A typical definition of a family is a social group in society which consists of both parents and children. A place where love is always present and lifetime bonds are created. However, this is not the case for Farshid Ghafourpour. Grew up in Cambridge, Ghafourpour went to private school and then unto a UK university. Following that, for twelve years he worked in Thailand and met the love of his life, Korakot and they both share two beautiful daughters six and eight and who are both British citizens. Now Ghafourpour is back in the U.K. due to the illness of his mother, but his wife was not with him. Reason being, a minimum income requirement was imposed on non-EU migrants which limit the number of persons entering the UK. Families believe that this is unjust and is keeping family members apart. This law has now robbed Ghafourpour’s daughters of coming home to mommy’s cooking or even a bed time story, all they have for communication is Skype.
‘Hope for Change’
The minimum income threshold set by the U.K. government is £24,800 which the couple is unable to meet. Speaking to the BBC, Korakot describes the situation as being hard but still remains hopeful of getting the required visa to enter the UK. Ghafourpour think the government should look into each case individually and some merit given to married couples.
‘Onerous and unjustified’
This rule which came into effect in July 2012 allows only British citizens with an annual salary of £18,600 to sponsor a non-European spouse visa. The figure rises to £24,800 with two children such as the case with Farshid Ghafourpour. This new threshold only allows an estimated 61% of women and 32% of men employed in the UK to bring in an additional family member according to the Migration Observatory.
Clare Hedges, an immigration layer in Cambridge believes that it is a lot more than we expect person to live on and is more than you would expect to receive if you were doing a normal working week for the national minimum wage.
This week, the Home Office is expected to defend the minimum income requirements in the Court of Appeal following a High Court ruling in July stating that the threshold is too high. This ruling came due to a claim by three claimants that the law was discriminatory and violated article 8 of the Human Rights Act- the right to a private life. A reserve judgement is expected by the Court of Appeal for 3 months.
‘Burden on taxpayer’
According to Julian Huppert, Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge, more than 1000 people have contacted his office in need of help, some multiple times while others have been waiting 10 years for help.
A spokesperson form the Home Office said that mass immigration which if controlled makes it difficult to have social cohesion and therefore applies pressure to public services and reduce wages for low income earners. The spokesperson further added that work is still to be done to have a system that is fair for legitimate migrants and British citizens and ensures that people come to Britain for the right reason and not to burden taxpayer.
Mr. Ghafourpour don’t believes his wife will be a burden to tax payers and that she will come here to work and provide for her family especially for their two daughters, who will have to wait a while longer before they are reunited with their mother. So, due to immigration laws more families are separated which robes the core values of a family.