- UK Border Agency
Our marriage is not a sham - please sign the petition and help me get my wife back home
How the UKBA defines a 'sham marriage'
Please sign the petition and help me to get my wife back to the UK.
Must the misfortune of one's past become an immoveable obstacle for the happiness of one's future? The UKBA says it must.
Does a woman who has had two aborted relationships in the past 4 years deserve a long lasting loving relationship in her fifth? The UKBA says she does not.
Can we not be in love because my wife’s work touches on human rights issues? The UKBA says we cannot, because she does not want my love, all she wants is her safety. Is a feeling of safety not part of a loving relationship? The UKBA says not. (i.e., the spouses of British citizens from Syria or any unsafe zone in the world must be treated with the same suspicion.)
My wife,Wang Bang, 39 years old, speaks fluent English, is an established writer from China, has published 8 books in China and France, works as a freelance journalist for some top magazines in China, a feminist author for a monthly column in helanonline.cn (Radio Nederland Wereldomroep), has just published a short story on www.wordswithoutborders.org, one of the best literary magazines containing many outstanding international writers. My wife’s work concerns and respects love and family as the most important value in our lives.
I am 48 years old, a British citizen, a full time permanent Senior Library Assistant at the English Faculty Library, University of Cambridge, a poet whose work has been published in over 30 poetry publications in Europe and the USA in the past 20 years.
My wife first came to the UK joining her ex-husband on a dependent visa in early 2010. She was wrongly accused of being unfaithful by her ex-husband and callously thrown out of their house after just 6 months of living here. She survived by herself, and battled with her PTSD as a result of this domestic violence.
In October 2011 due to the nature of her work at that time, she applied for a Leave to Remain visa through her solicitor as she met the high threshold of Article 2 and 3 (which prohibits the removal of an individual towards a country where there is a reasonable likelihood that the person faces a real risk), she also submitted evidence which met Ariticle 8 (Right to family life) as she was then in a relationship with a British artist. She heard nothing after sending off her application (no ref, no tracking number, wrote letters to the Home Office but received no replies.) Nearly 15 months later, on 9th of April 2013, she received a refusal for this application because it stated that her relationship of one year standing did not meet the minimum requirement of two years. The other two key reasons for the application were ignored. We have recently found out that this was because my wife was mislead by her solicitor who submitted her forms under the wrong category. Her application never had any chance of being granted.
During this long period, she had split up with the artist and had met me through a poetry website. On 2th June 2012, we met for the first time face to face, and continued for 6 months visiting each other between Cambridge and London. In November 2012 Bang moved in with me. Our lives were transformed, and we lived very happily together for 6 months. Bang worked from our home and also cooked for me every day (I am a poor cook!) greeted me everyday at the front door without fail with a big hug and kiss. She made me beautiful handmade slippers, handmade cards, we translated poetry together. She photographed and filmed various poetry and musical performances I was involved in. We share the same interests in art, music, and literature, and have the same sense of humour. My wife is a very honest, broad-minded, and moral person. I proposed to her on the day that she received her leave to remain refusal (it was also my birthday) because I knew we wanted to stay together. Two months later, my twin sister and I flew to China, and Bang and I were married on 13th June and submitted our application the next day. During this period my wife also sold her flat in China to pay off the mortgage on our flat where we lived together in Cambridge. I had to return to the UK in July 2013. We submitted 9 testimonial letters from parents, my twin sister and close friends known to us both, and also submitted hand drawn new year cards signed with both our names, 6 months daily email records, phone bills showing hours of conversation between us, dozens of family photos including Christmas at my parents house, mother’s day, holiday trips together, our marriage celebratory banquets in China with more than 20 relatives, 6 months council tax bill in both our names, 6 months bank statements, our driving licenses showing the same address. I took a 12 hour flight to marry the first person I proposed to in my life, made my first flight after not having been on a plane for 15 years due to a severe flying phobia and received 34 congratulations on facebook for our marriage. Nobody has any doubt as to the genuine status of our relationship. But the UKBA does.
Ignoring all the substantial evidence we submitted, the UKBA defines our marriage as not real simply based on an interview with an ECO on 16th October 2013. (an account of the interview written by my wife is here: http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/account-of-interview-in-british-embassy.html) During the interview my wife mentioned that her work had touched on some sensitive issues in China during 2004 to 2010, therefore the UKBA assume that her intention of marrying me was just a convenient escape from the Chinese authorities. The ECO asked no personal details about our relationship.
The excessively harsh new UK spouse visa rules have recently torn 1000s of families apart, although we luckily meet all the requirements and so were confident. We were stunned that after a 4 month wait and an interview, my wife has had her visa refused. We are devastated. The UKBA is saying the love we have shared over the past year or so is not genuine, therefore we are liars, criminals, and so are my parents and all our friends who testified that we are very genuine, and so all our plans for our future happiness are on hold again.
My parents are both very angry and hurt by this decision.They have been lucky enough to have been married for over 50 years and have never been apart. They demonstrate what love and marriage should mean by following their vows. Their love is inspirational to us. All we wish for is the opportunity to live like them in a normal life.
Please sign the petition to help me get my wife back home.
Many many thanks!
- UK Border Agency
Overturn my wife's spouse visa refusal and allow her to return to the UK
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