"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.

Friday 25 November 2016

Rohit - Featured Family

“My parents are dependent on me.  While I can tend to their financial needs from afar, families are about more than just sending money.”

Rohit is a British citizen who came to the UK from India in 2007 on a company sponsored visa to support IT projects and finance processes for a UK based company. Since then he has contributed to UK’s economy by paying hundreds of thousands in income taxes, helping grow several businesses with his contribution as an individual.  With professional success has also come a personal dream to have a similarly rewarding family life.

Currently working as an IT Project Manager/Business Analyst for UK’s leading pharmaceutical company, Rohit supports critical IT projects for the greater good of patients.

His wife is a Slovakian national, who also works full time.  The couple own their 4 bedroom house in London, and don’t see any challenges in financially supporting their family currently in India, once they move to the UK.  The family there consists of Rohit’s parents, aged 63 and 72 years, and his sister, also dependent on Rohit.

The family made use of EEA regulations (on the basis of Rohit’s wife being an EU citizen) and applied for a UK family permit for the mum, dad and sister. 

However, despite application of EEA regulations being reasonably straightforward, especially when the sponsor is a non-British EEA citizen, the application was refused.

Rohit hugging his wife, his parents are seated, and his sister in the striped top, on a visit to India
Rohit is certain the caseworker did not even read the applications or supporting documentation based on the reasons for refusal; the impression is the caeworker was going to refuse no matter what. 

The reasons for refusal are bizarre; evidence of money transfers was provided going as far back as 8 years (coinciding with the period Rohit has been in the UK) yet the letter indicates wanting to see evidence of dependency for 19 years!  Rohit’s parents and sister’s only source of income is that which they receive from Rohit, but because the funds for 8 years have been transferred to a joint account, the Home Office claims that perhaps Rohit was transferring the funds on a monthly basis to India for his own use there, without explaining how Rohit could have been withdrawing funds from a bank or ATM in India, whilst being physically present in the UK!

The application made referred to Rohit’s parents health deteriorating; his father had a heart attack in 2013 with ongoing difficulties with arthritis and his eyesight, whilst his mum suffers from continuous cervical pain, high blood pressure and asthma. 

Receipts for the medical treatment were also provided to further show the dependency on Rohit of his parents.  However, this was also considered a reason for refusal by way of Home Office saying that clearly because the medical treatment had been sought and received, it indicated this treatment was available in India and thus the parents did not need to be in the UK!  The mind boggles as under EEA regulations, where financial dependency exists, especially at the level in this case, poor health is not a requirement!

 Bittersweet goodbye as Rohit is on his way back to the UK
Rohit wants his parents and sister with him so as to be able to look after them personally; to provide much needed emotional support which may well alleviate some of the physical symptoms.  He also hopes that with a baby due in October 2015, his family has a chance to be a complete unit, with the grandparents playing a part in the baby’s upbringing.

If his family were not able to be in the UK, the only option for Rohit would be to leave the UK for a country which does respect family life.  Accepting the change in home, jobs, salary is unlikely to be easy.  UK would also lose two taxpaying talented individuals, along with their contribution to society.

Despite the refusal, Rohit is aware he can more easily avail of EEA regulations, but is astounded by the reverse discrimination for British citizens compared with the more family-friendly EEA regulations – and that too something the Home Office is not applying lawfully (he is in the process of appealing).

All Rohit wants, is for the UK government to allow his family to live together so he can fulfil the responsiblities he is not currently able to. All the UK government should be doing is abiding by the regulations and laws it has signed up to - something it actively chooses to thumb its nose at.

Update: Rohit is now the proud father of a beautiful baby girl.  He cannot wait for his daughter to grow up knowing her aunt and grandparents.

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