"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.

Thursday 25 April 2013


Douglas grew up in England and has worked and paid tax for the last thirty years. He is caught in a battle with the UKBA to obtain a visa for his wife and two children who are currently residing in Lagos, Nigeria. 

 Douglas is facing complications in proving his salary as he is self-employed. Due to this complicated process, Douglas feels he has been denied the right to bond with this 2 month old son; since his birth he has only seen him for a period of 10 days. 

In the words of Douglas “I will never be able to get these moments back, such as missing his first smile.” This separation affects the wider family, not just Douglas. His parents are elderly are therefore incapable of making the journey to Lagos, and have therefore they yet to meet their new grandson.

In addition to the emotional distress the 9th July changes are causing Douglas and his family it is has put a strain on his finances. The only opportunity he has to see his family is by traveling to Nigeria, as his wife and children are not eligible for a visit visa as the UKBA believe they could overstay their visa. Therefore, he has to fly to Nigeria at his own expense in order to see his family. 

On top of the flights Douglas must also pay the $125.00 for a Nigerian visa. Douglas is sending money to his wife as she is caring for their infant child and consequently unable to work. Additional expenses involve private health care, as Nigeria does not have a national health care system. 

  Douglas is in the position of having to financially support two households as opposed to one if his wife and children were allowed to join him in the UK. In order to afford this Douglas has rented out the rooms in his home and is currently sleeping on the sofa bed in his living room. Douglas feels this is absurd. If he were allowed his right to family life, his income would be spent in the UK, therefore making a greater contribution to the economy.

According to Douglas, the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) denied his family from entering the UK as “nothing is stopping Douglas from living and working in Lagos”. However Douglas believes this officer neglected to take enough time to review Douglas's situation, as he also has a son from a previous marriage, therefore relocating to Lagos is not an option as it would require Douglas abandoning his son in the UK. 

  Douglas states, “How long does the UK government think I can continue to send money to Nigeria or do they prefer me to abandon my wife and sons?”  

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