"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.

Saturday 31 August 2013

The latest BritCits pack is up : http://www.scribd.com/doc/164517957/BritCits-Aug-2013


This is the latest update that has been shared with our mailing list :

G'day lovely people

Warm welcome to the new members and continued thanks to the veteran britcits.

The pack
August pack slightly later than expected, but well worth the wait I'm sure you'll agree once you have had a chance to read the stories and updates, and see the beautiful photos of member families.

More stories, updates, photos, corrections and clarifications always welcome. 

Future britcits
If you know of anyone else affected by rules on the partner/parent front; or expecting to be affected by these rules in the future please do ask them to get in touch with us via email or through the website www.britcits.com  Please reach far and wide - the more members we have, the more effective we are.
We are continuing to update the database. Please ensure you have sent us info on what region of the UK you are from, who your local MP is and at least one contact phone number. The reason for the phone number is if we have an urgent request or update, it is useful to be able to pick up the phone and speak with you rather than wait for an email reply.  Needless to say, your details are not shared with anyone without your prior consent
*Important request*
There have over the last few months been progress with several members and the Home Office. Some visa approvals (congratulations!), some refusals going to court for appeal, some successful appeals (amazing!) and some where even where the court has ruled in favour of the family the Home Office takes the appeal to the next level (when will they stop wasting taxpayers money?!)
I'd appreciate it if you could send us the following:

a) where visa has been refused, info on the wording used by the Home Office
b) where you have appealed a refusal, the determination from the Court, either overturning the Home Office decision or agreeing with it
c) where your appeal has been approved, but the Home Office further appeals, documents showing their reasoning behind this.
d) Any subsequent judicial decisions

b), c) and d) are in the public domain anyway, but if you share with us we still will not share the details without your consent.  The reason we want this info is to see if there is a trend in both, Home Office wording and judicial decisions.  This is priceless information if we are to be successful in getting the rules changed.

FOI requests
BritCits has made several Freedom of Information requests, almost all of which are in the public domain. You can follow these to see progress yourself by going to: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/search/britcits/all
As Steven has pointed out, this is a route open to all of you to also make requests.  I would recommend you first do a search to see whether what you are asking for info on has already been provided in response to someone else's request, be very selective with your wording and ensure you address the request to the appropriate government department.

If there is something you want to know information on and you think it would be relevant to BritCits and want us to make the request for you, that's fine too. Please let us know.

House of Commons - 9th September
Spousal Visas Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons from 2:30pm. Go to parliament to watch it in person if you can, else through the website: parliament.tv

Please contact your MP to get them to raise your case if you are affected by the Home Office pausing spousal visa applications - let them know you are their constituent and you are affected.

Future meetups
Info on these is at www.meetup.com/britcits

If you would like to arrange a meetup in your local area, please feel free to do so from this page, or ask Steven (sjplep@gmail.com) or myself to do so for you, giving us details on date & time, exact location and info on any agenda you may have - though it's fine if the purpose is just to meet others affected by the rules. If kids are welcome, that's useful info too.

EU treaty rights & Surinder Singh
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 - your spouse must be living with you in the other EEA country before you return to the UK and our understanding is that you as the British citizen, must be living and working or be self-employed in this other EEA country for a minimum of 3 months, for at least 12 hours a week.
On your return to the UK, you use the EEA2 residence card form: More info here, sec 2.14

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.

Media coverage thanks to BritCits
Lizzie's story has been covered in the Sunday Mirror - not online, but an image of the article is available on the website www.britcits.com
Christine & Ziad's story is to be covered by the Yorkshire Evening Post, Channel 4 news and I believe, BBC too.
Great work from Andy Russell and Chris Reed who also got to share their stories on Channel 4 news earlier this month. Watching Molly finally reunited with her family was incredibly emotional and Chris was great in clearly stating that our family members do not have recourse to public funds.
With thanks from Steven and myself:
Our gratitude to the following members who have made the extra effort to help us out.  If you or someone you know deserves to be in this list for the next special mentions list, please let me know. Modesty is fine, but we encourage member involvement, and thanks should be delivered where deserved.

David - for his excellent designing skills and prompt delivery.
Lizzie - for rallying troops to raise awareness and lobbying of MPs
Sal - for the endless meetings she arranges with MPs and migrant groups in Wales
Wayne - ideas, FOI clarifications and general help

Campaigner of the Year
And finally, an incredible honour for Steven and hence BritCits. Steven has been honoured with a special mention in the shortlist for the Campaigner of the Year award from the Sheila McKechnie Foundation. He should recieve this on September 10th. Massive congratulations from myself, and I am sure, all of the members too Steven. WELL DONE! :)

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