"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 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.