IT is one of the proudest and emotionally overwhelming moments of any man’s life – the pleasure of welcoming a firstborn child into the world.
But Inodeel Naizai faces the agonising prospect of being unable to see his new son or daughter for at least two years due, he claims, to strict immigration laws.
The Afghan national, who lives in Derby Road, Southampton, is making an impassioned plea for politicians to help reunite his family by scrapping controversial immigration regulations restricting non-EU foreign nationals working in this country from inviting their spouses and partners to join them.
The 28-year-old said: “Please help us so we can be a family – she is crying every day and I am crying every day here.
“Surely British people can understand what it’s like.”
Mr Naizai arrived in Britain as a teenager in 2002 and works as a shop assistant at a convenience store.
In December last year he returned to his native city Bagram for an arranged marriage to bride Mariam.
Soon after he flew back to England last month his 25-year-old partner rang to tell him she is pregnant.
But under rules introduced last summer, he must earn at least £18,600 a year – plus a further £3,800 to support the child.
Mr Naizai, who spends at least £50 a week on international telephone calls to his wife, is on a much lower salary and would have to save for at least two years before flying back home.
He said she is suffering from depression and added: “The rules are too hard. I couldn’t earn that amount of money even if I was working three jobs.
“The birth of a child is such an important thing – the husband should be there for the wife.
“It isn’t just for me. There are so many of us in the same situation.”
He is refusing to return to Afghanistan permanently because it is “unsafe” to raise a family there.
Southampton Labour MPs John Denham and Alan Whitehead are demanding the Coalition launch an independent review into the rules which stipulate applicants must earn £2,400 for each further child arriving.
Mr Denham carried out a survey at the city’s Abu Bakr Mosque revealing 95 per cent of members earn less than £18,000.
Mr Whitehead said: “This is effectively banning an entire community from the rights we would give to any other community in this country.”