A desperate husband writes to his MP
And we are sharing the letter here. It summarises the pain and desperation felt by those affected by the rules, as well as the stonewalling from the government's apologists.
At his request, this submission is anonymous, but we felt it important to share.
'Thank you for your letter dated 25th June relating to family migration. I have written to you a few times this year as one of your constituents regarding my current situation in that I am unable to meet the £18,600 criteria. What saddens me is that you only quote back to me things I already know, having been in this nightmare scenario for the past year. I have researched this and lived with this every day so am more than acquainted with the rules, most politicians will not address the actual facts and implications surrounding these rules. Firstly anyone living outside of the EU who wishes to come to live with their spouse or partner has clearly stamped in their passport ….NO RECOURSE TO PUBLIC FUNDS….this has been the case even before the new rules. So how can the government say the rulings are in place to make sure that your partner is not a burden on the state. If they have no recourse to public funds whatsoever how does that make them a burden on the state? they have no rights to the NHS without paying for it, they are not eligible for benefits of any kind until they get permanent residency.
'What irritates me greatly is that I was born in Lincolnshire and lived all over the country during my 57 years and now find myself in the position that I am at a total disadvantage compared to someone coming from the EU into this country. They can come to the UK and have recourse to public funds, they have no ridiculously high visa fees to pay during entry to the UK and further fees during a further five year period to pay either. They do not have to prove over a five year period that their marriage is genuine and jump through so many hoops in order to have a family life here. Why can’t common sense be applied? I was born here paid my taxes and national insurance, worked hard and then to be told that to enable me to have a family life here it now comes with a price tag attached. I should be allowed to marry who I choose to marry and have a happy life, not be targeted because the only way to bring down the immigration figures for the government can only be achieved by targeting people from outside the EU knowing full well they cannot target those from within Europe as they have freedom of movement.
'You mentioned the MAC report in your letter, but it does not take into account the different areas of the country that people live in. You are only too aware that within Lincolnshire the £18,600 threshold would not be meet by a large proportion of people due to the salaries that are paid in this part of the country, yet families here manage on the salaries that are paid here, we can’t all be living in London and the south of the country for obvious reasons.
'I know find myself in this ridiculous position of still being self- employed and having to apply for jobs all over the country simply to to meet this new criteria. This week I had an interview in Coventry for a Design Studio Manager and had to go through the process of three interviews. I was slightly embarrassed when I was asked why I wanted to move from Lincolnshire and why at this time I wanted to not work for myself and work for an employer. I was honest enough from the outset and told them that I had to meet certain rules now to enable me to get married here in the UK and have a family life here, and salary was the main criteria I had to have to achieve this. I passed all the interviews and was asked to contact them the next day for my thoughts on the job, sadly I did not get the position solely because I was unable to relocate quickly enough and start work next week. That day cost me over £98 in train fares and taxis, money I can ill afford to lose having just my savings to live off every week. This is the crazy situation that this government has forced me into.
'What this government fails to take into account is the personal cost in human terms. This situation is a living nightmare for me, I have sleep problems, constantly worry, I am a virtual recluse spending every waking hour on my laptop applying for jobs, I barely have contact with people any more because my total focus is trying to get my fiancée to be with me here so we can get married and have a happy life, it surely is not asking too much is it?
'On a final note, Christmas Day I sat here all alone and did wonder about people like yourself, sat around your dining table with your family having a happy time. In comparison I had nothing, and had the worse Christmas imaginable, spending it apart from the woman I love dearly. I looked out of my window and my new- eastern European neighbours who had recently arrived in the UK were receiving their visitors, and for once in my life I was envious of someone else. Food for thought indeed!