Havent seen my children for 2 1/2 years now
Can I share this please in the hope of some advice or just even sympathy.
My partner of eight years and our three children live in the Philippines and I used to spend two or three months a year there and return to work in the UK. At the start of the covid thing, Johnson said all UK citizens should come back here so a week after my youngest daughter was born I managed to get a flight home and that was was the last time I saw them.
Covid restrictions in the Philippines are onerous. Even returning Filipinos get turned away after landing if they dont meet all requirements. Interpretation of requirements varies. Beaurocracy is awful. Corruption is rife. Rules change daily. I’m considered unvaccinated and I am not allowed into the country. That doesnt look like changing anytime soon.
We decided they should come here. Because the kids dont have UK passports I need to apply for visas for them all. Total costs including tb testing, language tests, visa fees, management fees, flights and accomodation for tb testing etc about £20k. Been turned down once already. No guarantee we wont again. Now at least a one year processing wait due to prioritisation of ukrainian refugees. Almost impossible to obtain a UK passport if you are based in Asia. The process requires sight of original birth certificates of my parents and a whole mountain of other original documentation. No easy or safe way to get documents like that to the Philippines.
I’m now at the point where I’ve almost lost hope of ever seeing my family again. I am completely overwhelmed by the beaurocracy in both countries. My children are UK citizens by right and yet they are not allowed to come here. You can imagine how difficult it is to maintain a long distance relationship anyway, but its even tougher not knowing when we will ever see each other again. The kids are safe and well, but there are many tensions as you can imagine between my partner and I.
They are all at her parents house now. Her mum died from a stroke after receiving the covid vaccine and her father also suffered a stroke and is in recovery. The house was completely destroyed in a super typhoon last Christmas and you can imagine how harrowing it was to see video footage of the house filling up with water, the roof and some walls gone, kids terrified, and their christmas presents blown to the hills literally.
It feels like I’ve lost everything now and my world is a dark sad place. Dont know what to do. I’ve aged terribly these last few year, the burden of stress has been colossal and I just want to lie down and turn the lights out.
Cycling remains important to me and helps keep me sane although as I write this I am off work having contracted covid on the massive construction project I work on.
Thanks if you’ve read this all. I would welcome any constructive thoughts or suggestions for a way through this.Posted 1 week ago
I can’t do anything constructive to help you, but bloody hell, that sounds nightmarish, you have my sympathy.Posted 1 week ago
That sounds absolutely awful.
My only thought is around why you are classed as unvaccinated – and can you get that position sorted out so you can go back over there? Is it because you haven’t had vaccines, or is it around which vaccine you’ve had and is it approved in the Phillipines?
Just thinking aloud could you all meet in a 3rd country somewhere? Might not be economically viable or restrictions could also get in the way but just a thought.Posted 1 week ago
Can you meet somewhere other than the uk or the Philippines?Posted 1 week ago
Somewhere that has less restrictions even if only for a few weeks.
The visa thing is insane and this government has just taken a view that they don’t want anyone coming here, particularly if they are not chalk white in colour, unless you are a doctor or other highly skilled role.
I hope you can get something sorted soon, maybe even move to somewhere less hostile to immigrants.
This government is such a shit show. You have my sympathies, I can’t even begin to imagine how hard this isPosted 1 week ago
My only thought is around why you are classed as unvaccinated – and can you get that position sorted out so you can go back over there?
Yeah…please explain more?Posted 1 week ago
That all sounds an absolute nightmare.Posted 6 days ago
I can’t imagine how much you must be missing your family. If you’d have told me what an absolute s%!t show the virus would create in the world I’d have said you were nuts. Hope you manage to see them again soon.
Just read this. You have my sympathy, absolute shit show. Can’t believe what a nasty, vindictive, small minded country we’ve become.
I suspect you will have tried some/all of these, but local MP? Media, particularly national, like the Guardian, might be interested in your story. Charities who specialise in this sort of thing. UNICEF?
There must be networks out there of parents, grandparents, relatives who are in a similar situation? Perhaps id them and contact for advice or support?
NGOs who are active over there. Can they help?
Hope it all improves mate, never give up!Posted 6 days ago
Would you like to borrow mine? On a long term basis.
Seriously though that sounds horrendous. Best of luck navigating through it allPosted 6 days ago
wow, that is an awful situation, thats before you add losing the home etc.
Are you and your partner married? Does that not change anything?
I have nothing i can say to help really, other than my thoughts are with you and i hope you find resolve.Posted 6 days ago
🙁 🙁 🙁
I hope you find some way of improving the situation, you have my sympathy as well.Posted 6 days ago
I too wonder whether a 3rd country meet might work?
Also – the unvaccinated status, what could change that?
Other than that I have no comfort to offer other that to say the situation is awful for you all.Posted 6 days ago
My son and hus Filipino wife just flew there at the weekend for 5 weeks to see relatives, as long as they had their jabs and booster no problem getting in.Posted 6 days ago
If the children are British nationals then they should be allowed to the UK. Ask your local MP for assistance. It’s part of their job. Hope it works out.Posted 6 days ago
.Posted 6 days ago
You either are or you aren’t surely? If you’re vaccinated it’ll show on the online Covid Pass?Posted 6 days ago
Sincerely sorry for your situation, it must be horrendous. But I am sure you will find ways through this. Some good advice above. Think both long-term and the short- to medium-term. Regulations are changing all the time.
For your mental wellbeing in the short-term, the mention of a third country for you to at least see your family for a few weeks is worth investigating. My reading is Filipinos can leave the country for a holiday and return without issue if they are vaccinated (under 12s don’t need vaccination). If mum were unvaccinated they would need to spend time in quarantine. I suspect you might be able to get a visitors visa for your partner and children to the UK, provided you can show a return ticket and good reason for them to return.
I realise you may not want to give details on a public forum, but I would hope there is a way to be recognized as vaccinated by the Philippines. If for medical reasons you can’t have certain vaccines, then I would talk to your GP about which if any could be provided (privately if necessary, i.e. paid for) from the Philippines and WHO list of vaccines.
There is also the longer term question of if your children are already dual citizen or not, and what impact that has on UK visa applications, which speaking to an immigration lawyer will be helpful for. Do you have access to legal advice through work schemes or anything, or ask at the CAB in the first instance?
Good luck.Posted 5 days ago
Get yourself vaccinated and head on over. If this is what is preventing you from seeing your children, you really really need to take a long hard look in the mirror.Posted 5 days ago
– If are vaccinated, get your vaccine passport and go and visit.
– If you are not vaccinated, and can be, then get your vaccine, get your vaccine passport then go and visit
– If you have genuine medical reason to not be vaccinated, follow the process for this, get the official evidence and go and visit.
If none of the above are possible, what on earth is going on?Posted 5 days ago
I suspect the unvaccinated issue could be medical but I am trying to not make a judgement but offer possibilities. The Philippines do not have any exemptions for foreign nationals from needing to be fully vaccinated, so getting a letter to say you can’t have a jab won’t fly, literally, the OP would be denied boarding if they cannot show being fully vaccinated as per the Philippine Government definition. So if the UK NHS would advise against being vaccinated it something to talk through with their GP, in case there are options that the OP could take – licensed here or not, even if they had to do some health-tourism to get two jabs somewhere else – and because the risk of complications might be real-but-low, i.e. 1 in 10,000 or something, whereas the risk to the OPs mental health is very much higher. Perhaps.Posted 5 days ago
Fair enough, there are no exemptions for be unvaccinated. This does make life more difficult.Posted 5 days ago
Your situation sounds terrible 🙁
My wife had one dose of the vaccine that was not registered properly and this took some time (6+ months) to ripple through the UK/EU system. If that is the reason you are considered unvaccinated then it may be worth rechecking frequently.
Indirectly I know of a nurse who took part in the early trials of one of the vaccines. This was before the “registration“ process was set up and she was considered unvaccinated and encouraged to go for another dose privately which was something she was understandably reluctant to do. If that is your situation then maybe there is a healthworker-track-forum where others may be able to advise.Posted 5 days ago
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Sign up as a Singletrack Member and you can leave comments on stories, use the classified ads, and post in our forums, do quizzes and more.
Join us, join in, it’s free, and fun.