Reuniting families affected by UK spouse visa rules

Lives Locked Down: The Families Separated for Years

This week has been a joyful time for thousands of families up and down the country thanks to the introduction of the Bubble and socially distanced meet ups in the park. Friends and family reunited at last after months of uncertainty and loneliness. It is hard not to get caught up in all the beautiful videos of family members finally being able to see loved ones. It should bring a tear to the eye of even the coldest of hearts. It opens the flood gates for me.

I am sure even BoJo has enjoyed a few reunifications over the past few days. So, for a man who is the face of Tory party policy how much does he actually know about his own policies?

With his recent discovery during PMQ’S of the NRPF (No Recourse to Public Funds) a “Hostile Environment” policy introduced by the Tories back in 2012. He was visibly shocked to learn that 1.4 million people in the UK are becoming destitute as the Covid-19 crisis worsens. One then must wonder what other policies he is unaware of.

For instance, the MIR (Minimum Income Requirement) a cruel policy that sees thousands of British families forced apart. A policy which is now in its 8th year. Does he know that for a British citizen to bring their foreign spouse with them to the UK they must earn over £18,600 a year. The conservatives claim that it is to stop these families becoming a burden. They themselves obviously unaware of their own No recourse to Public funds policy. With this and the extortionate visa fees, close to £3000 per person. These so called “burdens” are having their human rights denied by a government who seeks to profit from their desperation to be reunited. A desperation that we can all now more than ever relate to.

Another harsh reality is that over 40% of the UK population earn less than £18.600. Many of these workers who were referred to by the government as “low skilled” are now called “Keyworkers” and seen as the backbone of society. How can we as a nation clap for our carers and at the same time deny them their husband/wife and children. A teaching assistant who cares for your children, goes home and cries for theirs. A health worker who spends their day saving lives and goes home to an empty house.

I myself am affected by MIR. I am a teaching assistant. I spend my day caring for children and coming home to care for my autistic son. I am a key worker. I am a person behind the numbers. I am British but because I married a man form the Philippines I’m treated as Brit(ish).

This is not the Britain that we claim to be. We cannot claim the importance of family whilst simultaneously stopping British children from having both their parents with them.

You cannot measure a person’s worth by how much they earn or where they were born.

My family and the thousands of others split apart by MIR need your support, please sign the letter and help reunite families.

Written by Rebecca Eribal

Her family has been separated since March 2018 and she cares for their 5 year old autistic son alone.