"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, 28 January 2013


“This is not how I expected my married life to be, a fight to be with my husband… .”

Kirsty is a British citizen, married to Karim, from Tunisia. Kirsty and Karim have known each other for over 11 years, since childhood, having met at a family wedding.

Over the years, they kept in touch and their relationship blossomed into something more serious; they were always aware of the uncertainty of distance long-distance relationship, knowing Kirsty did not want to live in Tunisia, and knowing that it would not be an easy or cheap process to have Karim move to the UK.

However, love triumphed and they married in July 2012, after accepting that they could not live without each other.

At the time, they were unaware that the new rules recently brought into force would require Kirsty to be earning at least £18,600 per annum.

Kirsty could not believe it – how could such rules be brought in so suddenly?! Upon meeting with two solicitors, Kirsty and Karim were told they had no chance –the visa would be refused again and again and again, until the government was taken to the High Court. They advised her they would help her fight the rules, but if they lost, the financial cost to Kirsty and Karim would be astronomical.

So this young married couple are stuck. Their only option at the moment is to continue as they are, spending their spare money on visiting each other, not allowing them to save for their future, for a deposit.

It is clear to Kirsty that this breaches her human right to a family life – the financial criteria discriminates against those hard-working taxpayers who earn an average salary, and as this law stands, she feels very much that when it comes marriage to someone from outside the EU for someone who wants to live in the UK, is now only for the rich or EU citizens who are not British.

Kirsty feels frustrated – why is it that her husband’s potential income in the UK is not considered? Karim has international diplomas in engineering, as a technician and in mechanics, as well as speaking many languages, so he has a much better chance of getting a high-earning job than Kirsty.

Karim speaks English perfectly and has passed an English test at the British Embassy. The couple has
accommodation available from Kirsty’s parents, their aim being to live there to save up for their own place.

But none of this is taken into account.

Kirsty is angry. Her husband, with diplomas and a strong work ethic, is not welcome in the UK, because he married a BritCit rather than a French, German or Polish citizen.

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