"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.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Hanif Kureishi: The migrant has no face, status or story

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/30/hanif-kureishi-migrant-immigration-1

'The immigrant has become a contemporary passion in Europe, the vacant point around which ideals clash. Easily available as a token, existing everywhere and nowhere, he is talked about constantly. But in the current public conversation, this figure has not only migrated from one country to another, he has migrated from reality to the collective imagination where he has been transformed into a terrible fiction.

'Whether he or she – and I will call the immigrant he, while being aware that he is stripped of colour, gender and character – the immigrant has been made into something resembling an alien. He is an example of the undead, who will invade, colonise and contaminate, a figure we can never quite digest or vomit. If the 20th century was replete with uncanny, semi-fictional figures who invaded the lives of the decent, upright and hard-working – the pure – this character is rehaunting us in the guise of the immigrant. He is both a familiar, insidious figure, and a new edition of an old idea expressed with refreshed and forceful rhetoric...'

'... It is impossible to speak up for the immigrant or, more importantly, hear him speak for himself, since everyone, including the most reasonable and sensitive, has made up their mind that the immigrant is everywhere now, and he is too much of a problem. There is, of course, always good reason to be suspicious of agreement: there is nothing more coercive and stupid than consensus, and it is through consensus that inequality is concealed.'

Well worth a read.
Campaign : Allow my Thai wife of 22 years, and mother of our 2 British Children, to reside in UK

www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/theresa-may-mp-allow-my-thai-wife-of-22-years-and-mother-of-our-2-british-children-to-reside-in-uk

'I am British, born and bred. I have served in Her Majesty's forces. I work for a British Company and am paid in the UK.

'On the 18th of May 2014 my wife of 22 years was refused a visa to settle in the UK. I have worked in Saudi Arabia since 1989 on the biggest contract the British Government has ever had. I work for BAE System, previously British Aerospace. In 1990 I met my wife to be in Thailand. We married in Sept 1992 and had our first child in September 1993. She moved to Saudi in December 1993. We have lived together ever since. In 2000 we had another child. The oldest child now lives in the UK and is currently in University. Our youngest is in year 9. We decided to return to the UK so that our youngest can start school to study GCSE's in the UK.

'When we submitted the paperwork at the VFS Global office (the agency that I have to use) I asked what paperwork I was required to give as the web site is not very helpful. "It is up to you." I was told.

'One of the reasons given for the refusal was that the British Embassy in Riyadh does not believe we are living together even though they had her passport with the Saudi residence visa in it...'


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wales Online: 'The Home Office said it did not believe Mike and Jieb Bates' relationship was genuine despite them marrying in 1992 and having two children' :
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/former-serviceman-battles-bring-wife-7191495

'Mike, who served in the RAF, applied for the £1,200 visa, which is non-refundable, and said he sent off all the necessary documents, including their marriage certificate.
He said they had always planned to return to the UK and was shocked when his wife’s application was refused last week.

'The decision notice also said that it did not believe the couple intend to live together permanently in the UK.

'This is despite the couple already having a joint mortgage for the house they own in Mr Bates’ home town of Aberbargoed, which they use for up to two months of the year when visiting family and friends.'

Friday, 30 May 2014

Right of Union citizens and their family members to move and reside freely within the Union.
Guide on how to get the best out of Directive 2004/38/EC


http://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/faq/freetravel/doc/guide_2004_38_ec_en.pdf

Mirrored at :
http://www.scribd.com/doc/227274608/guide-2004-38-ec-en

'Union citizens are at the heart of the European project and citizenship of the Union grants them a number of important rights
including the right to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal and European Parliament elections in the Member State in which they reside.

'Union citizenship does not replace national citizenship, merely complements it.

'Union citizenship also confers on every Union citizen a personal right to move freely around the Union and settle anywhere within its territory.

'This right is one of the most visible advantages of a united Europe for individual citizens. Already around 7 million Union citizens have taken advantage of this right and now live in another Member State of the Union.

'Many more of them travel regularly to other Member States for business or as tourists and enjoy fast-track checks at borders or even no checks at all.

'So Union citizenship offers concrete rights for all Union citizens! '

Very useful for those exercising free movement rights to be with their loved ones.


See also -

Surinder Singh for newbies :
http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/surinder-singh-for-newbies-2014.html



Family unity - the European way :
http://www.jcwi.org.uk/blog/2013/02/07/family-unity-european-way



A great Facebook support group for people going through the route :
https://www.facebook.com/groups/650212281695959/



A video on one family's experience of the route :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1-v0cV2Y8E

Surinder Singh stories (lots of links to various people's personal experiences at the bottom of the post) :
http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/another-experience-of-surinder-singh.html

Wayne P.'s 'Surinder Singh information' pages :
http://surinder-singh-route.info/

More posts on Surinder Singh :
http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/surinder%20singh

More useful documents :
http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/p/library.html

British Citizens forced to pay £3381.10 in fees to be allowed to live in the UK with their spouse as a British family!



The Government published in its most recent figures that the cost per decision for all permanent and temporary migration applications is £182

Yet when presenting information to justify the recent increases in fees in Parliament they stated the actual unit cost of processing a spouse Visa is £278 (FLR) but they want to charge £601.

Anybody unfamiliar with the spouse visa system (including most MP's) then they would think that the cost of the visa for a British Citizen to live with their wife/husband or partner is only £601.

What they fail to realize is the process now takes over 5 years and has to be applied for several times providing relatively the same information with a new fee each time!
So why do I say the visa cost is £3381.10

As a British citizen you have to now Pay the following for your spouse to stay here
  1. LTR (£601) the first in country application after being married, 
  2. Biometric Fee (£19.20), 
  3. FLR (£601) at the 2.5 year mark, 
  4. Biometric Fee (£19.20) at each application the same biometrics are taken again with a fee paid to the Post Office
  5. Life in the UK test (£50)
  6. ILR (£1,093) at the 5 year mark, 
  7. Biometric Fee (£19.20)
  8. Naturalization (£906 ) a year later, 
  9. Passport fee (£72.50) (optional but needed for travel)
Total £3381.10

If you are applying from outside of the UK then it is more as the first application is Settlement instead of LTR for overseas initial applications and costs (£885) so would give 
Total £3665.10
All these stages require almost the same documents submitting each time.
During the six year period the spouse is only allowed outside of the UK 90 days per year.

This does not include the increased complexity of the forms etc that Brits have to wade through so now even the well educated need the help of solicitors just to fill them in, or the solicitors fees, English Test fees, validation fees of qualifications or court, legal and appeal fees we have to go through when the H.O. get things wrong.
Even the new Helpline now costs £1.37 per Minute 


By comparison Residence Documents issued under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations are not mandatory 
For EU Citizens bringing their spouses here using the EU National route

  1. EEA family permit (Free)  is normally for 6 months and allows multiple entry to the UK (https://www.gov.uk/family-permit)
  2. after 6 months can apply for 5 year Residence card (£55)  
  3. Residence Certificate(£55) 
  4. Permanent Residence Card (£55) after 5 years of residence in the UK
  5. Permanent Residence Certificate(£55)
Total £220 (but optional)
The spouse is only allowed outside the UK 6 months a year.


source of current fees and costs


Spouse visas for British Citizens used to not cost anything as the British Citizen was already paying for them indirectly through their taxes. Only passport applications you had to pay for as these were regarded as optional. 
So why are we now being charged 18.5 times what it costs for something we have already paid for through our taxes?

Why are British Citizens (most of them born and bred in the UK) being ripped off and discriminated against just because their spouses were born in a non-EU country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

Even after being ripped off by extortionate above premium fees the level of service offered is lacking with many applications refused,  applications delayed due to staff cutbacks,  mistakes made and not quickly corrected etc

Even the application forms are still not fit for purpose and treat British Citizens like immigrants. An example is on the spouse application form 
question: 7.22 is your sponsor currently living in the UK? 
Put a cross (x) in the relevant box. 
If ‘Yes’ please provide the date of when he/she first arrived in the UK

Lets put these fees into context:


The Government say that all applications should be earning a minimum of £18,600 per year 

so any body earning £18,600 would have to pay 
18% of their annual income in visa fees!   

But Justice Blake in his ruling last year suggested that the minimum income should be £13,400 

so any body earning £13,400 would have to pay 
25% of their annual income in visa fees!
just in order to exercise their fundamental right of living with their spouse. 

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Support Ahad and Anum

https://twitter.com/RefugeeAction tweets :
Just read about the @EastonCowboys cricket team's campaign to stop their teammate being deported. Support them here: http://bit.ly/1nTFJGH

The Easton Cowboys page:  http://eastoncowboys.org.uk/support-ahad-and-anum-rizvi/ 




'We are campaigning to stop one of our cricket players Syed Ahad Rizvi and his family being ‘removed’ from the country. The family are seeking asylum after their extended family and community in Pakistan were  threatened by the militant groups Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi which are linked with the Taliban.

'Ahad and Anum were being held at immigration removal centres, however they have now been released back to their family while the they fight to get their asylum claims to a judicial review.

'The family’s lawyer has summarised the case:

'Some of you may have heard of the predicament of one of our players, Ahad Rizvi. Ahad’s father came to the UK lawfully. He was then lawfully joined by Ahad and the rest of his family from Pakistan where they are a minority. Their extended family has suffered kidnapping, torture and murder and they have suffered threats, harassment and attempted kidnapping. Several months after the arrival in the UK they received information that made their return to Pakistan extremely dangerous. They did not overstay their visa or simply abscond as many people do. They went to solicitors and made a proper application for asylum in the UK. Unfortunately, the family has been let down on a number of fronts and all of their legal avenues have been exhausted. They have no family in Pakistan. Their extended family has long since left and are in Canada, the US, Dubai and Iran. Law and order in Pakistan are fragile and victims receive very little protection if at all...'

Sign the petition :
https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/theresa-may-stop-the-deportation-of-easton-cowboys-cricketer-ahad-rizvi-and-his-sister-anum-rizvi-return-them-to-their-family-in-fishponds-bristol

Stop the deportation of Easton Cowboys Cricketer Ahad Rizvi and his sister Anum Rizvi. Return them to their family in Fishponds Bristol.

Support the Facebook page :
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-Ahad-and-Anum/1484706438409036



'Bristol cricket team Easton Cowboys help Ahad and Anum Rizvi win asylum battle' :
http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Bristol-cricket-team-Easton-Cowboys-help-siblings/story-21123608-detail/story.html

'Cricket Club continues fight to keep teens in country' :
http://www.itv.com/news/west/update/2014-05-21/cricket-club-continues-fight-to-keep-teens-in-country/

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Exercising free movement rights - Surinder Singh and Ireland - one family's experience

Always worth a view. :)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1-v0cV2Y8E

Friday, 23 May 2014

Reports of people entitled to vote, who were unable to vote in the European elections :
https://twitter.com/MigrantVoiceUK/status/469775072769871873
https://twitter.com/sturdyAlex
https://twitter.com/JakubKrupaFE

Open letter: Registration procedures for non-UK EU citizens at the European elections :
http://www.gilesgoodall.org.uk/news/81-open-letter-registration-procedures-for-non-uk-eu-citizens-at-the-european-elections

'Go and vote in your own country': Evidence of non-British EU citizens turned away at the polls despite being on electoral roll :
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/go-and-vote-in-your-own-country-evidence-of-nonbritish-eu-citizens-turned-away-at-the-polls-despite-being-on-electoral-roll-9427571.html

Joint statement by LetmevoteUK about EP2014 issues in UK :
http://www.letmevoteuk.org/uk-eu-election-issues-22may2014/

Denied a vote yesterday? Send your story to report@deniedavote.eu
https://twitter.com/JakubKrupaFE/status/469835797534109696


Movement Against Xenophobia: Immigration Act 2014 (with some comments by me)

http://movagxen.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/immigration-act-2014/

'The document below is useful for legal practitioners but also accesible to those of us who are not legally proficient. It is a worrying and discriminatory piece of legislation, MAX will continue to campaign against it, monitor the impacts and challenge where ever possible. We ask the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties to pledge to scrap the Act should they form a Government in 2015.'

The end of the right of appeal :

'Appeal rights have been replaced by administrative review. The only rights of appeal still available are in protection claims (where a person is seeking refugee status or humanitarian protection) or where that leave is being revoked or where a person claims breach of human rights.'

Comment: There are numerous cases on this site - and I am aware of many more - where the partners of British citizens have been incorrectly denied visas to the UK, cases which have subsequently been won on this appeal. Ending the right of appeal ends the oversight of an often hostile and incompetent system, and is an assault of natural justice and democratic values.

Effectively this means that there is now no oversight to the many mistakes made when, for example, spousal or other family visas are dealt with.

British citizens and voters NEED TO KNOW that if their sons and daughters fall in  love with a foreigner, their right to start a family is now at the whim of the Home Office - the same Home Office that is in pursuit of an increasingly distant target of net migration.


Landlords as border guards - can we expect to see migrants and indeed 'foreign' looking and sounding people to be forced into substandard, overpriced accommodation?

'All non-British, non-EEA or non-Swiss citizens who require leave to enter or remain in the UK but do not have it are disqualified from entering into a residential tenancy agreement. Landlords have a duty to check a person’s immigration status. If they rent to someone who does not have leave they can be fined up to £3000 per adult by way of a penalty notice. Landlords can object to the penalty notice and do have a right of appeal against it. They are also required to adhere to the Code of Practice which will tell them how to make the checks and how not to be discriminatory. Breach of the code does not carry any civil or criminal liability. '

Comment: 'No dogs, no blacks, no Irish'. Back to the bad old days. Landlords will be reluctant to rent to migrants - including categories such as students and foreign workers - and even British citizens whose skin may be the wrong colour, or who may have the wrong access. This sets the clock back generations.

The end of universal health care.

'This clause provides the Secretary of State with a power, by order, to require migrants seeking leave to enter or remain (or entry clearance) to pay an immigration health charge ... '

'Those ordinarily resident in the UK are not subject to a charge for the NHS. This clause changes the ordinary resident test for the purposes of charging so that all those who do not have indefinite leave to remain can be charged. This includes those who need leave to enter or remain but also those currently living and working here with limited leave.'


Comment: Completely contrary to the principles of the NHS. The category of those who do not have 'indefinite leave to remain' includes those on spousal or fiancee visas leading up to ILR, even if they are resident in the UK. Even if they are working and paying taxes for the NHS.

A nurse from the Philippines, whose husband is British, on a spouse visa, will have to pay if she needs care on the NHS - the same NHS  which she works for and pays taxes for. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE.


Attack on employment rights.

'This clause amends the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 with regards to appeals by employers against penalty notices for a breach of the illegal working provisions in the Act. The effect is that the employer must first give a ‘notice of objection’ to the Secretary to State who will determine the objection by way of administrative review. The aim is to negate the need of an appeal.'

'... The purpose of this clause is to make it easier for the Secretary of State to recover penalties from employers by removing the need for court proceedings (which allows the employer to raise a defence ). The amendment will allow the Secretary of State to enforce the penalty as if it were a debt under a court order, register it with the civil court and take enforcement action immediately.'


Comment: In much the same way as the attack on the right to housing, this provision will drastically limit rights to employment. Indeed, employers without the access to big legal or HR departments will be reluctant to hire migrants - maybe even those with ILR - maybe even British citizens with the 'wrong' complexion or who speak the 'wrong' way. Because those employers will lack the resources to know what to check,  and will therefore be open to huge fines with limited redress.

'No dogs, no blacks, no Irish' - again. This kicks the door wide open to abuse and discrimination.





Undermining the right to marry or form a civil partnership.

'There are several detailed provisions with regard to the conduct of the investigation and information that needs to be provided by couples but the main changes are that all marriages following civil preliminaries and all civil partnerships in England and Wales will be subject to a 28-day notice period (currently 15 days) from when notice is given to the registration official.'

'Where the Home Office has reasonable grounds to suspect that a referred marriage or civil partnership is a sham, it will be able to extend the notice period to 70 days in order to investigate the genuineness of the couple’s relationship.'


Comment: This is an authoritarian, intrusive and grotesquely offensive assault on the right to marry.
A fiance visa is for six months; the timeline from granting the visa, to getting married, to applying for the next visa (the spouse visa) is tight enough already. This provision makes it harder, more uncertain and more stressful. All to tacks a problem which research has shown -does not really exist-.

See Free Movement blog on sham marriages :
http://www.freemovement.org.uk/sharp-increase-in-sham-marriage-convictions/
There were only 229 convictions related to sham marriages in 2011.

This was from last year - 'Bungling immigration officials crash genuine wedding' :
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/nov/08/bungling-immigration-sham-wedding-london

This provision undermines the rights of families to be together by manufacturing a problem which doesn't exist.





The Act attacks the rights of families in these ways: right to housing; right to health care; right to earn a living; access to justice; and right to exist and be together at all. It is an outrage.

The Act will inevitably greatly affect -everyone- in the UK - not just migrants, or indeed those British citizens who are the partners or children of migrants. It will affect our economy, our society, our relations with the outside world. It is insidious and immensely damaging.

FIGHT XENOPHOBIA.
JOIN MAX.
http://movagxen.wordpress.com/
https://twitter.com/NoXenophobia
https://www.facebook.com/groups/512975785463442/


Read on... 
Open Democracy : 'Academics speak out against the UK Immigration Bill' 
http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/tom-vickers/academics-speak-out-against-uk-immigration-bill

PROTEST: Syrian refugees welcome here!

Facebook event :
https://www.facebook.com/events/291077454392199/

Protest at the Home Office, 2 Marsham St, London SW1P 4DF, 6.30pm 16th June

CALLED BY:

*** Movement Against Xenophobia ***
- A recently formed broad based campaign against racism and xenophobia in the immigration debate in the UK.

*** Syria Solidarity Movement ***
- A campaign that forms part of global efforts to build an international solidarity movement with democratic and progressive activists continuing their fight against the Assad regime in the face of mounting violence.

*** No One Is Illegal ***
- A long-standing refugee rights organisation that campaigns for a world without borders.

WHY YOU SHOULD COME
Under mounting pressure the government has reluctantly agreed to take "several hundred" of the "most destitute" Syrian refugees. But this is nothing when compared to either the scale of the refugee crisis or the commitments made by other nations.

SERIOUS HUMANITARIAN CRISIS
There are already 2.5 million refugees that have fled Syria, including nearly a million in neighbouring Lebanon, and 6.5 million people internally displaced. This is clearly one of the most serious humanitarian crisis of our time.

BRITAIN'S SHAME
Our government has not joined the United Nations High Commission for Refugees re-settlement programme but has instead set up its own programme providing minimal assistance. Compare its commitment to Germany who has pledged to take 11,000 Syrian refugees as part of the UN effort. Even much smaller countries, like Sweden and Norway, have agreed to take 1,300 and 1,000 refugees respectively, and the United States has placed no limit on the number it is willing to take.

GLOBAL SOUTH
We also recognise that despite international efforts the burden of dealing with the refugee crisis has overwhelmingly been borne by the much poorer countries bordering Syria. We call on the government to dramatically increase its commitment to take Syrian refugees who are fleeing war and persecution.

REFUGEE RIGHTS
We recognise that their reluctance to countenance this step reflects a wider climate of persecution of migrants and refugees, who have been scapegoated for the affects of the capitalist crisis. This has fuelled the rise of the racist UKIP part. We are determined to stand together against racism and for international solidarity with migrants and refugees the world over.

More posts about Syria :
http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/syria

Monday, 19 May 2014

Paradise Lost? Help Cambridge librarian bring his wife home!

http://cambridge.tab.co.uk/2014/05/19/paradise-lost-help-cambridge-librarian-bring-his-wife-home/

'The Senior Library Assistant at the English Faculty Library, is battling with the UK Border Agency to bring his wife home.

'48-year-old David Rushmer and his wife, Wang Bang, aged 39, were married in China in June 2013, and have since faced a protracted battle with authorities so that Wang can live in Britain.

'After first meeting in June 2012 on a poetry website, the couple moved in together by November of that year. Despite submitting evidence of their relationship, testimonials from family and friends, and receiving coverage in the national press, Wang’s application for a spouse visa at the British embassy in Beijing remains pending.

'The UK Border Agency believe that Wang’s sensitive work with human rights advocates proves she is only marrying Rushmer to escape scrutiny from the Chinese government, and have so far refused to review the case. This means the couple have been forcibly separated since July 2013, apart from a brief reunion in Thailand earlier this year... '

David and Bang's story :
http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/david-bang-we-are-aware-many.html

Follow Bang's tumblr :
http://wangbangy.tumblr.com

David and Bang's petition  :
https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/uk-border-agency-overturn-my-wife-s-spouse-visa-refusal-and-allow-her-to-return-to-the-uk




 

Government Promoting Compensative Drive for the Future National Good!!!!!!

A quote tweeted about the Sunday Times Rich List may have highlighted a new justification for the Government's determination to split up families using the immigration laws.


"ST editorial director says richest people have a 'compensatory drive' due to loss of a parent at young age - eg Dyson, Hindujas"


But as the guardian stated "Sunday Times Rich List reveals 104 billionaires sharing fortune of £301bn, but few pay tax as they are not domiciled in UK"  so as usual yet more flaws in their thinking of trying to create home grown future billionaires.


This then brings up the question of how many of or MP's (especially those that are part of the Government) suffer from Compensatory Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Does this sound familiar?

"Compensatory Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a pervasive pattern of unstable, "overtly narcissistic behaviors [that] derive from an underlying sense of insecurity and weakness rather than from genuine feelings of self-confidence and high self-esteem" (Millon), beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by ten (or more) of the following:


  • seeks to create an illusion of superiority and to build up an image of high self-worth (Millon);
  • has disturbances in the capacity for empathy (Forman);
  • strives for recognition and prestige to compensate for the lack of a feeling of self-worth;
  • may acquire a deprecatory attitude in which the achievements of others are ridiculed and degraded (Millon);
  • has persistent aspirations for glory and status (Millon);
  • has a tendency to exaggerate and boast (Millon);
  • is sensitive to how others react to him or her, watches and listens carefully for critical judgment, and feels slighted by disapproval (Millon);
  • is prone to feel shamed and humiliated and especially hyper-anxious and vulnerable to the judgments of others (Millon);
  • covers up a sense of inadequacy and deficiency with pseudo-arrogance and pseudo-grandiosity (Millon);
  • has a tendency to periodic hypochondria (Forman);
  • alternates between feelings of emptiness and deadness and states of excitement and excess energy (Forman);
  • entertains fantasies of greatness, constantly striving for perfection, genius, or stardom (Forman);
  • has a history of searching for an idealized partner and has an intense need for affirmation and confirmation in relationships (Forman);
  • frequently entertains a wishful, exaggerated, and unrealistic concept of himself or herself which he or she can't possibly measure up to (Reich);
  • produces (too quickly) work not up to the level of his or her abilities because of an overwhelmingly strong need for the immediate gratification of success (Reich);
  • is touchy, quick to take offense at the slightest provocation, continually anticipating attack and danger, reacting with anger and fantasies of revenge when he or she feels frustrated in his or her need for constant admiration (Reich);
  • is self-conscious, due to a dependence on approval from others (Reich);
  • suffers regularly from repetitive oscillations of self-esteem (Reich);
  • seeks to undo feelings of inadequacy by forcing everyone's attention and admiration upon himself or herself (Reich);
  • may react with self-contempt and depression to the lack of fulfillment of his or her grandiose expectations (Riso)."

 



Sunday, 18 May 2014

'Love Letters to the Home Office'

... is now available as an ebook on Smashwords :
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/438033

More :
http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/love%20letters%20to%20the%20home%20office


MPs to investigate Serco over sex assault claim at Yarl's Wood centre

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/may/17/mps-serco-yarls-wood-centre-sex-assault-claim

'Serco, the private outsourcing giant, is to be investigated by MPs after it was forced to disclose a secret internal report revealing evidence that it failed to properly investigate a claim of repeated sexual assaults by one of its staff against a female resident at Yarl's Wood immigration detention centre.

'The document, which was marked confidential, was made public last week following a four-month legal battle between Serco and Guardian News and Media. Lawyers said the report demonstrates a culture of disbelief towards women inside the detention centre, which is run by Serco, and hailed the high court's decision forcing Serco to disclose the document as a victory for greater transparency.

'The revelation comes a day after it was disclosed that Serco could be among companies to take over the running of privatised children's social services, including child protection, under proposals being considered by Michael Gove's Department for Education.

'Keith Vaz, chair of the home affairs select committee, said the report's revelations were "shocking" and warned he would be summoning senior Serco figures to parliament next month for them to explain their actions.'

'... Serco believed the alleged victim lacked credibility because her allegations were deemed too consistent and detailed.'

These are extremely serious allegations which demand independent investigation.
  
More posts on asylum seekers : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/asylum%20seekers

-------

#Time4aTimeLimit - follow this hashtag on ending mass detention :
https://twitter.com/search?f=realtime&q=%23Time4aTimeLimit

-------

Spotted on Twitter (from Australia) - 'The enemy doesn't arrive by boat, he arrives by limousine.'

https://twitter.com/andreasson_/status/467894670022819840/photo/1


Saturday, 17 May 2014

Love Letters Home : No sitting still

http://lovelettershome.org/blog/no-sitting-still/

.....

  1. Sign our petitions:
    1. to repeal the 2012 Family Immigration Law
    2. to implement changes within the Home Office
  2. Contact your MP. Call their office, email them, write them a letter, find them on twitter. Elections are right around the corner, and it’s an ideal time to let them know just what is important to their constituents. Several MPs have already received copies of the book…has yours?
  3. Tell your friends and loved ones about our project. Like and share us on Facebook, follow us on twitter,
  4. Tell us your story
  5. Get involved with our friends at BritCits
  6. Go to the Stop Scapegoating Immigrants event next week

Friday, 16 May 2014

'The missing voice'

http://myjourneymrc.tumblr.com/tagged/radio

'Hasani found himself navigating the UK immigration system all alone when he first arrived in London…' ; 'Jade found refuge in the UK after escaping terrible violence and torture in Uganda… ' ; 'The beginning of spring is a time of celebration in the Persian calendar…' ; 'A journey through the sights and sounds of London can take you anywhere: expect the unexpected! '

Storytelling from the Migrants' Resource Centre :
http://myjourneymrc.tumblr.com/

Via https://twitter.com/NoXenophobia


Thursday, 15 May 2014

Sample letter to accompany a National Insurance number application

http://surinder-singh-route.info/2014/05/sample-letter-to-accompany-a-national-insurance-number-application/

Useful for returning Surinder Singhers. This and more via Surinder Singh Route Information :
http://surinder-singh-route.info/

Shared below in the interests of fair use :

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Reminder: Movement Against Xenophobia Public Meeting: Stop Scapegoating Migrants

Monday 19th May, 7 pm

Indian YMCA, 41 Fitzroy Square, London W1T 6QA


http://movagxen.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/NoXenophobia


Facebook event :
https://www.facebook.com/events/533156476795000/  
Posts about MAX : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/movement%20against%20xenophobia
Renouncing British citizenship for dual nationals - and family life

This may be of interest to those who are lucky enough to have dual nationality with another EU country (e.g. Ireland). As many know, the EU protects free movement for citizens and their family members - that's the whole basis of the Surinder Singh route. So whatever restrictions on family life an EU member state places on its citizens, the right to settle elsewhere (i.e. outside the home country) is protected - not just in the EU, but throughout the EEA.


Renouncing British citizenship, although drastic, may be worth looking into. This is a big step so it's advisable to consult  with a qualifieid legal practitioner before making this decision.

Read on...

http://www.immigrationboards.com/eea-route-applications/renouncing-british-citizenship-to-use-eea-fp-route-t113833-20.html#p1034636

'Just in case anyone is curious I can confirm that this method works as of Winter/Spring 2014.

'I was born in the UK as a UK citizen and also eligible for Irish citizenship but had never registered myself to claim it. I have lived in the UK my whole life. Over the summer of 2013 I registered myself as an Irish foreign birth, gained citizenship, applied for an Irish passport, renounced my UK citizenship, married my US citizen wife in the US and applied for an EEA FP in September 2013. We received the FP within a week and my wife moved from the US to the UK in December. We have just received her EEA2 residence card which we applied for in January.

'A bit of a faff with paperwork to say the least but it cost us several hundred pounds and several months less than a UK spouse visa for which we were not eligible due to my low income as a PhD student. I was not returned my UK passport after renunciation.'


Via EEA visa... EU free movement : https://www.facebook.com/groups/650212281695959

An excellent support group for those families divided by the UK's immigration rules.
 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Saturday, 10 May 2014

St Paul's


'London - Jessie Najjar hoists her eight-month-old baby Watan in the air and back into her arms to soothe his gentle murmuring. Confident yet clearly exasperated, she explains in her lilting Yorkshire accent how decisions made by the British government ensure that Watan mainly sees her father as a pixellated image over the internet...'

Via http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/the-uk-home-office-lower-the-income-requirement-for-spouse-family-visas


Petition: My name is Paul, my fiancee's name is Cate, this is our story

Please sign and share. As Paul asked at the end of the petition, the story is reproduced in full below.

 “In my house amidst the ruins, missing roof, no forks or spoons…”

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/to-the-rt-hon-david-cameron-please-amend-immigration-policy-in-line-with-international-human-rights-requirements-to-provide-equality-for-families-affected-by-disability-or-on-a-lower-income

'I am known on Facebook as Editorial Spark, formerly a successful Alternative DJ, also an established author, conservation entrepreneur, humanitarian and I suffer from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

'My faith in people’s ability ‘to do the right thing’ has taken quite a battering in recent years. In trying to fight back from a crippling, debilitating and very personal illness I have decided not to hide but instead share my story and, when my mind allows, post on Facebook the events as life unfolds in the hope others will do likewise in the hope that one day all discrimination might be a thing of the past.

'No one is perfect, far from it, we are all different and that is the uniqueness that shapes us and inspires us to become our dreams and aspirations. There are so many people in this world who have their creativity, or uniqueness, or genuine belief, or open-hearted trust, or hard work, or determination to make a difference simply crushed by those who would take advantage and twist it like a sharp blade until you bleed inside.
Migrant rebellion continues in British detention centres

http://newint.org/blog/2014/05/09/migrant-protests-detention-centres/

'Frustration and despair has tipped over into protests inside detention centres across Britain over the past week, with migrants going on hunger strike and staging sit-down protests.

'Four of Britain’s 10 detention centres – Harmondsworth, Colnbrook, Brook House and Campsfield House  – have seen peaceful rebellions against poor conditions and imprisonment without charge since Friday 2 May.

'At the time of going to press, migrants were still refusing food in both Harmondsworth in Middlesex, Britain’s largest migrant prison, and Campsfield House in Oxfordshire.

'‘We’re up against the wall,’ said Musawar Khan, a Pakistani man speaking from Campsfield House, where 50 detainees went on hunger strike on 7 May. Married to a British woman, the 27-year-old has spent nearly six months locked up behind 10-foot razor wire...' more

'Neither criminals, nor animals!' A week of unrest in Britain's migrant jails :
http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/jasmine-sallis/neither-criminals-nor-animals-week-of-unrest-in-britains-migrant-jails

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Spotted on Facebook

'Really sad to hear of another person refused permanent residency after living and working here legally for 12 years. She married a Brit 12 years ago and brought up his kids as though they were her own. He died a couple of years ago and her spousal visa has now expired. Home Office has refused her application based on a family life because, according to them, her step-kids are now adults so they no longer need her.

'In other words, "after you worked, paid taxes and invested in our future generation, your job is done and you can go right back to Canada where you came from". '
Immigration rules could tear dad away from two kids

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/immigration-rules-could-tear-dad-3513194

'A distraught couple face being split up by immigration chiefs ... just weeks before their second child is born.




'Lyndsey Burke and her long-term boyfriend Tugrul Keseli, both 29, are heartbroken after the Home Office turned down his plea for a visa extension.

'Tugrul – known to friends as Tom – missed the birth of their daughter Alara three years ago after being refused permission to come to Scotland from his native Turkey.

'He was later able to travel here on a holiday visa and the couple have been living together in Linwood since 2011.

'However, the latest ruling means Tugrul could be deported before their second daughter, who is due to be born on May 23, arrives.

'Lyndsey told the Paisley Daily Express: “We’re just numbers on a sheet of paper to the people who made this decision.'


Please sign Lyndsey and Tom's petition :
https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/upper-tribunal-stop-putting-a-price-tag-on-love-and-rights-to-be-a-family-in-the-uk 
 
Previously :
http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/stop-putting-price-tag-on-love-and.html

Movement Against Xenophobia Public Meeting: Stop Scapegoating Migrants

Monday 19th May, 7 pm

Indian YMCA, 41 Fitzroy Square, London W1T 6QA


 http://movagxen.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/NoXenophobia


Facebook event :
https://www.facebook.com/events/533156476795000/

 Previously :
http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/stop-scapegoating-migrants-rally.html
Living and working in the Netherlands

A potentially useful guide for those considering the Surinder Singh route via the Netherlands.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/222943866/Living-and-Working-in-the-Netherlands

Via EEA visa... EU free movement on Facebook - an excellent support group and resource for those considering reuniting their divided families via Europe :
https://www.facebook.com/groups/650212281695959/

Surinder Singh for Newbies :
http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/surinder-singh-for-newbies-2014.html


Wednesday, 7 May 2014

What is a minimum wage?

Since the MM trial there has been a lot of speculation about the income threshold being reduced to the minimum wage after Justice Blake's suggestion in his ruling in July last year(2013).

“…to set the figure significantly higher than even the £13,400 gross annual wage effectively denies young people and many thousands of low-wage earners in full time employment the ability to be joined by their non-EEA spouses from abroad "

When the case was heard at the Court of Appeal at the beginning of March 2014 
BritCits coverage
J M Wilson Solicitors review

The Judges in the hearing were also considering how the cases of Quila and Bibi (minimum spouse visa age challenge) would inform their decisions as well as how article 8 and article 14 are enacted into English Law.

So with that in mind the minimum wage chosen should be one that does not discriminate on grounds of age or it could be challenged under the same principles as Quila and Bibi case.

But life is not always simple and different people work different hours. 

So what hours are considered to be working full time?  

This would have a big impact on what the minimum annual wage is. To be a true minimum wage it would have to be the minimum hours that the Government regards as being full time employment.
So should it be the 30 hours minimum that the Government regard as being full time employment under their working tax credits rules? This would be the fairest and limit the number of people discriminated against, especially older people or people with health conditions that want to work but find it impossible to work very long hours. 
Choosing an average instead of the minimum would statistically mean that 49 % of working people could be working less than that chosen figure so could risk being discriminated against on economic or health grounds. As well as which average do you use?

With these points in mind we put together a table to illustrate what are the differences in a minimum wage.























Notes

1) What is a living wage?   



2)  48 Hours Max working hours per week  set in the EU Working Time Directive

3)  min working hour per week to be classed as working full time as used by working tax credits  = 30 hours



4) 40 hours per week is regarded as the number of hours before overtime is paid.

5) Full-time employees in the UK work an average of 42.7 hours a week compared to the EU average of 37.4 hours, according to the Office for National Statistics.   



So in conclusion any 18-20 year old, on the national minimum wage, who was married to a Non-Eu national would not be able to work enough hours to reach even the level suggested by Justice Blake

£10462.40p would be the maximum they would be able to earn if their boss did not allow overtime