"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 18 January 2014


“My health or my wife?”

Muhammad is British citizen whose wife is from Morocco. He is also a lifelong patient of severe atopic eczema which has made life difficult in many areas, including finding suitable employment due to the complexities of this condition. However, he does have a job, albeit one which does not pay over £18,600.

Muhammad met his wife in Morocco in early 2012. She is a decent caring woman who understands his illness. Their friendship blossomed and soon after they decided to marry.

Unfortunately just two weeks after the marriage, Muhammad discovered UK’s immigration rules had changed and now required an income of over £18,600 or a huge amount of savings in cash.

Due to the nature of his illness, Muhammad cannot work in dusty or highly stressful environments as they exacerbate the condition which has severely limited his earning capacity. It is very unlikely Muhammad will ever work in a job paying over £18,600.

Muhammad’s skin condition requires medication every three hours which can cause problems during working and finding an employer who is understanding enough to allow Muhammad the required breaks.

So he has been living in severe depression for about a year now, separated from his wife. Although Muhammad does visit his wife often – culturally she would be ostracised if her husband stayed away from her for too long.

Muhammad has tried to move to Morocco to live with his wife but unfortunately the Moroccan climate isn’t friendly to his severe skin condition and he has experienced severe flare ups on visits there.

Given Muhammad speaks neither Arabic or French, and he has a health condition, he is also unlikely to find a job there, which means he can’t stay there for longer than three months at a time. Overstaying his visa is not even a consideration with penalties including a jail sentence and monetary fines.

Muhammad does currently have a job for which he is very grateful for as it allows him to work in an environment which is suitable to his condition and allows him to earn an amount that would not require him to claim benefits. He also has third party support from his parents, but the rules do not allow for that either.

So Muhammad lives in limbo, seeing his wife when he can.

No comments:

Post a Comment