hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
Yesterday morning I saw I'd been tagged in a tweet where Andrew linked to this, saying "Jesus Christ. By this standard, @hollyamory and I are in a 'marriage of convenience.'"

The article is about a High Court ruling saying that a "genuine couple can enter in a marriage of convenience." Even people who are in a real relationship, not seeking a "sham marriage," can apparently be told that they can't get married because by doing so one of them would attain an "immigration advantage."

Which, yeah. Is exactly what Andrew and I did. With no other avenue of study or work open to us in the mental/physical/financial state we were in at the time (or indeed at any time since), the only way for us to stay in the same country was to get married.

As I pointed out in a series of angry follow-up tweets, the only reason we needed an "immigration advantage" is because being poor and disabled have been declared immigration disadvantages. Marriage is the only route available to current non-EU citizens who don't make £35,000 a year. (Maybe one day that (or its successor at a no-doubt higher salary threshold) will apply to non-EU citizens too.) This is not the fault of any people getting married.

This is not the fault of people getting married.

You may start to see now why I hate the Home Office, why I am the unusual rat who jumped on to the sinking ship of Brexit Britain. Andrew and I both really don't want to but also can't move to the U.S., and there's no other country that will have us both. So if we're going to stay in the same country, it has to be the UK. So I want to feel as secure in that as possible.

When I started talking about this on Twitter, a lot of my friends pointed out that marriage is a legal status so of course people are going to enter into it for legal reasons: tax, inheritance, child guardianship, lots of things. In the UK, increasingly few people get married solely for religious reasons, so legal elements are going to be part of the decision for a lot of people. Yet it's a bad thing if any of those reasons are immigration-related?

Increasingly I'm realizing how much higher a standard immigrants are held to than the native citizens of not just the UK but certainly the U.S. too (where, y'know, immigrants and visitors actually have to say they're not Nazis!) and no doubt other countries as well. It's so frustrating to see this everywhere.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-18 10:51 am (UTC)
jo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jo
"I'm realizing how much higher a standard immigrants are held to than the native citizens of not just the UK but certainly the U.S. too (where, y'know, immigrants and visitors actually have to say they're not Nazis!) and no doubt other countries as well."

The same is true for people who want to adopt. They have every single inch of their lives inspected. I once (only partially) jokingly said that people who wanted to have kids the usual way should have to apply for a license and be subjected to the same scrutiny as people who want to adopt to ensure their fitness, and everyone was "what? You can't do that!" So then I said fine, then drop all the checks we do on people who want to adopt and just let anyone who wants to adopt get a kid, no questions asked. And of course, that wasn't an acceptable idea either.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-18 02:02 pm (UTC)
po8crg: A cartoon of me, wearing a panama hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] po8crg
My parents had one each way (me after a lot of miscarriages, and then my sister by adoption) and both were difficult and painful processes in different ways, which I found an interesting perspective.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-18 05:24 pm (UTC)
miss_s_b: (Default)
From: [personal profile] miss_s_b
I think that people who want to have kids OR pets should have to get a license first.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-18 02:26 pm (UTC)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
I can see wanting to curb trafficking or other such nefarious options, but this intense scrutiny seems mostly borne of the part where the UK and US have decided that marriage is the greatest thing ever and conferred on married couples all these extra benefits. If, perhaps, they decided that marriage shouldn't be treated as such a gold mine of good things, then they could come back toward more sensible policies about marriage and immigration.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-19 06:22 am (UTC)
norfolkian: Holtzmann from Ghostbusters licking a gun (Default)
From: [personal profile] norfolkian
Yep, I have to say that legal reasons were a large factor for us getting married. We love each other and want to stay together for ever, but at the end of the day marriage is a legal contract. I actually get quite irritated when people don't treat it as such - the legal side may not sound very 'romantic', but it is serious and legal and should be treated as such.

I totally appreciate your frustration at it being seen a bad thing if any of those reasons are immigration-related.

Incidentally, a possible (unintended) legal benefit of our marriage might be that Ian is able to get Maltese citizenship (and therefore EU citizenship), provided I can get my Maltese citizenship.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-20 11:24 am (UTC)
redbird: SF Bay bridges, during rebuilding (bay bridges)
From: [personal profile] redbird
I'm married for legal reasons, but since the spouse and I are both US citizens, and of different genders, nobody questions it. (Legal next of kin for medical decisions, rather than the health insurance stuff that's common in this uncivilized country.) My mother and her second husband got married partly for immigration reasons, though they had a religious wedding. Mom might have been happy with the registry office, but Simon wanted the rabbi and ketubah and all, and I think her parents were also happy to see it done that way.

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