Muhammed and Amal’s story

March 1, 2020

Muhammed and Amal are from Syria. They fled to Libya with their four children shortly after the conflict began. Life in Libya became increasingly dangerous while they were there and after two years Muhammed decided to make the journey to Europe.

Muhammed was granted refugee status in the UK. Aware that his son, Kusai, was due to turn 18 very soon, making him ineligible for family reunion, Muhammed immediately began the process of applying to bring his family to the UK. That application was rejected. Muhammed knew that his 20-year-old daughter, Athar, might not be accepted but also knew that, under family reunion law, he had the right to bring his wife and any children under the age of 18 to the UK. It turned out that the reason for the rejection was Kusai’s passport expiring while the family was in Libya. While awaiting that decision Kusai turned 18 and became ineligible for family reunion.

Muhammed appealed, and a judge ruled that while Muhammed’s wife and two youngest children were eligible for family reunion and could come to the UK, Kusai and Athar were rejected on the basis of being over 18 years old. While Athar has remained in the region, Kusai decided to take matters into his own hands and took the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean to a makeshift camp in unthinkable conditions in Calais.