“I haven’t seen my wife and son in nearly a year and my family in Britain hasn’t met or held my son.”
Kevin is a British citizen who met his wife while travelling. They have been together for five years.
After Kevin was made redundant by his insurance-company employer, they decided to live in Asia for a couple of years. While in Hong Kong, they were blessed with a beautiful son.
As Kevin does not have a degree, finding a suitable job in Asia proved to be near impossible, but with a child to look after it was imperative that Kevin have a good job and provide for his family.
So Kevin decided to return to the UK and six months later he obtained a permanent job with a basic salary of £16,000, plus commission. Living in the regions, this could go a long way (it is close to the median average income in parts of the UK - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_in_the_United_Kingdom ). Two months into this job, however, the government brought in the minimum threshold, meaning that his target earnings would keep him way below the threshold.
With bonuses the £18,600 may be achievable, but given the volatile nature of sales, there might be the odd month where he cannot maintain the annual average required, which means that his wife’s visa application would be rejected (as the rules state that the lowest month is used when calculating income, rather than the average, which will impact people whose income is partly made up of commission, as well as some types of self-employed people; a very large segment of the working population may fail despite earning about the £18,600 threshold).
Kevin has been living apart from his wife and near-one-year-old son for almost a year. He has already missed his son’s first Christmas; he will miss his first birthday, and he will only see his son’s first steps on Skype, rather than in person.
Kevin is close to a nervous breakdown; whenever he sees a family together with a toddler his heart sinks and he is unable to put aside everything he is missing out on.
Kevin’s wife’s family think Kevin has chosen to leave his wife and son in their home country rather than bring her to the UK. This has brought shame on his wife's family as well as embarrassment. Kevin’s immediate British family have neither met nor held his son. His son does not know his British family.
The new rules are a prison sentence for Kevin and his family.
Even if Kevin were to find a job paying £18,600, the visa process requires that he wait six months before applying for a spouse visa. This is far too long, especially when you have been living apart for a year already.
This Tory government is demonstrating how out of touch it is with the people of Britain today.
For the sake of everybody’s sanity, welfare, physical and mental health, these rules must be scrapped sooner rather than later.