"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 8 September 2013


“I have paid over £100,000 in taxes and NI contributions in five years. All I want is for my mother to stay with us – and have the means to look after her without recourse to public funds.”

Sree is a UK permanent resident from Middlesex. Her mother is 67 years old, living alone in India. Whilst her mother has visited Sree in the UK, she is now not able to travel frequently. Although reasonably self-sufficient financially, she does need the emotional care, love and support, which with the onset of age becomes more of a necessity.

Sree has sufficient funds to support her mum without recourse to public funds. She’s willing to take out
private healthcare insurance, provide a monetary bond and guarantees.

As someone who is self-employed, Sree works in the IT department of a major life science company. During her entire life in the UK, Sree has been employed and paid her taxes promptly, never availing of any state benefits. She is a higher-rate tax payer, and in the five years to April 2013, has paid over £100,000 in taxes and National Insurance contributions alone.

For Sree, her mother is a vital member of her family unit – not extended family. Her mother has seen Sree get married, helped her during the early days of motherhood and throughout. Sree’s kids have spent a huge amount of time with their grandmother, having been raised by her until they moved to the UK in 2012. The bond between grandmother and grandchildren is very strong. Indeed, Sree admits that to the kids, their grandmother is likely more of a mother than she herself is, as Sree left her kids with her mother when she moved to the UK several years ago, because of the initial visa restrictions.

It is cruel to now leave an elderly woman alone in a country once she has fulfilled her purpose to Sree by raising the kids. Sree also has a duty to her mother – to look after her and not wrench apart grandchildren from their grandmother.

Sree is clear. Her mother actively chose not to remarry since becoming a widow when Sree was 19, to ensure Sree always remained her priority. An incredibly unselfish choice. It is now Sree’s turn to respond in kind to the sacrifices made.

It is not just to leave an elderly member of your family to fend for herself. The natural process of ageing and the stress of being apart from all family has broken her a bit. Sree’s mum can’t manage daily chores by herself. The children are emotionally bonded to her and it is breaking their hearts as well to see someone they love so much suffering alone.

Sree is gutted. Her mother has always been there for them. Now they cannot even provide a safe and
secure life for her in return.

Sree is reconsidering the decision to remain in the UK. She is unhappy and feels guilty at leaving her mother alone. She has paid a huge amount in taxes without every claiming anything in return. All she wants now is for the chance to stay with her mum.

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