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NHS worker says her hopes of being with her husband dashed by new immigration rules

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Laura Whitehurst, 32, fell in love three years prior and married husband Marc in the US in January 2022.

Marc, 28, and Laura had always intended for him to visit Laura and her family in Hartlepool.

However, she claims that starting in April, the government will be changing immigration regulations, which would prevent her from making enough money to serve as his formal sponsor.

The Family Visa regulations provide that in order for dependent family members to enter the UK, sponsors who are located in the UK must earn a specific amount.

That amount is currently £18,600 annually.

However, starting on April 11, it will grow to £29,000, and by early next year, it will rise to £38,700.

“I’ll never earn that amount to sponsor my husband to live in the UK,” stated Laura, of Rossmere, who obtained employment in the NHS in order to reach the existing requirement.

“That has dashed our dreams of him coming here. It is putting our life plans on hold and not just us but plenty of other families.

“I feel like the Government is sending a message out to people that you can’t fall in love with someone who is not a British citizen.”

Laura claims that relocating to America would entail having to part with her grandma Patricia Wright, for whom she provides care, as well as upsetting her 11-year-old son Layson.

In 2017, while on vacation in the United States, she met Marc, a man from Virginia, through his sister.

In 2019, their friendship developed into a romantic relationship, but the Covid epidemic kept them apart.

”We knew for the marriage to work one of us was going to eventually move,” said Laura. “The plan was for him to move here right from the get go.

“He could see himself having a great life here with us but now it’s near impossible for that to happen and it’s heartbreaking.”

Laura would have to provide immigration officials with a payslip for the previous six months as part of her family visa application. But only a few weeks after the regulations change, she is supposed to get hers.

She went on to say that there are many misconceptions regarding immigration and that her husband would have to pay a charge to the NHS instead of receiving benefits.

Laura, a radiology support assistant at the University Hospital of North Tees, said Marc is open to trying his hand at anything here. Marc works in America, laying concrete foundations.

The government wants to reduce immigration by 300,000 per year, and it believes that the existing levels are “far too high.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We have a longstanding principle that anyone bringing dependants to live in the UK must be able to financially support them.

“The Minimum Income Requirement ensures that families are self-sufficient instead of relying on public funds, with the ability to integrate if they are to play a full part in British life.”

Families would have more certainty if the minimum income requirement for family visas is gradually raised, it was stated.

But Laura said: “£38,700 is just way above the average wage, especially for us in the North East.”

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Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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