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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Daughters Aged 5 & 8
I lived in The Philippines from 2005 until 2015. Since then I have been living and working in UK and returning to the Philippines every Christmas for as long as I can afford. I met my wife in 2007, we were friends until 2009 and married in Jan 2017. We have three children, two young daughters (5 & 8) and my wife's son (11) from previous. We also had another son but he died at five weeks old.
Daughter Aged 3 years
Here is my story. My husband is Thai and we have a 3 year old daughter. His visa was refused so I gave birth alone the whole experience was very stressful and depressing. I was kept in due to lack of fetal movement and I was the only woman on my ward who was alone whilst everyone else had the partner around them to support and worry with them. It was a very dark time and I felt like everyone was judging me - why was she alone? Where is the dad?
Daughter Aged 8 years
We lived happily together as a family in Turkey for the first 6 years of our daughter’s life. Following on from the military coup which directly impacted our family and for other reasons we decided we would return to live in the UK. Myself and our now 8 year old daughter had to return to the UK without her father . It took a year as an experienced and qualified secondary school teacher before I could find suitable work in my town to meet the income threshold of £18,600 and a further 6 months before we could apply. In total our family was separated for almost 2 years.
Daughter Aged 2 years
Its difficult to find the right words to use to describe our situation. My daughter is still a baby.. a toddler.. therefore unaware. Unaware emotionally and mentally of the fact that because of the income threshold her daddy has not been able to hold her. Unaware that her daddy ended up in the hospital after suffering a nervous mental breakdown trying so desperately to bring his family home.
Mother of 3 boys
When the family arrived in the UK, the older children were detained at Heathrow, denied entry and were booked on flights to New York by themselves. Their passports were confiscated, they were fingerprinted and photographed. They had to return in 3 days to be removed from the country (after the parents appealed to not send them back immediately). They hired a lawyer to have it overturned, and they were given 6 months to sort out the situation.
Daughter Aged 4 years
My daughter only moved from Turkey to the UK at the end of July. I’ve been here since beginning March 2018. She stayed with her grandparents so her father could work (4 hours away in a different town) & so that I could come back, find a job etc. That was an incredibly stressful time for all, the extra stress on my in laws, us as a couple & our daughter, who at 4 years old, doesn’t understand why we had to be apart. She has now started school, but wets herself everyday in school, asks for her daddy every day & has separation anxiety with me.
2 year old son
My British two year old son, has never been granted the opportunity to meet his non-EU Nigerian father, due to the hostile environment imposed under the Conservative government, led by Theresa May.
According to a child's human rights they have the right to have both loving parents in their life and under article 8 of the human rights act, a right to family life. Our British government is in breech of these rights and it is heavily impacting upon my son's life.
Daughter Aged 4 years
I have been married to my husband who is from Turkey for 8 years and we have a daughter together who is 4 years old. We applied under exceptional circumstances for my husband to come and live as a family in April 2018 but we were refused. The refusal included details of another person and did not report any correct information. Our local MP has been in contact with the home office, who are not really cooperating very well. We have since appealed the decision and are still currently living in limbo whilst we await an update.
Daughter Aged 4
Growing up as a Skype family is totally confusing. You have this interactive image on the screen that you are supposed to form bonds with. Trust, love, respect how can these complex emotions be formed via a screen? Our daughter has spent large chunks of her life in hospital, with chronic lung disease. How can a screen help her to feel brave and supported? It cant.
Son Aged 8 months
Our son was born on January 1st 2018.
Although he is still a baby I believe now is the most important time to gain a bond with parents, but how can he do that if his Baba is still in Turkey? Facetime/WhatsApp/Skype calls aren't enough.
I feel so strongly about him having his Baba around we have no choice but to travel to Turkey to visit as every time we applied for a visit for his dad it's been declined on the basis that......
Children Aged 7 & 4 years
I remember very clearly when I read of the new rule changes. I remember sitting, with my one year old daughter on my knee, confused and shocked. How would we as a family, me as a mum who only worked part time in a developing country ever be able to meet this new criteria?
I had given birth to my daughter in my country of residence one year previously. It was August 2011. When I researched the possibility of us returning to the UK to birth in a familiar environment Citizen’s advice told me two things.
Sons are 13 & 16
I am from the US, but have lived in the UK since 2008, and became a naturalised citizen in 2014. I am also a divorced father of two lovely children, who live in the US with their mother. In the past couple of years, my ex-wife's mother has become increasingly ill, and requires care. Since she lives in Russia, it is very difficult to arrange any care, as family members generally provide care for their elders.
Mother of 2 boys
We have been living as a happy family until January 2017, when we had to move to the UK from abroad. I had to go to Ukraine to apply for the spouse visa and my husband went to the UK to start his new job, find a place for us to live and settle down.
I was pregnant with our second son then and was due in July 2017, our elder son was 19 months old when we had to say goodbye to his dad and my husband and go to Ukraine. In total, we were separated for 4.5 months but we still see the consequences and deal with them.
8 year old daughter
My second wife, who is South African, and I are currently living in self-imposed exile in the Republic of Ireland, where we have been since February 2016. We applied for a spouse visa to enable us to return to the UK in February 2017, however, despite my earning above the minimum income requirement and us meeting all necessary criteria, we were refused upon spurious and still not clearly specified grounds. I have a now eight-year old daughter in the UK from a previous marriage......