"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.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Hayley & Mehmet

“We won’t ever give up, we will win, we will be together”

Hayley is a British citizen. Mehmet, her husband is Turkish. So for reasons only due to accident of birth, this married couple has seen each other for one week since their wedding in September 2012.

They expect to have seen each other for a total of two weeks by the time of their first anniversary.

Hayley lives in South Wales, where finding a job in her line of work, paying over £18,600 is very difficult. And so Hayley works two jobs. One as a selfemployed beauty therapist, and the other as an administrator. So she works from 9am to 3pm in the office job, and 4pm to 9pm running her own business. That’s twelve hours. Every working day, and often, Saturdays as well.

She has been doing this since March 2012 because rules for proving income as a self-employed person in love with a non-EEA citizen are anything but simple.

Hayley has never worked this hard. She is extremely tired and has no life outside of work. Because of the rules as they were; because of the July 2012 rules making it even more difficult.

Hayley recalls the change in her life, after returning from their lovely wedding in Turkey with family and friends bearing witness, when she started to gather everything they needed for the spouse visa, only to realise after many many late nights pouring over the UKBA website that because she was self-employed, they could not actually apply until April 2013, to allow for the relevant tax year to end.

She was absolutely devastated reading this and realising that they had a long wait before they could even apply. So they both cracked on, working hard, sitting it out, battling on.

Mehmet’s spouse visa is in process. However, she is very worried reading of people being refused even where they meet the income requirement. This couple has been working hard, saving up for their future together and they have borne the time apart, anticipating they will be together before long.

Hayley considered sharing her story only after receiving a response to the visa application, but often a burden shared is a burden halved..and so she decided to share with BritCits and somehow ease the enormous burden of stress they are under.

She is alone, she is lonely. Although she was welcomed in Istanbul in January 2013, where she went for a week to support her husband through the English exam, that’s the last time she saw him. Though they Skype regularly and speak over the phone several times a day, it’s just not the same.

For this couple time is also more precious with Hayley being in her 40s. Hayley lost a child 17 years ago, leading to a failed marriage..and years before she was granted this second chance at happiness. The couple want kids, but are being forced to postpone it because of these rules. We only hope it won’t be too late. Keeping a married couple apart is bad enough, but the government interfering on a couple’s decision to have kids is untenable.

Hayley just wants the chance to be happy, live with her husband, wake up to him every morning and come home to him every night. Is that really too much to ask for? They don’t want to claim benefits, just both work hard and be together like ‘a normal’ married couple.

They found the visa application process laborious – whichever way it goes, and we hope the result is positive, it has aged Hayley ten years. However, the couple love each other; there is nothing they wouldn’t do for the other...they just want to be together like all couples do.

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