"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.

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Dominic, Katy and Madeline - Family of the Week

"All of us who find ourselves unable to live here with our spouse never expected this betrayal of our rights as British citizens, locked out of our own country and now exiled."

Dominic is a British citizen.  He is married to Katy, from America, and the couple has a daughter, Madeline, also British.

The couple met online in 2005 when Katy heard a song by a band Dominic was in - Graystar. The song was called Cry No More.  She fell in love with her now husband and his music and has not looked back since.  

The family got in touch with BritCits when Dominic in early April 2016 was refused the right to live in the UK - his home country - with his family.  The family has asked them to re-consider, based on the fact that the couple has been married for nine years, and their British daughter has lived half her life here.

This is not just Dominic’s home, being born and raised in Britain, it is also Madeline's home.  She has a wonderful life here with her grandparents, aunties and uncles, five cousins and her friends at nursery and community in Eastbourne. 

In their visa application the family included fifteen letters of support, including personal messages from close friends, their doctor, Madeline's nursery, their parish priest and bank manager.  They told the Home Office that Katy has lived and worked in the UK before, for over three years as Dominic’s wife, when they married in 2006.  She has never claimed benefits, pays her taxes, lives a productive life in the UK and even speaks English fluently.  The ties in their local community are strong.

Dominic’s family with their application included stories of how his ancestors fought and died in wars for the UK, to secure the freedom of future generations. But it was all to no avail.  The Home Office refused their application on grounds that breaking a family apart is reasonable and justifiable, even though Madeline's life will be torn apart.

Home Office said that Dominic and his daughter can remain in the UK because they are British.  It also informs them that Katy can leave the UK because “it is considered that there are no concerns regarding the safety and welfare of your daughter as she would be with her father in the UK.”

Dominic never believed back in 2009 when they decided to spend a couple of years in USA, that they wouldn't be able to come back and live here.  At the time they’d lived in Edinburgh for nearly three years, and Katy was holding a spouse visa, granted in 2007 which enabled her to work the whole time and enjoy their first few years of marriage together in Britain.

Dominic now rues the day he decided to try life in America for a temporary period in 2009; he had no idea that the UK government would shut the door on his family, and deny them the right to live here as a family.  He feels betrayed at being locked out of his own country.

Since 2012, the family has been exiled from the life in the UK they very much crave.  Their intention was always to have their child brought up with the large and close-knit family in Britain.

However, in 2014, two years after the government imposed a price on love, Katy managed to gain an intra-company transfer, thereby a Tier 2 visa, paid for by her employer.  This allowed her to live in the UK and the family once again and hopes of a life in the UK rekindled.  Alas, just four months into her new role Katy was made redundant as a result of world-wide restructuring.   Without a valid visa, the family was forced to leave the UK.  It was a terrible blow.

Dominic felt his like America was empty and unhappy, he fell victim to depression.  The family was isolated in America; their relationship with the family in the UK turned into a Skype one.

Their local MP, Caroline Ansell, told them these rules were never meant to affect genuinely married couples like them.  So in August 2015, Dominic and Katy decided to move to the UK and apply, prepared to appeal.  In April 2016, the Home Office presented the couple with a refusal letter.  They now have 14 days to appeal and hope that a judge will see sense where the Home Office refuses to.  However, the appeals process will take around a year – they don’t want to wait that long.  They’re not sure they can afford to.

It seems odd to Dominic that his ancestors died fighting for the UK in the Great War, his great uncle died on D-Day.  Multiple generations of his family have lived here and Dominic has not ever broken a single law in his life – he hasn’t even ever been unemployed since marrying Katy. 

There is no answer when Dominic asks “Do I not deserve the right to live in my own country with my British daughter and wife of nearly 10 years? My wife has a degree, has an excellent work history and offers so much to this country with her skills and work ethic.”

The family is aware that they can apply based on Dominic’s income of £18,600 once he has a job paying that much.  However even then they would have to be apart for a year, because of the evidential requirements necessitated by the rules and the application processing time.

It is an immoral, brutal policy which has no place in British life. 

This is yet another example of how unjust, how fundamentally destructive this Conservative government is with its immigration policies; how careless and negligent the Home Office is with the crucial, fundamental right of a citizen, the very right that Dominic’s ancestors fought for in the wars: the right to live freely in one's own country.  

The couple has started a petition which they hope others will sign in a show of support which may just aid their appeal.


  1. I am very sorry for them. I have had to spend 6 months a year apart from my wife and son who live in the Philippines also. I finally was able to bring them here this January but the stress has been terrible.

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  3. We have the same problem with our 2 20 something children. We've had to leave them alone in South Africa because they are not allowed to join us. After 18 they suddenly cease to be our children apparently