Home Office: Have a heart - stop ripping families apart!

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We are Juli and Tony Duffy. Tony is a self-employed plasterer from Edinburgh and I am an artist from the US. We met while I was studying and we got married in 2017. We were ready to start our lives together, but then the Home Office ruthlessly ripped us apart, saying that we didn’t earn enough money. I was forced to live thousands of miles away from my husband, and our family was torn apart for a year. It was the most heart-wrenching and anxious year – all we could do was wait to see what would happen. We fought and campaigned, and thankfully we are back together now - but the fight doesn’t end here. 

Why? Because we’re not the only ones. There are thousands of families separated - some for years - all because of this unfair rule. That is why, we are asking the Home Office to #HaveAHeart and scrap the minimum income requirement because families belong together.

The Minimum Income Requirement (MIR) forces families apart every single day. It means a British person must earn more than £18,600 a year in order to live in the UK with a partner from outside the EU. It discriminates against the self-employed, (like Tony) and people from ethnic minorities (because of pay gaps), and families in rural areas where wages aren’t as high. In fact, over 40% of the working population in the UK does not meet the MIR.

Every story I have seen is different in its circumstances but similar in its heartbreaking reality: families forced apart due to their bank balance.

For every family that is reunited or narrowly avoids separation, there are ten more cases of families being ripped apart. Both Tony and I want to continue to raise awareness against this inhumane policy. Being separated almost broke us, but we are fighting back to ensure no more families have to endure the pain we have. The pain of separation doesn’t end when you are reunited; the Home Office leaves scars that may never heal.

Please sign, share, and show your support to scrap the MIR and bring families together.