Gillian Thies
Campaign Development

Gillian is married to an American surgeon and together they have 3 children - two adopted sons and one biological son. After living in the USA for 19 years, her husband was offered a job in the UK and so they applied for and received a work visa. After taking advice from the British embassy, they ended up with the wrong visas for their adopted children and on arrival into the UK, the two young boys, aged X and X at the time were denied entry and booked onto flights back to USA immediately. It took 6 weeks to get the boys back and that was only after publicity in the Guardian newspaper, the BBC, and a successful petition.


After initially thinking this was a mistake, Gillian discovered that there were thousands of people struggling to bring their foreign spouse into the UK, experiencing severe financial, emotional and mental health problems. For Gillian, the main reason she could not sponsor her children for visas was that she does not earn the minimum income - £18,600, because she is a stay at home mum with a husband who earns enough to support the whole family. For Gillian it is is a bad law and needs to be changed and is what fuels her fighting spirit within the campaign.


When Gillian is not campaigning to get the law changed she home educates her children, teaches science to other home educated children, and has recently started a business 3d printing hips and knees from CT scans to help surgeons plan operations.