Since 2012, there have been a new set of laws in the United Kingdom that seem to have the sole purpose of keeping people away from their loved ones. All British citizens that are married to men and women who are not citizens of the European Union need to pay a high monetary price if they want their families to stay together. In order for the foreign partner to be granted a visa, the British spouse needs to earn over 18,600 GBP per year. That’s a little over $23,000. This wouldn’t be a problem, expect for the fact that over half of the nation’s working population earns less than this amount.
Immigration is a controversial issue in the UK and the government tends to prefer to not talk about it. The Home Office issued a statement that is just as controversial as the problem. They stated, “Family life must not be established here at the taxpayers expense. That is why we established clear rules for British citizens looking to bring their non-EU spouses to this country…” The implication is that the non-EU spouses will become a burden to the British society. However, how does it help the state when a mother with small children is forced to receive benefits because the primary breadwinner isn’t allowed to live in the same country to support them?
If the law was looking to target people who marry for convenience to be able to stay in the country, maybe it should have been worded differently. Some of the people that are being most affected have actually been married for long periods of time and living abroad. They then decide that they want their children to be brought up and educated in the UK, and that’s when the problems begin because they realize that the salary they can obtain in the UK is not enough for the spouse to be granted a visa. Very few have been unable to find jobs that pay enough so they can bring their spouses into the country to live with them.
This film documents the story of four couples that have had to deal with this subtle form of discrimination. Only one of the three obtained a positive response. In the words of a former Prime Minister, “When people’s love is divided by the law, it’s the law that needs to change.”