Love may be only one word, but it is a bond that holds so much power. Love is a deep connection between one person and another and can be in many things…
Love is intense and all-consuming
Love is romantic.
Love is unconditional – something that is shared between parent and child, grandparent
and grandchild and other members of a family.
Love is the ‘we’, not me.
Love is the special moments between people
Love is in the thoughtful gestures and kind actions
Love is sharing your good days and bad days
Love is mopping the brow of your unwell child and hugging them to sleep
Love is holding someone up when they are down
Love is the ache you feel in your heart when they are not near
Love is the healing power of a parent’s hug when you’ve hurt yourself or wiping away a tear
of a child who is sad
Love is a feeling deep in your heart that fills you up and lights you up.
Love is human existence
Love is all these things and so much more but for many people who are brought together by this deepest human connection of all, their love is denied. For them, it is all these things are more but for them love is pleasure, but it is also pain. Love is a feeling that should not need to be justified or explained, but for them, their love is scrutinised. Love is family but for them, theirs is torn apart or feels like it is forever a family-in-waiting.
But for every couple and every family, love is everything.
This Valentine’s Day many loved ones are unable to be together because UK spouse visa rules are keeping them apart. For many couples and families, this is yet another day to remind them that their love is not enough and that their love comes at a huge cost.
Current immigration rules mean that any British/settled citizen who marries a non-British partner will need to meet a minimum income requirement [MIR] of £18,6000 to be able to reunite in the UK [more if there are non-British children to sponsor]. They will have to spend a min of about one year apart and that is only if the British sponsor is lucky enough to get a job immediately that pays that salary. If the sponsor is self-emplyed that time will be longer. They then have to pay around £3-4k in visa fees and other charged per application. The route to settlement is 5 years if the meet the MIR and 10 years if they do not.
Many couples and families cannot meet this amount and so are forced to live apart whilst they try to meet this threshold with many exiled because they have no other option if they want to live together. Recently, it was reported that Suella Braverman wants to raise this threshold even further which means more couples and families will be denied the love we all deserve. During a cost-of living crisis, a move like this is unthinkable and put simply it is cruel and cold.
Reem is one the many Reunite Families UK’s members whose love continues to cross continents. Her experience heart-breaking and sadly shared by far too many people this Valentine’s Day.
Most people have no idea this is an issue and couples and families are being separated and children are being torn away from a parent so needlessly.
Please help us help more couples like Reem and families/children separated by signing our letter to the PM.
You can also write to your MP.