Successful businesswoman could face childbirth alone as her Japanese husband cannot obtain a visa

Family|Family Law|News|March 28th 2013

Japanese flagA 35 year-old businesswoman may have to give birth without her Japanese husband as they struggle to meet new visa rules.

London product designer Marianne Bailey married Kei Yamamoto, 30, last October but he may now be forced to leave the UK in June, a month before Mrs Bailey is due to give birth to their first child.

Under new immigration rules introduced in July, foreign nationals who marry British citizens are only entitled to a marital visa entitling them to settle and work in the UK if their spouses meet strict financial criteria. Mrs Bailey works as a both a university lecturer and product designer. She also earns rent from properties, but only the latter is counted because she is regarded as self-employed, taking her income below the £18,600 required by the regulations.

She told the Evening Standard:

“I’m faced with having my first child on my own because my husband might get kicked out the country. I feel like the Government are trying to force me out because I married a foreigner.”

The couple, who now live in Wandsworth, were shocked to be told shortly after their wedding that their visa application would not go through.

Mrs Bailey complained:

“I’ve been told citizens of other EU countries do not have to meet any financial requirements at all. They don’t have to pay the £800 visa fee like we do, they don’t even need a job and they can come here freely and marry whoever they want. Whereas I’m a successful entrepreneur trying to support British industry and I’ve worked really hard in my twenties to get where I am.”

Immigration minister Mark Harper is reported to be aware of the case.

A spokeswoman for the Home Office told the Standard: “European nationals are able to bring family members to the UK. However, European nationals do not have unrestricted access to the UK, they must be exercising their treaty rights by working, studying or being self-sufficient.”

Photo by Héctor de Pereda via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

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