husband decided to apply for a spouse visa - and that's when they came across the financial requirements which were impossible for the newly married couple to meet.  Salli managed to get a part time job and saved a little bit of money to add to her savings in excess of £10,000.  Salli's mum said she was willing to support them as well, and co-sponsor Salli's husband.

However, the rules of course ignore any savings under £16,000 and third party support, even from a parent, is no longer allowed.

So Salli went through the pregnancy without her husband.  He was also refused a visa to witness the birth of their daughter, Layla.  Salli is struggling as a single parent and diagnosed with post-natal depression.

Layla, is now over six months old but has never been held by her father.  In sending BritCits photos, Salli said 'as you know, there are no photos of us [three] together'.

Salli and Layla
Salli has been forced into the position of a single mother claiming benefits which she has never had to do before; all her savings were used up in trying to sponsor her husband for a spouse or visit visa, and furnishing her home.
  
With Salli's sister also recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and now given only a few months to live, Salli can't even think of leaving the UK, nor focus on getting a full time job with a baby to look after alone.  

She told us "I have never been so stressed and depressed in my life. Even if I work I would be extremely lucky to get a job offering £18,600 salary. Maintaining a long distance relationship under all this stress has been extremely difficult at times."

Salli and Layla
When asked why she doesn't just go and live in Uzbekistan, Salli says she and her daughter are both British, she has the right to be here and her daughter has the right to be brought up here.  Uzbekistan is also a developing country; education, healthcare, work and living conditions are all better in the UK compared with Uzbekistan.

"This is the best place to raise my family and I shouldn't have to choose between my husband and providing the best life for my family."

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