"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, 17 March 2013

Clyde and Xudan

Our family is completely broken. Thank you UK government, well done! If only you had let Dancy into the UK in the first place probably none of this would havehappened – Clyde and she (and my husband and myself) would have had so much less stress – and stress is a huge contributory factor to other expensive health problems...

A few weeks ago, I met Clyde and his mother, Joyce, at the All Party Parliamentary Group inquiry on the effects of the new rules ( http://www.migrantsrights.org.uk/blog/2013/03/parliamentary-inquiry-family-migration-update-and-next-steps ).

Because of the rules, Clyde lives in Belgium to qualify for family reunion (he caught the Eurostar just after the meeting).

The story, from Clyde's mother's perspective, is here : http://www.scribd.com/doc/130872886/Clyde-and-Xudan2 

Clyde's own story is below :

'I am a British citizen from a family that has roots of over 500 years in the UK (we know this due to my mother's passion for genealogy).

'All people in genuine loving relationships just want to be with their families. The new laws from the 9th July are preventing this.

'5 years ago, while working abroad, I met my future wife. We have been in a loving relationship ever since. I myself have spent 2 years living and working in China in order to be with her.

'We were married in the summer of 2011, after which we naively decided it would be a good time to invite her to the UK to meet my family and learn more about British culture. At that time my grandmother (an 88 year old British citizen who had hardly left the UK in her life) was desperate to meet my wife, knowing that she didn't have much longer left herself.

'We applied for a family visit visa, but were shocked and hurt when we heard the news that the visa had been rejected, not because of a problem with the paperwork, but due to the fact that we were married! The UKBA didn't trust that she would leave after her visa expired (something totally against our family principles).

'We had to get an immigration lawyer involved at considerable expense, and after an appeal, we were given a reduced length visa (half the allowed 6 months). We were so happy to finally have Xudan come over and my grandmother was so happy when they met that she cried.

'Unfortunately this happiness didn't last, as after only 3 weeks together my grandmother died. The time together that was denied us by the UKBA can never be recovered.

'In January 2012, we started preparing to make an application for a settlement visa to allow my wife to stay longer in the UK. She's a qualified Chinese teacher, a skill in high demand in the modern world. Due to the volume of paperwork involved, and logistical difficulties obtaining it, it was August before we were ready to submit our 300-page document. Unfortunately we missed getting our application in before the new and inhumane laws came into force on the 9th July 2012.

'Despite having an annual income equivalent to £21,000, and being owner of my own property, we were rejected for financial reasons, mainly being that as I was a teacher on short-term contracts, I could not guarantee my income for a long time into the future (like one year).

'We have made an appeal and are now waiting, possibly for a year or more without any information about how long it is likely to take.

'The stress and isolation is unbearable. Being unable to live any longer with the uncertainties. I have had no choice but to leave the UK and move to Belgium, in the hope that I can get a European visa for my wife. I have had to leave my property, my job and my life in the UK. I feel like I have been exiled by the government, and if I go to China I won't be able to earn enough to ever make the financial targets, so will never be able to move back.

'My day-to-day life feels unreal to me, I’m married, but in the last 12 months have only been able to see my wife for 6 weeks in total. The loneliness and instability has got to a stage where it has caused deep depression, and I am unable to sleep at night. Let down, exiled, and facing a future of uncertainty, this means that I have lost a good part of my life, which should have been a happy time for a newly wed couple starting their life together.

'The rules are being enforced with absolute strictness and no leniency, no consideration of individual circumstances is made, as can be seen by the way that third party support from my parents was denied. Does the government understand what a family is?? We want to contribute to society, not depend on it, but we are even being denied the chance to do this. Sadly, the stress has also seriously affected my mother, who has tried everything she can to help us in a way that good families do.

'How can the government say it promotes the family when it has broken 3 generations of ours, and many more families that are in the same boat.  Unless they have been through this, people cannot fully understand how the difficulty, sheer effort, and uncertainty can get into your bones and affect your life. No one who hears about our situation can believe that the government could introduce and continue to support a policy which is so damaging to genuine couples and families.'


  1. 'No one who hears about our situation can believe that the government could introduce and continue to support a policy which is so damaging to genuine couples and families.' This is such a true statement. My wife is British and I am American. Everyone who I speak to- family, friends, strangers- cannot actually believe that they are keeping a British citizen's spouse from joining her in the UK, even though she makes a substantial income, but just not quite 18,600. I feel your pain, and I hope that everything works out for the both of you.

  2. Anonymous - thanks for your comment. Please contact me at sjplep at gmail dot com (email) if you'd like us to add your story to the pack and this page.

    Hang in there!

    - Steve

  3. I'm in the same boat. I'm Canadian, my husband is British. While he would make the aforementioned amount. We both quite our jobs for an extended honeymoon. I thought we had enough money based upon the old laws. The laws changed while we were backpacking through SE Asia. Because of this, I came to Canada to apply, and was hit with the new laws. I've now been in Canada for 5 months and haven't seen my husband since our honeymoon. Thanks to the UKBA for robbing us of our first year of marriage.

  4. Anon - thanks for your comment. Please do get in touch with us at britcits at gmail dot com if you'd like to share your story, or to be added to our mailing list.

  5. This story is so heartbreaking. Clyde's mother's description of what they've all been through had me in tears. My husband is Costa Rican and so we had to go through some of this, but as we started it all a few years ago, we managed to escape the worst of it. I simply cannot believe that they've made it so much harder and more complicated - it was hellish enough when we did it. And I really recognise Joyce's description of everyone's disbelief of how difficult it is. So, I can't say much except that I'm signing and sharing all the petitions, and keeping my fingers crossed for all of the couples whose stories you're sharing.

  6. I understand your sadness perfectly. I married my Chinese wife four years ago and she was also refused a visitors visa and the chance to meet my mum who died last year without seeing her apart from on a web cam. thanks to this present governments new family immigration laws. it makes me angry that I had to give up everything in the UK to be with my wife in China. needless to say there must be thousands of more sad stories of people denied the chance to live with their loved ones in their own country. it stains the image of the UK and everything about human rights we are supposed to stand for.

  7. This country and it's Policies are a Complete and Utter DISGRACE...

    This country is sending out the wrong message and showing they are racist.

  8. Best of luck to everyone posting here and in the same sad situation.Thanks to the UKBA my Iranian wife and I have been separated for more time that we have been together! Sure they granted her a fiancee visa, we got married within the time frame....then they gave her a deportation order with 2 weeks notice. The UK is a bonkers country so we will go and live in Spain for a while then Oz. The way this country treat migrants (and the elderly...) shows the true colour of its social policies. Teresa May put a policy like this in place so she can spin some stats at me about reducing 'uncontrolled immigration' but it's a blunt and unkind instrument. Typical invention of bureaucrats. Immigration has largely been reduced by shutting down the fake schools - not by this financial hurdle which makes no sense at all. David.

    1. David - thanks for sharing your story. Best wishes to you. - Steve

  9. Hi Guys. I feel for you so much. My wife is Filipino. We live in the UK and she recently managed to get FLR for the first time, but we still have this threat over us for the next 5 years. At the moment I earn enough money, so we are fortunate, but who knows where we will be in 5 years time. I just don't see how this law they implemented can be legal, to keep families apart in this way. Best of luck to you both.