You may have seen in the daily mirror, refer to our client's letter to Robert Jenrick. This and his letter are copied below.
Dear Mr Jenrick,
We wanted to share with you our experiences of the UK’s immigration system, having been married to British citizens who have sadly passed away. We know your government has a concession for people in our position that will allow us to stay in the UK, but that if we cannot pay nearly £2,500 we cannot access this concession.
You have said this fee exists, cannot be waived and is so high because we are ‘benefitting’ from the immigration system. We are asking for you to consider our situation and introduce a fee waiver for this concession as otherwise we will never be able to afford it.
We have all made the UK our home, have worked, paid taxes and paid visa application fees. We have paid into the system and it is not our fault that our husbands have passed away and we now face an uncertain future. Widows and widowers are not just numbers or statistics but individuals who have experienced profound loss and are seeking a lifeline to help us move forward. Applying for a fee waiver when we cannot afford thousands of pounds is not about evading responsibility or seeking preferential treatment; it is a plea for compassion and recognition of the extraordinary circumstance that we find ourselves in. We do not feel we are benefitting from anything and it is unfair of you to say this.
Grieving the loss of a loved one is an emotionally challenging experience that requires time and support. The financial burden of immigration fees and the fear of not knowing if we can stay in the UK exacerbates the emotional distress we are already experiencing. We all have children and they have been through enough already but the added pressure we feel is making things even harder for them. They should not be made to feel like they are foreigners in their own country.
It is not realistic to think that we can raise such large sums of money to pay for the application when we are dealing with our loss and raising children single handed. There is no way that we will be able to generate enough money in order to pay you £2,500.
Applying for a fee waiver after the death of our husbands is not just a formality, it represents a lifeline that can alleviate the burden we carry. We want you to please just think about our situation. We feel totally stuck and worried about having to put aside money each month when we are struggling to even feed our children.
We feel that it is important that you understand the reality of our situation and hope you will consider introducing a fee waiver so that we can secure our future in the UK. By doing so, you would be offering a helping hand to bereaved widows who are striving to rebuild their lives.
We would love the chance to meet with you so that you can better understand this issue is having on us.
Three bereaved partners unable to afford the Home Office’s application fees