pictured at home in Blantyre

Andrea Brown, a 42-year-old Brazilian woman residing in the UK with her Scottish husband Steven, is confronting the prospect of deportation due to stringent new immigration rules. The couple, based in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, is grappling with increased visa requirements set by the Tory government, raising the minimum income threshold for spouse visa applications from £18,600 to £38,700.

Despite Steven’s annual earnings of £34,000, he falls short of the new threshold, rendering him unable to apply to keep Andrea in the country. The couple, who has been working toward securing Andrea’s permanent UK residence since 2017, now faces an uncertain future following the government’s announcement of these changes, scheduled to take effect in March.

Expressing their devastation, the couple disclosed the profound impact on their mental health, causing anxiety and sleepless nights. Andrea, previously a social carer, emphasized that the news has exacerbated her health problems, including panic attacks over stressful situations.

The new rules, intended to reduce net migration, have faced criticism for their severity. Andrea and Steven lamented the arbitrary nature of the increased income threshold and its potential to separate families. Steven described the rule as “utterly disgusting” and questioned the rationale behind such decisions, expressing frustration at the perceived disregard for individual circumstances.

The couple, who met in 2012 and married in 2018, had been working towards permanent residency for Andrea. Under the existing rules, Steven’s recent promotion could have facilitated his wife’s permanent residence with one more application next November.

Facing the possibility of separation, Steven asserted that he would be compelled to join Andrea in Brazil, emphasizing the devastating impact on their families, who have grown to love Andrea. He pleaded with politicians to reconsider or amend the rules, highlighting the emotional toll on families and challenging the idea of placing a financial price on love.

In response to concerns, a representative from the Home Office reiterated the government’s commitment to cutting net migration and emphasized the longstanding principle that anyone bringing dependents to the UK must be financially capable of supporting them.

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