"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.

Thursday 24 December 2020

New visa to allow UK nationals bring non-EEA family to Ireland

'A Department of Justice statement said UK citizens would continue to enjoy existing arrangements under the Common Travel Area including the freedom to live and work in the State after the transition period following the UK’s exit from the EU ends later this month.' Erin go bragh. Hopefully an option for some impacted by the horrible UK spousal and ADR visa rules.

Digging into this there is an MIR of about 20k euros attached to this, plus a waiting time of up to 6 months, so it's not as good as the Irish Times article makes it sound. However it may be particularly useful for those seeking to sponsor elderly dependent relatives (for example) which is subject to a 'ban masquerading as a rule' in the UK, albeit attached to a minimum income requirement with restrictive conditions.

Tuesday 17 November 2020

Living Online and Covid Impact Report

Over the last few weeks, Reunite Families UK has conducted two online surveys ( here + here ) in response to two ongoing parliamentary inquiries: ‘Living online: the long-term impact on wellbeing’ (House of Lords Covid-19 Committee) and ‘Covid:lessons learnt’ (Health and Social Care Committee/Science and Technology Committee) with a view to creating a report to these inquiries.

The spouse visa minimum income requirement was introduced in 2012 and has resulted in the enforced division of thousands of British citizens from their non-EEA partners and families, either temporarily or indefinitely. This group of people – including members of Facebook groups such as Reunite Families UK and I Love My Foreign Spouse – have therefore anticipated in many cases the family division created by the pandemic, with many such relationships conducted largely online for months or years (the average family or partner separation time ranges from 3 months to 3 years, with some experiencing division for more than 5 years) and therefore this group of people have a special insight into how families divided might play out.

The report is here : https://www.scribd.com/document/484534378/RFUK-Living-Online-and-Covid-Impact-Report-sg, which includes the summary results of each survey (with numbers/data around the responses), plus some of the individual responses (left in comments sections of the surveys), and conclusions and policy and operational recommendations we think should be drawn as a result of these surveys, the 2012 rules, the pandemic and the future.

I hope you find it interesting – I found it both fascinating and moving, and interesting to try to quantify some of the impacts of the immigration rules on British families, which are as you may expect devastating for most of those who responded.

Many thanks to all those who participated as a result of the calls on social media. The report has been uploaded to the relevant inquiries. All identifying information has been removed.

Thursday 15 October 2020

Divided Families Campaign FAQ

Divided Families Campaign FAQ

A beginner's guide to Divided Families and what we've been going through....

Saturday 30 May 2020

Total number of spouse visas processed and refused by selected nationalities, Q1 2020

Author: Steve

Following on from this post on spouse visas refused by selected nationalities in 2016 (the whole of 2016), I ran the same exercise for Q1 2020 today. The results look very very different. Take a look :

2020 Q1 Partner Visas Issued Refused Refusal Rate (ignoring withdrawals)
Singapore 28 0 0.0%
Albania 78 1 1.3%
Turkey 207 11 5.0%
UnitedStates 602 32 5.0%
HongKong 93 5 5.1%
Canada 115 7 5.7%
Thailand  237 15 6.0%
KoreaSouth 31 2 6.1%
Tunisia 44 3 6.4%
Russia 100 7 6.5%
Kenya 86 7 7.5%
Japan 61 5 7.6%
Egypt 72 6 7.7%
Brazil 116 10 7.9%
Bangladesh 627 56 8.2%
Pakistan 2321 207 8.2%
SouthAfrica 279 27 8.8%
China 92 10 9.8%
India 901 100 10.0%
Australia 172 20 10.4%
Philippines 322 41 11.3%
Jamaica 120 17 12.4%
Nigeria 392 65 14.2%
Israel 18 3 14.3%
Stateless 4 1 20.0%

The total number of applications seem more or less in line (bearing in mind the numbers last time where for a whole year, this is for a quarter) but also seem much much more equitable between the different nationalities.

What changed? The climate of work at the Home Office maybe? Maybe the departure of Theresa May has triggered some kind of cultural change? Whatever it is, it's encouraging.

Of course the minimum income requirement rules are still very very unfair but part of the issue has also been with the application of the rules; a more equitable application and less discrimination can only be a good thing.

Source for these stats :
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets#entry-clearance-visas-granted-outside-the-uk tab Data - Vis_D02) + https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2020