This family has been driven out of Britain by love – and Home Office policy [The Canary]


Feature following the Supreme Court ruling that minimum income rules for spousal visas were lawful, Saima Jaffrie highlights how ludicrous the policy is in practice and the extreme impact it has had on her life. 

First published in The Canary on 3 March 2017:

A British citizen, Saima found love in India with an IT professional, Shafi, who was doing quite well for himself. They married in March 2015 and she stayed with him in India for six months. He was happy to move wherever Saima wanted. Working from home for a Swiss company, he visited clients at their sites across the world when the need arose.

As a citizen and with all of her family and friends there, Saima wanted to live in the UK. And with no need for recourse to public funds, they did not think this would be a problem. If anything, she’d be bringing in a high tax payer into Britain, who earned the equivalent of £70,000 a year.

They both came to the UK in September 2015 – Shafi on a six month tourist visa. She completed the forms, but nothing on them or the Home Office website referenced her husband’s financial status. Only hers.

They had a baby in December 2015, and Shafi left the UK early, two weeks later, for a work visit, assuming the spouse visa would arrive. It was rejected. He applied for another tourist visa so he could return and see his wife and baby but that was also rejected.

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