Dean Homer and his Filipino wife have been together for 17 years and have had two children together. Despite this, UK visa rules for expats mean that Mr Homer must leave his family abroad until he has secured employment, after trying – and failing – to crowdsource the cost of their visas.
Mr Homer and wife Meljie first met in Singapore when working on a cruise ship. Since then their careers have developed, with Mr Homer becoming Operations Manager for Star Cruises. They lived an enviable lifestyle abroad, enjoying the best that the cruise ship industry had to offer. That was, of course, until recently when Mr Homer was unlucky enough to lose his job.
His unexpected unemployment also coincided with his aging mother back in Wolverhampton falling ill. A plan was therefore hatched, whereby the family would relocate to Mr Homer’s home town in order to both take care of his elderly mother and find gainful employment.
There seems little point in trying to seek employment overseas when the odds of landing a suitable position are so much higher in his home country. And so the family began making plans for their move to England, only to uncover an unfortunate – and expensive – policy that has hampered their family’s ability to relocate.
Unfortunately, Tory-introduced policies mean that Mr Homer’s lack of current employment poses a significant problem for the family. Under these current immigration rules, if a British national seeks to relocate to the UK with their non-UK partner, they must have the promise of a job paying £18,600 or more. This is an attempt by the government to ensure that the working partner will be able to support their family here in the UK.
Unfortunately for the Homer family, and their current employment status, they simply do not qualify for this option. This only leaves “plan b”; namely that one must have a minimum of £62,500 in liquid savings before the family are granted their residency visas.
As it turns out, in a cruel twist of fate, the Homer’s claim they simply don’t have this kind of money available, and so instead turned to popular crowd-funding site GoFundMe. Mr Homer launched the campaign, promoting it on Facebook, and asked other people to donate to their cause. The hope was that they could raise the full sum of money needed for the whole family to relocate to the UK.
Sadly, the reality of the campaign was rather different to what Mr Homer had hoped. They raised just £335 of the £62,500 target before cancelling the plan.
Now, Mr Homer has had to accept the inevitable; he is now returning to the UK without his family, in the hope of finding work. Only upon landing work that meets the guidelines set out by the UK government will he be able to send for his family.