"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 5 July 2013


Michael and his girlfriend met while students at Warwick University, and presents the important perspective of a young person - as we all know, many couples do meet and fall in love when they are young!

Michael also wrote the article Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The Heartlessness of the Home Secretary (link: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/michael-allen/out-of-sight-out-of-mind-_2_b_2228818.html ), an excellent piece which brings together the causes of British families divided by immigration rules, the plight of LMU students, and the cause of Roseline Akhalu (previously : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/the-trials-of-roseline-akhalu-httpwww.html ).

'I've been affected by two immigration rule changes: the abolition of the Tier 1 post-study work visa and the £18,600 salary limit, though I know the campaign is focused on the latter.

'My and my girlfriend's original plan was for her to stay in the UK on a post-study work visa (2 years). However, this was abolished just before she graduated (in 2012), which meant she had to return to Singapore. She did have a place on a Masters programme at Warwick, but unfortunately she didn't achieve the grades to get on it. I went over to Singapore for the summer of 2012, but had to return here for my final year of university. We have been apart for this whole year and I've only seen her for 2 weeks at Xmas. She is coming over in a few days to stay for 3 weeks (and attended the protest!), but after that she'll be gone again for probably between 6 months to 1 year. I may see her again this Xmas if I'm lucky, but my Masters is very expensive and she will be focusing on a law course in Singapore.

'We discussed getting married last year so that she would be able to stay in the UK. Obviously, we are quite young (I'm 21 and she's 22), so we didn't really want to get married, but thought it was the only option if we wanted to be together, as we did see a future together (which probably would entail marriage at some point). It turned out this option wouldn't work either, due to the £18,600 salary requirement. I could have applied to high-paying graduate jobs which would have covered this, but my dream had always been to become a journalist, which required one year of extra study and I didn't want to give up on that dream.

'In terms of how I've been affected, my final year at university was almost ruined by stress and depression. I was prescribed anti-anxiety medication. Fortunately I did get the grades I needed, but every day was an uphill struggle and my productivity was never at its best. As for my girlfriend, she had to have counselling in Singapore and her internship in a law firm suffered due to her being upset all the time.

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