Tuesday night, the Student Representative Council (SRC) unanimously passed Association President Freddie fforde’s motion to support two recent St Andrews graduates to remain united in the United Kingdom and challenging the visa regulations for international students.
The motion was sparked by the recent case of Daniel and Jenny Whiteley. The two met in St Andrews in 2008, graduated in June 2012, and married in South Africa in October 2012. As a result of changes in British immigration legislation during the summer of 2012, the couple now face obligations beyond their means to meet the standards to earn a visa to remain united within the UK.
The legislation requires that the couple bring in a minimum income threshold of £18,600 for a British citizen to bring a non-European Economic Area spouse or partner to live in the UK. In talking to The Courier, Jenny said: “The new laws make me extremely angry at the sweeping generalisations they have put over everyone, excluding many newly-married young couples because, due to our age and experience, there is an inability to have large savings of money or well-paying jobs in the current climate.”
The motion resolves to support the Whiteleys in their endeavour to return to the UK; to petition Theresa May, the Home Secretary, to review or, failing that, explain the relevant legislation; to raise awareness about similar cases in the UK; and to support redress for those couples in these situations.