"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, 15 December 2013


“I moved here with the expectation that come age 65, my mother would be able to move here with me.”

Kuljeet is a British citizen who has been living in the UK for 13 years. He was handpicked from India to work in the UK design centre as a Digital Electronics Engineer.

Kuljeet’s wife is also a British citizen and she has been working for the NHS as a doctor for 10 years.

Kuljeet was raised by his mother, a single parent and teacher, in India, following her divorce from his dad.

Kuljeet has been aware that he will need to look after his mum; although in a reasonably good state of health at the moment, she is getting older and family bonds mean living in separate countries is not feasible.

The UK seemed ideal to settle in, as it allowed for his to sponsor his mother to have her reside with him in the UK, once she reached the age of 65. Indeed, were it not for this, Kuljeet would have not made a life here, nor opted to become a British citizen.

There was a very clear legitimate expectation set that come time, Kuljeet would be able to fulfil his duties to his parent.

However, changes to UK’s immigration rules have meant that the route for adult dependants is closed, leaving Kuljeet in a very difficult position. Does he leave the UK or let his mother face the hardship of old age on her own?

The latter is not an option. It does not foster the kind of values Kuljeet wants to impart on his two daughters. Daughters who are proud to be British – it’s how they identify themselves, with the UK being the only home they know. Daughters who would be denied the right to a British education, British upbringing and would be forced to leave all that is familiar to them if Kuljeet were to be forced to leave the UK – just to look after his mum. Uprooting them is not something Kuljeet wants to do.

Both the daughters are very attached to their grandmother, who has visited the UK several times. They don’t understand why their grandma is living alone in India – when she could be here with their family.

Kuljeet does not think they are old enough to be told about the government’s rules.

For this family, the rules do not make sense and they feel like they are being punished for having a parent from overseas; for being migrants, albeit British citizens, themselves. Neither Kuljeet nor his wife have ever claimed any benefits – they are both higher rate tax payers and have been so for years. His mother would have no recourse to public funds. How could she be a burden on the state? Indeed, his mother is more likely to get involved in charitable work and keep herself active by helping other people.

More stories about elderly dependants : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/elderly%20dependants

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