Some of our families' stories
Here are some heartbreaking accounts of the real impact of the UK visa rules on children and families.
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Raquella – son is 7 years old
Although we have been fortunate enough at this present time not to have to live separately from each other the impact the visa situation has had on our family especially our son has been immense.
My partner has been without status in this country since late 2013 due to visa issues and Home Office incompetence. We have found ourselves in and out of court at great expense to us as a family, my partner has to report to immigration every month and has also spent time in immigration detention. The impact this has had on us as a family has been quite devastating both financially and mentally. My partner has suffered a complete mental breakdown and now suffers from depression, panic disorder, anxiety disorder and PTSD.
Every day life within our family is extremely difficult at times the huge cost of our constant battle with the Home Office has meant that we are not able to take our son on holiday he hasn't had a holiday since 2013 when he was 2, we don't really go anywhere as we are now paying back a huge amount of money that we had to borrow in order to get my partner released from detention. Our son who is 7 suffers from separation anxiety from his dad when he panics constantly that his dad will be taken away again. When the monthly signings come around our son goes into panic mode, we are not allowed to go into the signing centre with my partner and therefore have to play a waiting game until he returns home this is made doubly worse as this is how he was detained previously without warning and taken away without us being able to see him therefore our son is a nervous wreck on signing day constantly asking me to call his dad's phone until he answers, if this takes longer than expected he is begging me to go look for his dad as he says 'they've taken him again' he's petrified that he will never see his dad again. This has impacted on our little boys mental health we struggle to get him to go out places or far from home , he doesn't like to go anywhere without us in case someone takes his dad. Its impacted on my son's friendships as he doesn't know what to tell his friends about his dad why he doesn't go to work because he isn't allowed its to much for a 7 year old to take on board whereas we don't discuss the details of everything some things we have to tell him so he at least has a little understanding of what is happening.
At this present moment we are living apart from my partner as his mental health is impacting on us to much as a family and its too distressing for our son. Before all of these visa issues we were a happy family, to quote my son 'its better to have a good life but we have a terrible life now because of dad' this is the most upsetting part my son doesn't understand Governments and their rules etc he believes its his dad's fault in some way which is heartbreaking but if we can't understand this need to tear families apart as adults how can you expect a child to.