"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 18 July 2013

The latest BritCits pack is online. 

I'll also be blogging the stories at britcits.com and tweeting at https://twitter.com/sjplep over the coming weeks.

Cases are wide & varied; a son earning over £100,000 unable to sponsor parents due to rules deemed a ban masquerading as a rule; a young mum with a second chance at love is forced to choose between kids from a previous relationship who the law prevents leaving UK shores, and her husband overseas; a gay mum with twins unable to return to UK to have her civil partner’s status recognised for the security of their babies; debt-free pensioners forced into working for income they don’t need; armed forces personnel who risked their life for our freedom being denied a right to their own family file; British ex-pats wishing to return to look after British parents find barriers to entry are too high with a non-EU spouse or child in tow.
We encounter Skype families trying to conquer long-distance & time-differences through a screen; Brits forced into exile - some with an intention to return under Surinder Singh route, others so disenchanted they’ve sold up & moved away for good. There’s women postponing having kids lest it be without their spouse by their side or in a country with poor health & education facilities; awful news stories of women having abortions to continue to earn a salary needed to sponsor their spouse. We come across a few unfortunate cases where the relationship hasn’t survived the upheaval & stress from rules designed to keep family apart. Where the cases fall clearly within the rules, UKBA mysteriously loses documents or the file is tucked away to join the rest of the backlog.
This pack brings you face to face with the victims of these rules – survivors - fighting loudly for their rights.

BritCits bulletin

This is the latest update that has been shared with our mailing list.  The BritCits bulletins are authored by Sonel, who tweets at https://twitter.com/BritCits
What an ice-cream filled summer it's turned into..may it last as long as our winter did!

All your stories should be in the pack now, attached. Corrections, updates, photos and more stories welcome for the August version.
Anyone in Bristol - a group there is very keen to hear your story. You may have already been contacted by Steve or myself..it's important you do respond to these calls as we don't have enough time to keep chasing. Having the opportunity to have your story shared and raise awareness is priceless so snatch the chances when you can.
Children's Commissioner
Children's Commissioner for England has contacted us to say they now have sufficient emails from families affected by the rules, and don't need any more.  Please therefore refrain from sending them your story if you haven't done so already.

I would still recommend getting in touch with the corresponding organisations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland if you are from these regions.
EEA route
More and more, members are asking about the EEA route.  BritCits is not qualified to give afvice, however we are happy to direct you to areas where you can get the information and I am also happy to share my own experience with you.  However it is important you do your own research and get professional advice where needed.
I found this useful for Ireland..there must be similar sites from other countries. 

For you to use your rights as an EU citizen to return to the UK with non-EEA family members, you need to use the Surinder Singh route. 

On your return to the UK, you use the EEA2 residence card form: More info here, sec 2.14  http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/policyandlaw/guidance/ecg/eun/eun2/

Wish you the best of luck..if there's anything else you need you may also find this page on FB useful:  EU FREE MOVEMENT DIRECTIVE/2004/38/C  and our website: www.britcits.com  contains information as well as the sharing of experience from rentals to job hunting; mobile phones to supermarkets.

Meetups are regularly organised to allow meeting of others affected by the rules, brainstorming of ideas on best ways to raise awareness and drive change etc. Largely informal and it helps to put faces to the names in the pack and FB pages.  Kids are welcome!    The next two are scheduled as below:

Meetup on Saturday 20th July in Manchester, 1130am (near Manchester Piccadilly..contact us for exact location if you will be attending).

Meetup on Sunday 4th August in London, midday (Southbank, nearest stations: Waterloo, Blackfriars)
You can register for these at http://www.meetup.com/BritCits/
Take care and please continue to lobby your MPs so they can represent you in parliament again, come September and return from summer recess.  In the meantime, keep on the sunscreen and dont forget the hats.

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