"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 21 July 2013

Bethan & Winston

“I have a first class degree, will complete my Masters from LSE and my husband is a qualified lawyer. Yet we face separation or selfexile. It’s ridiculous.”

Bethan is a British citizen. She has been in a relationship with Winston, her now fiancé since 2008  Winston is a Mexican citizen. They met whilst Winston was doing his study abroad in the UK.

They have sustained their relationship through regular visits to each other – Bethan also did a study abroad living in Mexico.

Winston proposed in December 2012 and they have since been planning their August 2014 wedding, however UK’s immigration rules have put a damper on things.

Bethan is currently studying for an MSc in Global Politics at London School of Economics, graduating in December 2013. Winston is already working as a lawyer in Mexico. However, Winston cannot join Bethan as her fiancé as being a full time student, she doesn’t earn £18,600 (not many students do).

They have discussed living in Mexico but the security situation in Northern Mexico, where Winston is from, is dire due to the 'drug wars'. There are also significant problems with corruption leading to an environment which neither of them believe is ideal for settling down in and starting their family.

In order to avoid being apart post-marriage, they are now being forced to consider having a civil ceremony about a year before their wedding in order for Bethan to exercise her treaty rights and move to Ireland with Winston to minimise the chance they will need to be apart post-wedding.

Bethan has a first class undergraduate degree and will be graduating with a Masters from one of the top universities in the world. Winston is a fully qualified lawyer, with a degree from one of the best universities in Mexico. This couple has a lot to offer the UK.

It is ridiculous that they could be prevented from doing so, or be forced to have a period of separation as newlyweds just so Bethan has a chance to collection 6 months of payslips followed by a further lengthy period apart during the application. It’s just as ridiculous that the only way this couple can ensure they are not forced apart is by engaging in a period of self-exile.

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