"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 28 July 2013


“I can’t believe I may never be able to return home, as breaking up my family for several months just isn’t feasible.”

Sarah is a British citizen living in Thailand with her Thai husband.

She initially came to Thailand to work with Burmese refugees but fell in love and started a family-- always with the intention of returning to the UK.

Under the new rules Sarah’s salary does not meet the financial requirement, nor will it ever. Indeed, it would be near impossible to find a job in Thailand that would meet the requirements as local salaries are simply not in line with those in the UK.

However, combined with her husband’s salary, they meet the requirements. But the new rules do not permit his income to be considered.

So, to return to the UK, we are now facing the choice of:
a) Sarah returns alone with their two children, seeks employment paying over the stipulated salary while placing them in full-time childcare and somehow coping as a single parent until she qualifies to qualify to sponsor her husband OR
b) remaining in Thailand indefinitely as a family unit, depriving her British children of a British education and their British family.

Even if Sarah opts to return to the UK alone, she would not be able to avail of her parents' support in terms of accommodation or childcare as the salary stipulations means she would almost certainly need to seek work in London or another large city where childcare costs are very high.

Both Sarah and her husband are highly educated – both have completed their Masters, have a decade of professional experience and her husband speaks fluent English as well.

They have looked at the alternatives such as the EEA route, but find this costly and impractical for a young family.

Sarah finds it hard to believe she can’t bring her family home and therefore may face a life abroad indefinitely.


  1. Regarding cases like Sarah's, one aspect that doesn't seem to have been raised much is this. Supposing, this winter, Sarah finds a job paying 19,000 GBP a year and returns, without her husband, to the UK. Sounds good? But what if the government not only manages to overturn the recent ruling on the financial requirement, but increases that requirement to 20,000 GBP (or even higher -they have previous, after all) next April? Is this something to be concerned about?

  2. Anonymous, that is the exact problem we all face. Where will it end. Thats one of the reason's I refuse to let my wife leave the UK. They can't deport her, and they know it. They backed down on reporting conditions when I told them to issue removal instructions.
    See “Failure to Report” / “ISE343″ and Response to challenging the ISE 343.
    Sadly, despite equality, we are in a better situation since my spouse is the non-EEA MOTHER. If it were me who was the non-EEA it would be harder to argue like this... (sexism, but everyone knows a child relies on their mother more).

    Still, it doesn't remove the fact that both TFEU and UNCRC gives a child the RIGHT to direct contact with both parents!

  3. THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE, just an idea;

    Get your partner over as a visitor. Consider representing yourself, then use Article 6 if they try to remove your partner (You cannot address the court as you will have to follow your partner/wife/hubbie abroad.)

  4. I've just received the refusal letter by the Home Office - refusing my Thai partner, and our two children an extension of the UK settlement visa they gained in 2011.

    Long story short:- we have enough funds - my salary is significantly higher than the £18.6K threshold, and significantly large savings.

    We have never broken any of the terms of the settlement visa, nor any UK laws, nor claimed any benefits at all.

    Our refusal reasons were:-

    - her English certificate was gained from an authority in Thailand that is no longer a UK Visas and Immigration recognised provider (it was when my partner got the settlement visa in 2011 though!)

    - we wouldn't face extreme hardship or serious risk to health in Thailand, therefore we must all go and live there.

    The second reason is absurd and worrying. The UK gave my partner and our children a route to settle in the UK, then tell us two years later to settle in Thailand! We have done nothing wrong. We merely wished to extend the settlement visa as it was due to expire. We have enough finances. We have jobs. We are not a burden on the UK. We have settled here. The UK granted us visas to settle here. Now they say settle in Thailand. Why grant the settlement visas in the first place? If it's the case that we should return to Thailand because we basically won't die if we do, is this a normal reason? I can't work there, and we'd give up our jobs if we were kicked out of the UK.

  5. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26024375

    What a joke! I watched Panorama tonight and there's mass fraud taking place with TOEIC tests! ETS have been kicked out now. You will not believe this: people sitting in for others in tests - fake sitters who are local English people taking exams for foreign students - IN LONDON! -, administrators telling students the answers to multiple choice questions out loud! These are approved-by-Home-Office colleges!! All found out by independent investigators, NOT the Home Office! How low can the Home Office go? The Home Office are negligent in their role as over-seeing immigration regulatory procedures - corruption happening under their own eyes. Found out and publicised in the mainstream press and on BBC1 primetime.

    And then they punish genuine families! It's an absolute disgrace.