Our asks of the next UK government

We believe that families should be able to live together if they wish. We are optimistic about what the next government has the opportunity to deliver for refugee families.

“We were apart for over two years. During this time, my family faced numerous hardships, including financial instability, lack of access to basic healthcare, and the constant threat of violence in their area. The bureaucratic hurdles and the lengthy process of obtaining visas added to their stress and made the wait seem interminable.” Family who fled conflict in Sudan

Together Now ask that the next government:

  1. Process asylum claims and family reunion visa applications more quickly

We are currently seeing families wait 12 months for the most straightforward applications. Too many families are living apart for prolonged periods, creating and exacerbating trauma, putting vulnerable family members at risk and leaving children without access to education and healthcare some in active conflict zones.

  • Allow asylum seekers to work whilst their claim is being processed

Forcing families into poverty has significant negative impacts on their emotional and physical wellbeing and that of the family members they support overseas. Keeping asylum seekers in this ongoing state of crisis removes their ability to integrate into the UK and to contribute to their communities.

  • Change the family reunion visa application process to reduce risk to families

The requirements put in place to get the visa can specifically put families at risk; for example travel to Visa Application Centres, can often mean expensive and dangerous journeys, sometimes to third countries. Removal of this requirement would make the process safer and quicker for many families, particularly those living in countries where there is no Visa Application Centre.

“It was so hard being away from my husband. Looking after three children by myself, while also managing the emotions of being separated and the uncertainty of what would happen in the future, was really hard. The children missed their dad terribly and it was painful to see that and be powerless to meet that need. Seeing them reunited with their dad, I felt such a sense of relief that now my children could have what they really needed, and a burden was lifted.” Syrian mother displaced to Saudi Arabia