Elderly couple face separation after wife’s visa application is rejected for a second time
August 13, 2013 14 comments
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.
“We just can’t believe it – I feel very disappointed in Great Britain that we are being treated like this.”
“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