"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.

Tuesday 17 March 2015

BritCits Divided Family of the Week - Joshua and Edward

Josh and Edward

“It is a human right to live with your partner.”

Josh is a British citizen, who met Edward, from the India, in October 2013.  They formalised their relationship to become husband and husband in a civil partnership on December 12th 2014 in Josh’s home town in Somerset, celebrating their having found each other with family and friends.

Edward was in the UK as one of the brightest and best international students we so want to attract.  However for Josh and his family, Edward’s contribution was much more significant; Edward alleviated the depression Josh was suffering from, obliterated his suicidal thoughts and helped Josh find motivation in life to pursue his psychology degree, and stop claiming benefits.  Josh felt loved, valued and encouraged to becoming a better person. He could finally with Edward’s support, see that his career goal of becoming a clinical psychologist was feasible.  Josh felt more at home with his sexuality and thus able to break down the barriers he had put up around him.

Not long after meeting, the couple moved in together and Edward truly became part of Josh’s family.  Josh’s mum travelled from our Somerset to meet the person who was responsible for her son’s happiness in March 2014 and got on famously with him.  Josh reminisces about those days together; Edward cooked a delicious lunch and Josh’s mum was so pleased with the positive role Edward was playing in her son’s life. 

Edward subsequently visited the rest of Josh’s family in Somerset and Wales.  He was welcomed into the fold immediately and like Josh’s mum, all felt grateful to the man who had rescued Josh, seeing that with Edward, Josh was the happiest he had ever been.

Josh and Edward were in love and couldn’t bear to spend a day apart. They met each other’s friends, even Edward’s ones from India, on Skype, became a large part of each other’s lives.  Josh met Edward’s family as well, and was similarly welcomed into their ranks, particularly getting on with Edward’s brother.  Neither partner could have asked for things to have worked out better in terms of being able to fit our lives together so well.

June 2014 saw Edward submitting his dissertation and the couple moved out of their student accommodation and into Josh’s mum’s home, living also with the mum’s partner and Josh’s younger brother.  Getting to spend that time together as a real family made both realise they didn't want this to end. 

The couple made arrangements to settle down together in their own place and started looking for jobs in order to support themselves and build a life together.  They exchanged promise rings on their one year anniversary and committed to a life together.

Edward was made two job offers, both in his field of expertise – but neither could provide sponsorship.  The alternative was for Edward to apply to remain as Josh’s partner.

Plans for their civil partnership were accelerated with the couple opting for a small and intimate family gathering.  The service at the registry office was followed by a celebration party with family and close friends. It was very small and very personal, and perfect.

The couple researched on ways to legalise Edward’s stay in the UK beyond the validity of his student visa, also looking into options for Josh to move to India.  However given Indian laws, found that would not be viable in the long-term.

Josh and Edward hugging goodbye at the airport, as Edward leaves in accordance with his visa conditions.

Edward left the country as per the terms of his visa.  Josh meanwhile is working really hard to earn money and find a suitable job paying over £18,600.  The couple feels trapped because of the financial requirements which are proving very hard to satisfy and mystified when they’ll be able to see each other again.

It is beyond their understanding why Edward, with a Masters degree from a UK university and as the partner of a British citizen cannot stay in the UK.  He would be a huge asset to the country, would have no recourse to public funds, would contribute by way of taxes and NI contributions – and Josh, a British citizen, would be able to live with his husband.

Update:  In July 2015, Edward was granted a spouse visa and he is now in the UK, setting up his own business. What an entrepreneur!


  1. Me and my partner are currently battling to keep our home and relationship here in the UK, myself a British citizen on £23k + my fiancé a Ukrainian national on 24k with a master degree, full time job, we both have a dog our own home and meet all the requirements for my partner to receive a visa extension....however....the Home Office refused this because we had not been cohabiting for 2 years (not possible when he was at University however we have been together since Nov 2013)

    We are currently going through court to appeal this case! its a heartache, painful and I cant sleep thinking about this but I will hope and will never give up on him..We cant be together in Ukraine as their are no legal protections for same sex couples. If he was to go back I would simply get him back on a marriage visa so we can begin our lives together...there is no reason for the Home Office to do this to us.

    Gary & Rod

    1. I defnitely feel for you. Home Office appears to have a track record in this - even when financial hurdles jumped over, they find others to block family reunification. Best of luck with the appeal. I hope judge sees sense.

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.