"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 14 June 2013

Victory for love, the best interest of children, and British compassion

This is an update to Liz's story : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/liz-via-facebook-with-permission.html

It's good to see light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel. Read it for yourself. Liz's story illustrates how genuinely wicked rules which divide families are.

Liz's story was one of those printed and presented in the second session of the APPG oral hearings, in order to draw attention to the seriousness - deadly seriousness - of the situation for those families divided.

Major props to JCWI for fighting this important and difficult case to a successful conclusion.


'A Father will be allowed to join his wife and twins after Upper Tribunal agrees there are exceptional compassionate circumstances allowing him to be exempt from the English Language Test.

'Liz Farrow a BBC Assistant met her husband while she was studying in Yemen. They got married in September 2010 and soon after their marriage Liz had to return to the UK to get back to work, her husband was not allowed to join her. She gave birth to twins on 9th July 2012 and has been struggling as a single mum as her husband has twice failed the English language test implemented as a requirement by the Government two years ago. Liz has been separated from her husband for over 3 years.

'Liz meets all the Immigration Rules requirements, including the high financial threshold to sponsor her husband. But despite the fact that he is an intelligent man, a teacher and a headmaster in Yemen he has not got through the English language test.

'Liz says: I know when my husband comes to England he will quickly learn English as he will be surrounded by the language.

'Her husband moved from Yemen to Jordan to try and learn English, but he is surrounded by Arabic and it has been impossible for him to reach the standard required to pass the test. There is an exemption from the English language requirement if there are “exceptional compassionate circumstances” but the Home Office maintained that Liz’s husband did not qualify under this exception.

'The twins are growing up without their father. For any family the birth of their first child is a momentous, joyous and a difficult time. Liz gave birth to not one but two children and she has had to raise them alone. Her husband is on the other side of the world and cannot support her or be there for the formative years in his children’s lives.

'Liz says: “I have been asked why did I marry someone from that part of the world but when you fall in love and decide to marry someone you don’t ask the person what nationality are you? Oh sorry you are not the right nationality so you can’t live with me in my country.”

'Both parents have suffered from depression and anxiety. Liz had minimal help after having a c-section during the birth of the twins, and had to recover alone and in a lot of pain.

'JCWI have represented Liz, but were initially not able to secure entry clearance for her husband.  We appealed against the decision but the First Tier Tribunal upheld the refusal to allow him a visa. We then had to appeal to the Upper Tribunal and they agreed with us that the First Tier Tribunal  judge made an error of law in not considering Liz’s husband’s case under the “exceptional compassionate circumstances” exemption from the English language requirement.'

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