"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 30 August 2014

UK Spouse Visa Financial Requirement – savings calculator


This is useful for those who are trying to meet the financial requirement with savings (partially or wholly). A small word of caution - for the self-employed, special (and much much more restrictive rules) apply, so this is most useful for those in full-time employment.
Man with Down's syndrome faces being deported from Britain after 17 years - because his parents died

Source :Mirror, Metro, This Is Local London


'Wadih Chourey, 44, moved to the UK in 1997 with his mum, dad and two brothers, because he was being mentally and physically abused by local gangs in Beirut.'

More : http://metro.co.uk/2014/08/30/man-with-downs-syndrome-faces-deportation-after-17-years-in-britain-because-his-parents-died-4851298/ & http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/11439298.Deportation_fight_for_man_with_Down_s_syndrome_who_lost_his_parents/
From a Gazan Stripper in Texas to Chinese Migrants in Egypt, Kim Badawi photographs intercultural encounters

Source :Global Voices Online


'Whether it's through images of indigenous groups in Brazil living in urban spaces, or Chinese communities living in Egypt, Badawi's work shows how these encounters take place. A “cultural hybrid”, as he calls himself, Badawi concentrates on the everyday aspects of such intersections, highlighting the different sides of each experience.'

Friday 29 August 2014

Surinder Singh for Newbies 2014 2015 - extended edition

Author : David B,

The extended 'Surinder Singh for newbies' is now available for 2015, and it looks great. David has excelled himself once again.

PDF format, on Scribd : 

EPUB format (good for certain mobile browsers), on Scribd :

Word format, on Scribd :

Now including (2014) :

1.       New front cover graphic!
2.       Print out itineraries/hotel accommodation
3.       Visa is free
4.       Cover letter incorporating the old and the new one
5.       Relevant parts of the Directive
6.       If quizzed on entry what to say.
7.       Warning ‘Do not mention ‘Surinder Singh’ on entry
8.       Don’t be alarmed at number of days stamped in passport
9.       Factor in Prices, Health Care, and Transport
10.   New links to Self-Employment
11.   Non EU working without stamp 4
12.   New link for PPS numbers
13.   Opening Bank Accounts /Changes
14.   Submit EU1 earliest opportunity and include cover letter for missing docs.
15.   Centre of Life issues
16.   Family Permit Apps and inclusion of ‘Teleperformance’
17.   Map with locations and distances and times to travel to Dublin
18.   PRTB explained in Family Permit Docs section.
19.   Section 5 on EEA2 app relating to Singh and tick box if you have FP
20.   Warning about planning and lack of planning
21.   Additional useful sites

And for 2015  :

1.      Introduction ‘Who Is Surinder Singh’?
2.      Cain Ruling, with regards to unmarried durable relationships.
3.      Marriage information site regarding getting married in Ireland.
4.      Rewrite and change of fonts to make the guide easier to read.
5.      Info on 30 day limit to submit all documents for C visa.
6.      Travel any time within the validity period of C visa.
7.      Emphasis on irrelevance what is stamped in passports on entry (90 days)
8.      Stress importance of choosing location regarding homes and jobs.
9.      Hidden costs e.g. TV licence, dentistry etc. and how expensive.
10.  When choosing schools, make sure they are not oversubscribed, other costs include school uniforms & books etc.
11.  Extra house rental sites added.
12.  Article 23 from Directive confirming right to work for non EU.
13.  Warnings on costs of living.
14.  Overview of PPSN with added sites for tax & PPSN information.
15.  Sending in EU1 application before resuming work.
16.  Explanatory Leaflet EU1 link.
17.  Check Bank charges with link to comparison websites detailing charges.
18.  Explanation of PRTB.
19.  Suggestions for integration into your local community for COL.
20.  New EEA(FAM) RC application form + new fee and fee for biometrics.
21.  Emphasis on patience will be needed throughout your stay in your host country.
22.  To offset printing and photocopying costs suggest buying a cheap 3 in 1 printer.
23.  Change of disclaimer description to now include people need to consult a lawyer or immigration specialist if needing advice.
24.  New front page cover with new wording and description.
25.  New graphic and vector art to compliment the wording and new site inclusions.
26.  Explanation of abbreviations e.g. FP, COL, RC etc.

It's important to highlight that this is a guide, not a manual, as things change all the time and the nature of these things means that the sphere of knowledge is always growing.

This route is not easy - and preparation is key. But the rewards are great.

EEA visa - EU free movement - A great Facebook support group for people going through the route :

A video on one family's experience of the route :

Surinder Singh stories (lots of links to various people's personal experiences at the bottom of the post) :

Malta in a nutshell by David and Dee :

Surinder Singh in the Netherlands by Amanda :


More Surinder Singh links :

Good luck.

Divided Families - Scotland


Support group for divided families north of the border.

This group is co-ordinated by our very own Fran.

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Leeds family ‘could be torn apart by immigration battle’

Source :Yorkshire Evening Post


'A couple are pleading with the Government not to “put a price on love” amid fears that immigration rules on minimum incomes will tear their young family apart. Aerial trapeze artist Natalie Stafford married South African yacht skipper Michael Engel in his home town of Cape Town, South Africa, last year. The pair, who live in South Milford near Leeds, have a 14 month old daughter Nyama Rose together. But Natalie’s unpredictable income - and tight rules governing how much UK partners must earn before their partners can be allowed to live here permanently - have left the pair in limbo...'

Please sign Natalie and Michael's petition :

'Family friendly’ rules that exclude loved ones

Author/Source :Telegraph


' A loud raspberry was blown by one group of people at David Cameron’s pro-family speech last week – not because they disagreed with his sentiments; quite the opposite, in fact. They are the fiancées and spouses of foreign nationals with whom they want to settle in the UK, often together with their children, but whose yearning for a family life is being thwarted by the zealous application of tough new visa restrictions...'

Monday 25 August 2014

'I am a British citizen and I have lost my human right to family life'

Source : sal64london / YouTube

Video of the divided families protest outside Downing Street on Saturday 23rd August.

Jessie is speaking!


(The man who made the video, who we encountered on the day, is himself an Algerian who hasn't seen his Singaporean wife and daughter in three years).

More photos and quotes from the day :

Sunday 24 August 2014

Photos of London protest against UK Government dividing family

Source : London Friend / See


Great photos.

By https://twitter.com/londonfriend - who also photographed the 9th July 2013 demonstration outside the Home Office, marking the first anniversary of the family division rules :


More photos and quotes from the day : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/demonstration-for-family-rights-23rd.html
Divided families - international roundup (Sunday night reading)

Sources :Vox, Guardian, NPR, CBS, BBC, Sydney Morning Herald, Jerusalem Post, UNHCR

Vox : 'Meet the attorney who got Uganda’s anti-gay law overturned'


'Nicholas Opiyo is a 34 year-old attorney who lives and practices law in Kampala, Uganda. He was appointed to a team of lawyers that was tasked with challenging and ultimately prosecuting Uganda's infamous Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA). In fact, Opiyo was the lead counsel for the issue on which the case was decided. After a four-day trial, the law was officially declared "null and void" by a constitutional court in Uganda on August 1.'



Guardian : Florida same-sex marriage ban ruled unconstitutional in federal court


'A federal judge on Thursday declared Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, joining state judges in four counties who have sided with gay couples.'

NPR : Same-sex marriages on hold in Virginia after Supreme Court weighs in


'The decision was widely expected and tells little about how the high court will ultimately rule on the issue. It merely preserves the status quo.'



BBC : Arrests at protests against Israeli interfaith wedding


'Four far-right Jewish protesters have been arrested at the wedding of a Jewish-born woman who converted to Islam and an Arab Muslim man in Israel.

'Several hundred demonstrators rallied outside the reception hall in Rishon LeZion on Sunday, amid high security. The groom, Mahmoud Mansour, had sought a court order to try to stop the protest from taking place but failed. '

'Right-wing extremists can't break the love of a Muslim man and Jewish woman in Israel' :



UNHCR : Escape to Samos


'Hundreds of Syrian refugees make the treacherous journey to Samos Island in Greece. Only some of them find sanctuary.'
Sunday links

Sources : Family Immigration Alliance, Wang Bang, Free Movement blog, politics.co.uk, Guardian

Family Immigration Alliance - Wayne's story :

'I’ve haven’t seen my wife and daughter since 2009, because of a visa issue...'


Wang Bang - My week with David Rushmer in Paris :

'David is part of our family' :

Bang's blog :

David and Bang's story :

Bang's interrogation :


Free Movement blog - Compensation awarded for hearing cancelled at short notice :

'An award of £3,600 plus interest for legal costs and £100 for inconvenience was made to a lady whose hearing was cancelled the day before by the court. Waiting around all day only for it later to be cancelled is surely worse, particularly if a load of witnesses and supporters are also put to the same inconvenience?'

Politics.co.uk - Grey and hopeless: The grim reality of immigration tribunals :

'The immigration system is full of small personal slights. These are the regular unspoken humiliations which reveal, more than any law or ministerial speech, just how little respect the state has for those who wish to live here.'

Previous post :


Private firms 'are using detained immigrants as cheap labour' :

'G4S and Serco saving millions by paying detainees as little as £1 an hour to cook and clean, claim campaigners'

Saturday 23 August 2014

Demonstration for family rights, 23rd August 2014

Credits : The organisers and participants, divided families, members of  'I love my foreign spouse', 'Demonstration for family rights of British citizens', #familydemo, Meetup

Where : By Westminster/Whitehall; opposite Downing Street; Leicester Square 

Photos from a demonstration earlier today. Credits are to those who participated who took photos, many of which have been shared on social media.

This was a very successful grassroots demonstration, organised by some of those affected, and supported by many others who couldn't be there (either because they are struggling to meet the economic requirement themselves, or that they are ground down by the inhumanity of these rules). The speeches, stories and leaflets got the sympathetic attention of many, many members of the public - passersby, people on a day out, and demonstrators for other campaigns.

People were asked to come in wedding attire if they could. These women are in Moroccan dress.

Leicester Square.

The man on the right is wearing Vietnamese wedding clothes.


Opposite Downing Street.

https://twitter.com/hashtag/familydemo #familydemo :

"Courageous people shared their stories with the general public today on the #familydemo."

"We had young girls listening to us in shock."

"Overwhelmed by the support we got from the public as people stopped to listen to us."

"You can't predict the future or choose who you love."

"The Govt trumpets hardworking British families. The rules exclude workers, discriminate against Britons, and divide families."

"Congratulations to all who protested for the human rights of the #dividedfamilies under the #rulesagainstfamilies. We salute you. "

"A doctor has more right to marry and bring home their non-EU spouse than a worker at Tesco. Is this fair? I think not!... Racist? I'll leave that with you."

More photos taken by freelance photographer See Li :

The Conversation - Family-first’ government tears couples apart with visa rules:

 'I am a British citizen and I have lost my human right to family life' - video of the protest outside Downing Street on Saturday. Jessie is speaking :

(The man who made the video, who we encountered on the day, is himself an Algerian who hasn't seen his Singaporean wife and daughter in three years).

https://twitter.com/The_UK_Migrant/status/498428068764352514/photo/1 :

Now complete the Children's Commissioner Questionnaire!! :


A terminally ill man is desperate for his Thai wife to be allowed to live with him

Source :Gainsborough Standard


'...Norman has since been diagnosed with an incurable bone cancer called Multiple Myeloma and now, more than ever, he wants to be able to live in the UK with his wife by his side.

'He said: “We want to be together as man and wife.”

'“She wants to come here because she loves her husband.”

'“The main stress is not the cancer but the fight because they won’t let my poor wife come and live with her husband.” '

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Lauded therapist Harley Miller still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Source : Independent


'Specialist children’s counsellor Harley Miller finds herself stuck in a seemingly unending struggle to remain in the UK the Australian is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law.'

Immigrant stories: The psychotherapist and the letter of proof : http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2014/01/17/immigrant-stories-the-nhs-nurse-and-the-letter-of-proof

Fury at Border Agency over case of the Australian NHS therapist given just a few days to leave Britain :

Deportation of the valuable and vulnerable :

Harley Miller on Twitter :
Malta in a Nutshell

Author: David and Dee of  An Undivided Family in Malta blog and Facebook community


A guide for those exercising free movement rights with their families in Malta. Shared with permission.

A companion piece to 'Surinder Singh for Newbies' (general / Ireland) by David B.  and  'Surinder Singh in the Netherlands' by Amanda Briggs-Hastie.

For more support or information (especially if you are going through or considering the route), check out EEA visa - EU free movement : https://www.facebook.com/groups/650212281695959

Update 25th August 2014 :

Happily Dee has now been granted her family permit.

She says -

'Here is our timeline and documents submitted for our Family Permit through MALTA. We are looking forward to hearing many more Malta successes:

Arrived in Malta March 31
Dave commenced work April 25th
Bio-metrics done Aug 11th
Family Permit dated August 20th
Family Permit received today August 25th.

The documents we submitted are as follows:

FP Cover Letter - copy in both Malta groups
FP Application
Proof of Work:
Work Contract from employer
Tax Number letter

Proof of Residence:

Copy of Rent Book supporting our proof of residence (leaseholder at our residential address)
Copies of both our Malta residence cards showing residential address
Payslip for Dee showing residential address.
Phone and internet agreement showing residential address.

Proof of COL (centre of life) :

Copies of library cards
Copies of store loyalty cards from Carrefour and Smart Stores
Proof of Relationship:
Passport – Non-EU (Canada)
Passport – EU ( United Kingdom)
A copy of our Canadian marriage certificate

We did not pay the Teleperformance fee as we stated to the lady at counter when asked about payment that EEA Family Permits were supposed to be FREE.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask or inbox.

Monday 18 August 2014

*** Important reminder *** - Demonstrate for family rights this Saturday!

Source : Demonstration for family rights of British citizens

Organised by divided families themselves - coordinated by Kelly, Jessica and Wes.

Saturday, August 23rd at 11:00am-3:45 pm

Facebook event :


11am - Meet up at Parliament Square. 1 hour protest.
12:15 - Be outside Downing Street. 1 hour protest.
1:15pm - Coffee/toilet break for 30mins
2pm - Be at Trafalgar Square. 1 hour protest.
3:15pm - Be at Leicester Square. 30 min protest.
Finish at 3:45pm

Then drinkypoos and celebratory hugs after that. :-)

We do ask that you wear a wedding dress, suit or cultural wear to grab peoples attention. We want people walking past to stop and ask why we are dressed this way and thats when we can get talking and educate people as to why we are campaigning. It doesnt have to be a big wedding dress ladies but something white (a maxi dress is a comfy choice) and a cheap veil from a charity shop will do nicely. Alternatively, wear all white to symbolise the white feather.

Can you please make and bring your own placards too. Hobby craft sell stiff foam board for £3 each. Make them as personal as possible, paste photos of you and your spouse and your children, wedding photos and family days out. We need people to see that our spouses are not just another foreigner in the UK, but part of a family unit. 



Download, put your names on, and SHARE SHARE SHARE!

The idea is that every couple can download this pic and re-upload with their own names on. Even if you can't make it in person - even if you're not in the country - this is still a demo for you. Once you have a version with your name on (or those of a couple you're supporting, you can share it on Facebook, Twitter, emails to friends and family... let people know this is an action FOR YOU and for all the other loving couples kept apart by the Home Office.

Hope to see you there.

Quoted for truth

'Law without justice will destroy us.' - Sarah Kendzior, commenting on the situation in St. Louis.
*** Important repost *** 

Have your say : Reminder to those affected by family migration rules with children


As previously mentioned, the Office of the Children's Commissioners is following up on the concerns and issues by all of the campaigning over the last couple of years.

The OCC is conducting research on the impact of the rules on children with a view to, in the Children's Commissioner for England's words, 'achieve a just settlement for families who are, or who will be, divided by the implementation of these rules.'

If you're affected by family migration rules, have children, and have a few moments, please complete the survey here :

Full instructions on where to send the survey to, as well as a letter from the Children's Commissioner for England herself, are in the link above.

* The Children's Commissioners for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the voice of the child in government. They have spoken out on the issue before, and wish to follow this up further. Please help them achieve this.

Children's Commissioners' briefing on the APPG on Migration 'Report of the Inquiry into the New Family Migration Rules' : http://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/content/publications/content_671
Cognitive dissonance - beyond satire

Source : BBC

'David Cameron says policies must pass 'family test'


'All government policies will have to pass a "family test", David Cameron has announced.

'He argued that parents and children were too often overlooked and could be left worse off by reforms.'

To which I say :

Stories from the pack : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/stories

Love letters to the Home Office : http://lovelettershome.org/

White Feathers : http://goo.gl/dvn6tA

Family Immigration Alliance : http://familyimmigrationalliance.wordpress.com/

Migrants' Rights Network / We Are Family : http://family.migrantsrights.org.uk/

Demonstrate for family rights : https://www.facebook.com/events/1491757801061774/

Saturday 16 August 2014

Legal Advice No Longer?

What is the difference between Legal Support and Legal Advice?

Author: Mark

Source: Right to Remain (formerly the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns)

With the latest tightening of the immigration rules in the Immigration Act 2014 exemptions to the section 82 v of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 were abolished requiring everybody giving legal advice about immigration to be registered. 
Further details are due in September from OISC with their aim to have the new system up and running by March 2015 as highlighted in their email to ARIA:

The previous changes saw many advice centres and charities refuse to deal with immigration linked cases any more.  These further changes could see what restricted advice that is still available further disappear; as over stretched charities/NGOs can not afford to take risks or allocate the extra resources needed to deal with the red tape.

Right to Remain has written an informative article that gives hope that people will still be able to get support when faced with immigration problems as it highlights the difference between Legal Support and Legal Advice. http://www.righttoremain.org.uk/legal/legal-support-not-legal-advice/

They conclude:-
"Legal advice can be defined as the application of legal rules and principles to a specific set of facts"
People will find that their expectations of how far support from organisations can go will also have to be adjusted. 
They go on to highlight that:- 
"Legal advice is specific, direct, and proposes a course of action. Legal information is factual, generic, and does not address any one particular cause of action."

OISC also issues its previous long definition of what is immigration advice.
It's page will have to be updated to reflect the upcoming changes.

The legitimate aim may have been to protect people from bad advice and being ripped off. But the real world effect, combined with the changes to the appeals system and cuts to legal aid, is that peoples Article 6 rights to a fair trial and justice have been compromised.

These changes impacting free advice will severely reduce the options available to people when often it is a starting point for many to find out legal information related to their specific problem before having to find the costs for detailed legal advice and to know whether they need to go along that route in the first place. 

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Festival of Love, South Bank, London

Author : Steve


Yesterday evening I took an evening stroll along the South Bank of the Thames (a book club I'm a member of meets there every month, and I was early - a good chance to take in the glorious summer evening). I came across this wonderful festival.

The 'festival of love' explores seven kinds of love as described by the Ancient Greeks. It seems appropriate to explore the links to the divided families campaign :

Agape - the love of humanity - exhibited by human rights campaigners and other true humanitarians

Storge - family love - parents, children, brothers and sisters - many examples on this blog, and on this blog (Family Immigration Alliance), and in this book (Love Letters to the Home Office)

 Pragma - enduring love - love which endures weeks, months, even years of separation - exhibited by Skype families (Skype mummy - Skype papa) 

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Centre-right think-tank Bright Blue calls for rethink on family migration rules

Via : Migrants' Rights Network

Source : Ryan Shorthouse (Bright Blue), writing in the Yorkshire Post


Quote : 'Conservatives should show some heart and revise the minimum income rule to reflect a richer definition of contribution by a whole family.'

More posts on party positions : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/conservatives - http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/labour - http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/liberal%20democrats
'Downfall' and the UK's rules against family life

Source: Demonstration for family rights of British citizens

Watch the whole thing here :


Thursday 7 August 2014

Poster for demonstration for family life: 23rd August 2014

Source : Demonstration for family rights of British citizens

The organisers say :

Download, put your names on, and SHARE SHARE SHARE!

The idea is that every couple can download this pic and re-upload with their own names on. Even if you can't make it in person - even if you're not in the country - this is still a demo for you. Once you have a version with your name on (or those of a couple you're supporting, you can share it on Facebook, Twitter, emails to friends and family... let people know this is an action FOR YOU and for all the other loving couples kept apart by the Home Office.

Hope to see you there.

More details :
Wanted : Right to family life

Credit : David B.

Coverage on 23rd August protest against family division rules, London

Source : Newham Recorder


'Campaigners are protesting in Downing Street later this month over the plight of 4,000 people likely to be denied spouse visas for their foreign-born partners. New rules dictate applicants must earn a minimum £18,600 a year to get a visa for their spouse — but they don’t earn that much. '

Jessica B. :
'I am fighting for my right as a British citizen to be with whoever I wish, regardless of nationality, colour—or how much I earn.

'Our protest on August 23 is to tell the public what is happening to British citizens and the children caught in the middle. We meet at 11am in Parliament Square, march to Downing Street, then up Whitehall to Leicester Square.'

Facebook event - London demonstration for the rights of British citizens and their foreign spouses :

More details :

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Divided families in Saudi Arabia: Tougher rules for Saudi men marrying foreign women

Source :Al-Arabiya


'Saudi men wishing to marry foreigners now face tougher regulations. A report in Makkah daily quoted Makkah Police Director Maj. Gen. Assaf al-Qurashi as saying that Saudi men wanting to marry foreign women should first obtain the consent of the government and submit marriage applications through official channels... The official said Saudi men have been prohibited from marrying expatriate women from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Chad and Myanmar.'

Feminist writer Mona Eltahawy tweets : Emirati widows & divorcees told can't remarry without consent of a male guardian – often their own sons http://bit.ly/1scOpNV

Free movement poll results

We conducted a 1-minute poll, asking those who are or will be exercising free movement rights, which country this would be in and at what stage of the process they are, where it is for Surinder Singh.

Ireland is unsurprisingly the most popular with Malta beating countries like France and Italy, into joint second place with Spain.

We will be in touch soon to create in-country groups and mentors with those who have indicated an interest.

More on the results here.