Elderly couple face separation after wife’s visa application is rejected for a second time

UK borderA grandfather from Wales faces separation from his Canadian wife after her visa application was rejected for a second time.

Jeff Walters, 72, lives near Tycroes in South Wales with wife Bonnie, who is ten years his junior The couple were married in 2003 but initially lived in Canada because she was homesick, WalesOnline reports. But last year the pair decided to return to the UK so Jeff could live close to his children from his previous marriage, as well as his nine grandchildren.

Bonnie entered the UK on a six-month visa and when this expired, the couple then paid more than £500 for an ‘extended stay visa’, the site reports. This would allow Bonnie to stay in the UK without taking on British citizenship.

But the application was turned down. They hired an immigration lawyer who gathered evidence that they were a genuine married couple. The evidence included letters from family members and even documents from contractors who had worked on their home in Canada.

But the second application was also rejected. Bonnie now faces the prospect of being forced to return to Canada, with Jeff selling their home for a  second time and following her over at a later date.

Jeff said:

“We just can’t believe it – I feel very disappointed in Great Britain that we are being treated like this.”

He added:

“We have hardly spent a day apart in ten years – I am heartbroken at the thought of us being separated. We shouldn’t be having to prove our relationship after being married for so long. We’ve had to show receipts for items we bought together years ago to prove we have been cohabiting.”

Mr Walters continued:

“Bonnie has nowhere to go back to. Her life is here with me. We are not here to claim benefits. We are living off my savings and my state pension….This has been a great strain on us. I thought we’d enjoy a quiet retirement surrounded by our grandchildren but now we face being separated, it’s too much to think about.”

His wife added:

“It is really unsettling to find myself in this position. If I have to leave and return to Canada I have no idea what I would do. We sold everything before coming to Britain so we have nothing back there. I have nowhere to go.”

According to Wales Online, the Border Agency is now reviewing their case.

Photo by dannyman via Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence


Stitchedup - August 13, 2013 at 8:57am

Sounds like another case of the British legal system picking on the wrong people.

Isabel Sommerville - August 13, 2013 at 4:03pm

My heart goes out to this couple. Sadly I am in a similar situation with my Australian Husband. We have been together 14 years and have three children age 12, 8 and 6 and STILL The British Immigration System Fails us. The Government needs to sort their system out as The BRITISH System is Totally Failing The Brits! We have our appeal of the FAILED appeal this Friday 16th – GOD HELP US ALL.

David Bloor - August 13, 2013 at 4:40pm

Absolute disgrace.

Andrew - August 13, 2013 at 7:25pm

Not sure why they are so surprised about the outcome. It is clearly stated in the rules that visitors are no eligible to switch into the spousal visa category from inside the UK. Period. I hope their lawyer is giving them their money back.

She should go back to Canada to re-apply.

Sam Smith - August 13, 2013 at 11:30pm

Anyone affected by these immigration laws please look at this website http://britcits.weebly.com/ and join this FB group.


Paul Henry - August 14, 2013 at 5:58am

http://www.conservatives.com/Policy/Where_we_stand/Family.aspx ‘We believe that strong and stable families are the bedrock of a strong and stable society. That’s why we are doing everything we can to support families in tough times.’

Andrew - August 14, 2013 at 9:56am

Quite frankly, the UKBA decision in this case is 100% lawful and within the rules. This couple should have read the official instructions more carefully before making the application. The UKBA website clearly states:

You cannot apply to extend your leave to remain if you are in the UK:

as a visitor;


What is outrageous is that people have to leave their homes in order to avoid the financial requirements:



I guess the reason why they made this process so overly complicated was to discourage people from applying. Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May want to reduce net migration from non-EU countries to less than 100,000 before the next election in 2015:


It is absolutely ridiculous!


Elwyn Phillips - August 14, 2013 at 11:34am

I come from Wales and am currently separated from my children as my new wife is Ukrainian and we have had awful problems getting settlement for her. Top it off yesterday she was denied a visitor visa to visit my 85 yr old sick father with me and we were told we are not truthful!! Rich coming from a government department to a Minister of Christian church!! I am pushing all I can please don’t give up if enough people stand up someone has to listen

Anonymous - August 14, 2013 at 12:06pm

I agree with StitchedUp. The police state and its apparatus has a habit of targeting vulnerable people – the disabled, separated fathers, the elderly, the uneducated, the poor. Sadly, these people don’t have the financial, emotional or intellectual means to challenge the state, and the state usually threatens them with prison if they go to the media. Moreover, in collusion with the state, the media often engages in smear campaigns against the vulnerable, in the knowledge that they do not have the means to defend themselves. And the ignorant public simply turns another page, thinking that all is still well in the world.

Anthony Dugmore - August 21, 2013 at 6:48pm

Geoff Walters is my second cousin and I know he remarried after his first wife died over 10 years ago. I wish him well with his fight and will back him all the way. He is a good man and cherishes family life.

Jake - October 27, 2013 at 5:16pm

To Andrew (who posted on August 14th)

Your my type of guy. I am a conservative and proud of it. Conservative means freedom to people. The spouse rules are there for a purpose to stop you from claiming benefits.

Yes i know on your Visa’s if you are from a non-eu country it states you cannot claim any kind of UK benefit. But us conservatives know the average guy on the street is a bit dim.

A guy who wants to bring his wife and child into the country would need to earn £22,400, rightly so. Us brits the tax payer don’t want to be paying for foreign people. Theresa May is going in the right direction, i hope the next stage would be to stop any british couple, even if they were born here, claiming benefits. Why are these people claiming benefits because they have a kid?

If you cannot afford to have a child, don’t have one.

I think youngsters up to 30 or over should be tested like the spouse visa. To show you are in a genuine relationship, if the woman falls pregnant and they are not earning the £22,400 they should be made to terminate.

The British tax payers are sick of people who think they can come in the country and the lazy british couples who think they can have babies and claiming tax credits, family credits, you are a disgrace to our country.


Stitchedup - October 28, 2013 at 1:02pm

“I think youngsters up to 30 or over should be tested like the spouse visa. To show you are in a genuine relationship, if the woman falls pregnant and they are not earning the £22,400 they should be made to terminate.”

My god, what a total load of *!%@!!!

You say CONSERVATIVE MEAN’S FREEDOM yet a person doesn’t have the right to bear a child unless they earn £22,400!!! On that basis, any person on minimum wage doesn’t have the right to bear children!!

Is this your way of social cleansing to produce a elite race of bankers or something?? or have I just fallen for a wind-up hook, line and sinker??

Luke - January 26, 2016 at 4:30pm

Yeah, it’s a form of troll post – what he is actually trying top do is link sensible rules (in my view) that ‘Jake’ doesn’t like with totally unreasonable rules that he proposes in his post.
He’s trying to tar Andrew with those views – it’s a particularly unpleasant and deceitful post.

Immigration specialist - January 26, 2016 at 11:46am

What an injustice. It is really unfair to be separated because of different nationalities. That elderly couple really had no intention to false visa and sneak into country. Sometimes requirements are too tight. In my experience, doing Residence Permit in Lithuania services, sometimes states also does to tight documents inspection.

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