In 2012, Theresa May who was then Home Secretary introduced new immigration rules. It means that a UK Citizen has to meet a Minimum Income Requirement of £18,600p.a in order to be able to bring a Non EU spouse/partner to live in the UK with their family. This is a figure that nearly half the UK population does not earn, particularly in areas where incomes are lower. These rules cause physical, emotional and financial stress on many families who are forced to become single parent families while trying to work enough hours to meet the requirement. It is particularly noted among our group that children are severely affected by being torn away from both parents, one who is unable to enter the UK and the other who is having to work long hours to meet requirements.
We are a group set up by mothers affected by these rules and who are passionate about bringing forward a more humane and fair family immigration policy which will ensure the welfare of the children and safeguard their basic human rights – as well as the families as a whole unit. The term 'family' also includes couples - heterosexual and same sex couples - who are married but not allowed to be together to enable them to be a family. We had to “test” these tough visa rules on ourselves only to find out that they are made to divide families, make them struggle, live in different countries or live outside the UK.
WORKING TO REUNITE FAMILIES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD
Reunite Families UK [RFUK] is a volunteer led support and campaign group for British/non-EU families who are separated by UK Spouse visa rules because of an imposed minimum income requirement [MIR]. Using real life experiences, we raise awareness of the impact of these rules on husbands, wives and their children; and lobby parliament with the aim of the MIR being abolished.
Reunite Families UK was set up in 2017 by two mothers whose families were being affected by spouse visa rules that were created as part of the new hostile environment policies in 2012 by the Home Secretary.
The rules for British/non-EU families state that the British partner has to earn a minimum income of £18,600 if they want their partner to be able to join them in the UK regardless of whether they have children or not. The process is complicated, extremely expensive and many applications are being wrongly refused due to unacceptable procedures by the Home Office and compounded by a long-held perception of immigrants here in Britain.
Not only do nearly half the UK population not earn this amount, they are discriminatory to low income earners, women and those who are of pension age. The rules have been creating one parent families, household poverty and causing huge mental and emotional stress on parents, children and grandparents alike.
With real life stories, RFUK is passionate about raising awareness of the impacts of the rules on innocent, loving families and we are lobbying parliament to abolish of the minimum income requirement [MIR]. We want a more humane and fair family immigration policy that will ensure the welfare of children, parents and couples; and safeguard their basic human rights to be a family.
Because families belong together