"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 19 September 2013

Eve & Gustavo

“I regret voting for the Conservative party and naively believing their promise of upholding family values!”

Eve is a British citizen, born and bred. She is aged 55, on a good salary earning £29,000. She also has savings of £28,000 all the while building up her pension pot.

Eve had never met a man she wanted to settle down with. Until she met Gustavo.

To further her interest in Brazilian music and culture on a visit to Brazil. Eve was learning Portuguese when in January 2012 she met Gustavo, a delightful Brazilian man. Gustavo is affectionate, funny, fit with a beautiful singing voice. He is a great cook, is religious and is grateful. Although not having any formal education, Gustavo is a hard worker and life with him is always interesting.

Eve and Gustavo have a balanced relationship – as maturity often lends itself to. They give each other space for their own interests – and in each other have found the perfect combination of intimacy and freedom for self-development. He is her heart..for the first time, Eve feels truly at home when she is with someone – in Gustavo she has found her companion, soul mate and feels a deep sense of comfort and peace. He was a tremendous support when Eve’s father passed away in early 2013, staying by her side during the difficult time.

Since Eve has met Gustavo she has spent countless days, sleepless nights on the UKBA website and other related sites, trying to get her head round what it will take to marry this wonderful man. In June 2012 she realised the UKBA visa rules were changing but it was too soon in their relationship to think of marriage.

Now when she is ready, she is utterly dismayed that as a British citizen she now has to apply for four separate visas – fiancé, marriage, then another visa after 30 months and another after 5 years. And if an application fails at any stage, her then husband would have to leave.

Eve regrets she voted for the Conservative Party. She naively believed their promise of upholding family values. What of her own right to have a family? What has she worked for all her life, paid taxes for, voted for? She believed she lived in a civilised country which upheld human rights.

Despite earning over the £18,600 threshold, Eve is finding the process extremely onerous and expensive. Each stage of the visa application requires legal advice and she has come across cases of others who obtained legal advice yet their application was refused on a technicality. The first stage alone will cost her £6000 taking into account legal costs and flights to Brazil. She has that money now. But jobs are uncertain. Will she still have a job when they have to go through it all again at the next two stages? The rules are now that you have to have six months of salary at the required rate.

The rules have already changed twice and Eve is certain that they will change again and fees will rise further.

She is also concerned about the English language requirement. Surely the best place for Gustavo to learn English is in England?

Eve is risk averse. She doesn’t like uncertainty and understandably, doesn’t want to live in limbo for five years on the off-chance they will fall foul of constantly changing rules and have to uproot themselves from a well-settled life.

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