Stop my partner from being deported
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My partner has been refused his right to stay in the UK and is being asked to leave and return back to his home country, South Africa. This is due to the fact that according to the UKBA we do not meet the required minimum income threshhold.
My partner (Brett Rice) and myself (Matthew Mallinson) met at The University of Huddersfield and started dating from 2010. In July 2012 we became civil partners just a few weeks after a new law come into effect requiring married couples with one partner who is required to apply for a marriage/civil partner visa to earn a minimum income of £18,600.00 per year or higher.
As we had both just graduated from university a month before, this requirement was not possible since you are also required to hold employment for at least 6 months prior to the application. My partner decided to carry on his education doing an MBA in Huddersfield whilst I worked and looked for a job within the field of my degree.
We both worked as waiters earning minimum wage and applied for our visa beginning of April 2014. I worked full time and as my partner was studying he only worked 20 hours per week as restricted by his student visa when we applied. Despite this we calculated that with the hours worked, holiday pay, and any other income we reached the required amount. Neither of us claim any form of benefits and the total amounts are money we earn through employment.
In May 2014 his visa was denied on the basis we did not earn the required amount. However due to a legal challenge agianst the decision of the minimum income threshold the decision was put on hold. Since finishing his MBA my partner was now allowed to work full time increasing his hours to almost double meaning we earned more than required. We put in additional documents to the UKBA indicating the increase in income in hopes this would change the previous decisoin made.
On the 11th July 2014 the Court of Appeal upheld the Secretary of State's appeal to maintain the minimum income threshold at £18,600.00. On the 21st August a decision was made on our application and it was refused on the grounds we did not earn the required amount, stating our current income was at £18,238.80 per year, £361.20 less than the required amount. This gives my partner the option of appealing the decision or returning back to his home country.
There are some problems with the decision made which don't seem to be taken into consideration;
Firstly despite providing addition information to indicate an increase in income this was not taken into consideration
'...only evidence provided that related to your circumstances as they were at the time you applied can be accepted for consideration.'
meaning that despite the fact we did earn the required amount for 6 months it has not been taken into consideration because it occurred after the date of application.
The letter also states that he entered the UK on 14 December 2012 as a student and has been in the UK for 1 year and that he had lived the rest of life previously in South Africa;
'...because you spent 26 years in South Africa, you spent all your formative years in that country...'
This has not taken into account the fact that he has been living in the UK since 21 September 2009 and left in 2012 solely to apply for a new visa for his MBA. It also doesn't take into account that he has lived in South Africa less than 1 year and spent the remainder of his 'formative years' in Zimbabwe a country we could not go back to due to their view on homosexuality. He has lived in the UK for longer than he has lived in South Africa and has more family ties here, with both his parents residing in the UK.
Continuing the Battle
Although we have the option to appeal which we will be doing in the near future we understand that this decision to maintain the minimum income threshold at £18,600.00 has not just affected us but alot of of other couples who are having their lives and families torn apart.
Understandably the rules are there to stop some people from becoming dependent on the state, burdening the taxpayers. However the income requirement is unfair and does not portray the amount required to start a life without recourse to public funds.
Together hopefully we can change the policy set out by the government and stop couples with a partner from outside the UK being separated or having their lifes, jobs, and families put on hold whilst they try to start a life in the UK. Especially if one of the partners is a UK citizen and they both wish to build their life in the UK. If you agree please help by signing this petition and sharing it with your friends and family.
Matthew and Brett
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