Migrants' Rights Network

We are Family

We are Family. Migrant's Rights NetworkWe are Family - logo - Migrant's Rights NetworkWe are Family is a new initiative to highlight the plight of families affected by the family migration rule changes introduced in 2012. It is part of the wider Divided Families campaign against the new tough rules on family migration, which brings together affected families, charities, MPs and other supporters. The Divided Families campaign is coordinated by the Migrants Rights Network, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, and Britcits.

We want to give affected families a voice, so that those in power realise how important it is to respect and protect the right to family life.

We can help with interviews and stories and are happy to arrange for journalists to speak to affected families. You can get in touch at [email protected], or 020 8123 6021)


In July 2012, the rules on family migration changed. It is now much more difficult for Brits to bring their foreign husband or wife to live with them in the UK. Many people have been shocked to find out about the new rules as, these days, relationships between people from different countries are very common. This is an abuse of the human right to a family life.

So what are the rules?

A Brit with a husband or wife from, say, America or India now needs to earn at least £18,600 per year to bring them to the UK. The rules are very strict and many families are unexpectedly refused. As a result, many Brits are living here without their partner. Some have British children who rarely or never see their non-British mum or dad.


  • According to the Government's own estimate this rule affects over 17.000 families each year
  • Only British citizens who can show they earn more than £18.600 can sponsor their non-European spouse's visa
  • £18,600 is over £5,000 more than someone working full-time earning the National Minimum Wage receives
  • 47% of Brits working in the UK today earn less than the amount required to bring a foreign husband or wife here


Case studies


“When Stacey came over to visit last, Vincent said, thanks for coming to see me from America, mum, as if seeing his mum is now an extraordinary thing instead of a normality. When she left, we told him, mummy has to go over back to America to sort out the rest of your toys so she can bring them with her next time.” Read full article


The worst of it all is the uncertainty – will I find work, will it pay enough, will I keep the job for long enough, is this move going to work, will we get the visa, if we don’t what will happen? Read full article


“This government has left my children fatherless – my MP’s secretary said, “no they haven’t, you have, why would you even come here?” I have every right to be here. I’m British, I’ve been with my husband for 20 years and we have 4 kids.” Read full article

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