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Immigrating to the UK with my girlfriend

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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by markranson:
    I too face the problems of UK government hostility towards Brits with foreign spouses/partners. It’s bad enough for the couple, but for those with children, it’s a policy that’s up there with illegal immigrants to the US being separated from their kids. Except in our cases, most of us are not doing anything illegal, we just want to live in the UK with our foreign partners/spouses.
    There is a movement in the U.K. making some noise about this but not much it appears. Do we just accept that being in a multicultural relationship gives our government some kind of authority to deny us the right to family or do we try to do something about it? If so what? Any ideas out there?
    I wrote to the child protection ombudsman of the immigration department and their response was they are there to serve (i.e. protect) immigration officers not the children of applicants.
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  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by markranson:
    I too face the problems of UK government hostility towards Brits with foreign spouses/partners. It’s bad enough for the couple, but for those with children, it’s a policy that’s up there with illegal immigrants to the US being separated from their kids. Except in our cases, most of us are not doing anything illegal, we just want to live in the UK with our foreign partners/spouses.
    There is a movement in the U.K. making some noise about this but not much it appears. Do we just accept that being in a multicultural relationship gives our government some kind of authority to deny us the right to family or do we try to do something about it? If so what? Any ideas out there?
    I would like to try to see someone fight it on the grounds that it unfairly discriminates against women if they're the sponsor. With women more likely to be a stay at home parent than men, it can make it nigh on impossible for a woman to sponsor her family when a man can jsut because he happens to be the main breadwinner. How is that fair?

    The HK system for dependent visas is much fairer - they still want to see a genuine relationship and evidence that the dependents can be supported, but there is no arbitrary income threshold and all the circumstances are taken into account, e.g. having somewhere to live would reduce the income / savings you need to show. The problem with the UK system is the threshold is much too high.
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  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by hullexile:
    I wrote to the child protection ombudsman of the immigration department and their response was they are there to serve (i.e. protect) immigration officers not the children of applicants.
    Appalling...

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beanieskis:
    I would like to try to see someone fight it on the grounds that it unfairly discriminates against women if they're the sponsor. With women more likely to be a stay at home parent than men, it can make it nigh on impossible for a woman to sponsor her family when a man can jsut because he happens to be the main breadwinner. How is that fair?

    The HK system for dependent visas is much fairer - they still want to see a genuine relationship and evidence that the dependents can be supported, but there is no arbitrary income threshold and all the circumstances are taken into account, e.g. having somewhere to live would reduce the income / savings you need to show. The problem with the UK system is the threshold is much too high.
    The U.K. system is almost criminally abusive. It is also lazy and often illogical. For example, when a partner/spouse is granted indefinite leave to remain, there is a period during which their time spent traveling outside the U.K. is heavily restricted. Quite apart from the restriction of someone’s freedom of movement, isn’t it a tad stupid given that one of the supposed main aims of the strict immigration policy is to stop foreign spouses from being a burden on the welfare state? What if a foreign spouse has good a job that requires extensive overseas travel? The current rules would prevent that person from working and almost guarantee they need to make use of the welfare state.
    Alzthehero likes this.

  5. #45

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    Wasn't the system implemented by Theresa May? She's not really known for showing logic it seems!

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  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beanieskis:
    Wasn't the system implemented by Theresa May? She's not really known for showing logic it seems!
    Correct, it was her.

  7. #47

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    Original Post Deleted
    5 years.
    4 more to go for us.

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by hqian:
    Hi Alz, having gone through this process myself (I'm a UK citizen and my husband is from China), all I can say is that you shouldn't do it. It was a horrible, horrible experience for us that nearly broke our relationship. We were treated like criminals from start to finished, paid thousands and thousands of pounds and waited for many months without any information and without my husband having the ability to work or leave the country while the UKBA 'considered' our very straightforward application. And it wasn't just us - it was hundreds of other married UK/non-EU spouses in the same situation. I can't begin to tell you what an awful period in our marriage this was.

    In all honesty, you would be incredibly naive to think that this is going to be an easy process because you have a UK passport. This is particularly so as you're not married to your girlfriend. Currently, the UK government is following a 'hostile environment' policy to discourage immigration and this really hit us hard when we applied. With Brexit happening, I think it will be even worse. If you're going to do it, please prepare yourself for an extremely bumpy ride.

    Another point is that why would you want to go to the UK at all? My husband and I left the UK a couple of years ago partly due to the horrendous treatment we received at the hands of the government. But we also left because the UK is just a miserable place at the moment. The weather is grim, the food grimmer, people can be racist/hostile to immigrants, and Brexit is coming so Brits are just as grumpy as Hong Kongers. It's difficult to save because you get taxed at a very high rate and the housing is extremely expensive (though admittedly not at HK levels). Commuting in places like London and Bristol is rough. Anti-social behaviour and street harassment is a problem in the UK in a way that just doesn't exist here. I know that life is not always ideal in HK but seriously, the grass is not greener on the UK side.

    My advice would be to stay put in Hong Kong - besides the high property prices and lack of space, it has a huge amount to offer for the time being. Invest in property in the UK if you want to make the most out of that market, but wild horses wouldn't drag me back to live there.

    Wow....will have to talk to the girlfriend over this...I knew it was bad but had no clue it was THAT bad...we just wanted to move SOMEWHERE so we could buy a reasonably priced and sized house for our future. Guess we’ll have to reconsider our options then. What can I do though? We need a permanent home if we are to get married(her parents request not hers) but getting our own place is nigh-impossible unless I become a Director/CEO in a few years...

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by hqian:
    So many people in this situation. I imagine that for him it's because he can't prove an adequate income (there are additional requirements if you have kids). But the number of people who have said to me 'oh, can't your husband just get a UK passport now automatically because you're married?' Erm, no. I think people are vaguely aware of the issues with immigration but if they are white/hold a UK passport they don't think it will apply to them. It very much does.

    And in response to another poster asking about the exorbitant application fees: yes, it is a deterrent. On some of these applications the UKBA makes an 800% profit.

    I would seriously ask the original poster whether he wants to go to a country where he and his wife are so clearly not welcome.
    We most certainly would love to avoid such a negative environment...I’m 24 now but I feel like if I don’t make a major decision now or come up with a plan I might screw up our lives..pressure’s building up everyday

  10. #50

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    Alz, you're really very young. There are so many options for you and you're not going to screw up your life - you could go to the UK and come back, or stay here in HK and leave later (perhaps one day the environment in the UK improves...). Just take things as they come and stop worrying about it.

    I can completely understand your frustration at not being able to buy a property here. My husband and I are 35 and 32 respectively and we still don't own property and we certainly won't be buying any in HK - like you say, who wants to spend millions on a rabbit hutch? What we're doing instead is looking at buying property in the UK (to rent out) or mainland China (capital appreciation). If you really want to get in on the HK property market why not purchase a REIT (i.e. Link)? Owning a property to live in would be nice but it's certainly not a reason to up sticks and move to the UK.

    It's really none of my business, but honestly your girlfriend's parents' requirement that you own property before you get married is totally unrealistic in HK in this day and age. I know it's quite common in China, but they must be on another planet - she'll only ever be able to marry the son of a magnate or a middle-aged dude if they keep that up. Anyway, you're adults - you don't need their permission. Why not just move into a rented place together and then think about how to pool your savings to buy something?

    By the way, have you ever thought about mainland China? Not sure what your job situation is but property there is much better value for money and you'd be a heck of a lot more welcome there than in the UK.


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