"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, 1 October 2013

Fiona, Nate...& William

“They said it is not unreasonable that my British son leave the UK.”

Fiona is a British citizen. Her husband, Nate, is from the USA. Their son, William is a British citizen too. The family believe living in the UK rather than USA is in the best interest of William. This decision is their right to make, as both, parents, and a family where two of the three members are British citizens.

Nate is currently in the UK with the Home Office trying to deport him. In doing so, not only are they deemed to be in violation of Article 8, but they jeopardise the rights of British citizens Fiona and William.

Nate has a job offer paying over £18,600. However he is not allowed to work, nor would his income count towards the income threshold anyway. Fiona works 70 hours a week to make ends meet.

Fiona and Nate met when Nate, in 2006, came to the UK on a work visa. They fell in love and got married in 2008. Before his work permit expired in 2009, Nat applied for and was granted a spouse visa until 2011.

In 2010 the family relocated to USA where Fiona was given a Green Card for two years. Once their son was born in 2011, the family realise it would be in his best interest to be raised in the UK. So Fiona and William returned to the UK in August 2012, joined by Nate a month or so later as he finished obligations to his employer in USA.

Nate entered the UK as a general visitor to ensure the family would celebrate William’s birthday in October together. He had his return flight to USA booked for a few days later. However, they soon found out the immigration rules had changed. They realised if as they had intended, Nate returned to the USA and applied for a spouse visa, they would be refused.

A solicitor advised them to apply whilst Nate was still in the UK, on grounds of the best interest of their son. Advice they took.

However, whilst waiting for the decision from the Home Office, they were issued a letter by the Home Office requesting a meeting in Portsmouth. The purpose of the meeting was to determine if Nate had entered the UK illegally – whether he had been deceitful and to discuss his intentions. At the centre in Portsmouth, Nate was escorted to a room where he was told he was under caution and questioned.

The officer carrying out the meeting told him normally these kind of meetings would be conducted at a police station – whether this is genuine or an attempt to intimidate Nate, the family doesn’t know.

The officer concluded that Nate had not been deceitful and that he had entered the UK legally.

Two weeks later, they received a response on their application. It had been refused for several reasons which they listed as:
• Fiona did not meet the financial requirements.
• Nate was in the UK as a tourist.
• Nate and Fiona’s relationship is subsiding therefore he doesn’t have sole parental responsibility for the child.
• It would not be unreasonable for William to return to the USA to be with his dad. Fiona could return with them if she so choose.
• Nate had failed to obtain the correct entry level clearance prior to travelling to the UK, especially given his experience with other applications on previous stays in the UK.

The refusal letter also stated Nate should be removed from the UK and returned to the USA.

There doesn’t appear to be any consideration to the best interest of the child – the British child.

The family has filed an appeal with the First Tier Tribunal and are awaiting a decision on whether their appeal will be allowed.

The Children's Commissioner for England expresses concern that the UK is in breach of its obligations on the rights of the child :

The UK's four Children's Commissioners endorse the concerns of the APPG Migration Report on family immigration policy :

Still awaiting a response.

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