This is the story of a friend of mine Vicky that had her husband’s UK Settlement Visa refused which she believes was wrongly refused.
Vicky and her husband have 2 children together Thomas who is nearly 3 years old and a 9 month old daughter Hollie. Thomas is at this time undergoing assessments for autism.Vicky is a British National born in the UK her husband is Benjamin a Philippines citizen who see met and fell in love with in 2014 in the Philippines.
Sadly Vicky’s husband Benjamin has not seen his son Thomas for 11 months and has never met his daughter due to UK visa restrictions imposed by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary. Her daughter has never met her father because of this.
Vicky applied for her husband to join her in the UK in February 2018 but the application for a UK Settlement Visa for her husband was denied.
Appendix 18.104.22.168, of the Home Office rules state that if you get Disability Living Allowance on behalf of your child then you are eligible to meet the adequate maintenance allowance. Vicky met this requirement therefore was able to apply for her husband to join them in the UK, However her husband was still denied entry to the UK.
Vicky lived in the Philippines with her husband Benjamin for 3 years, it was during this time I got to know Vicky. Sadly in 2017 Vicky’s father got a heart condition and understandably Vicky wanted to return to the UK to be with her Mother and Father.
I will add the Philippines is not an easy place to live as a western man and I suspect it is far worse for a British woman, I am not sure if this had any influence on Vicky wanting to return to the UK.
When Vicky returned to the UK she was pregnant with her daughter Hollie and travelled with her son Thomas, as they realised she would have to apply for her husband to join her later.
Vicky started to notice development problems with her son Thomas firstly that he was still unable to speak and also unusual behaviour patterns that meant he needed constant supervision to keep him safe.
Vicky reported this to her local health visitor who has requested to some assessments done on Thomas.
Concerns about her son’s social and emotional development and the fact he has no concept of danger means he needs 24 hour supervision. At the time of writing this Thomas is undergoing assessment for autism
He sees many specialists including a paediatrician, Ear Nose and Throat as he might have mild hearing loss and needs an Auditory Brainstem Response test under general anaesthetic. He sees Portage once a week, and has Occupational Therapy for sensory issues. He has seen a physiotherapist and is hyper mobile, and a speech therapist. He needs 1-1 support at nursery which he has only just been able to start as there was no 1-1 support available until now.
All this would be hard enough for Vicky and her husband if they were together but being stuck 7,000 miles apart makes things far worse. Surely it would use fewer resources if Vicky’s husband was with her to look after their son and surely it would help the child having his loving father with him.
Vicky provided all the relevant documentation for the application for her husbands UK Settlement Visa yet was still refused. The visa refusal letter stated
“We considered under paragraphs GEN 3.1 and GEN 3.2 of Apendix FM as applicable, whether there are exceptional circumstances in our case which could or would render refusal a breach of Article 8 of the ECHR because it could or would result in unjustifiably harsh consequences for you or your family. In so doing, we have taken into account under paragraph GEN 3.3 of of Appendix FM, the best interests of any relevant child as a primary consideration.
Based on the information you have provided we have decided there are no such exceptional circumstances in your case.”
The Home Office did note in their letter that Vicky’s son Thomas was currently under assessment for sensory processing skills and is receiving Disability Allowance and that Vicky and her husband wanted to raise their children together and support each emotionally and financially making sure their children had the best chances possible.
However, they then went on to say,
“We have reached this decision because I am not satisfied that a refusal would lead to unjustifiably harsh consequences to either you or your family. I have also considered the best interests of your children.”
So it seems the Home Office for some strange reason think the children would be better off with a father in another country and just having video calls to him. Personally I fail to see the logic in this even more so when her son has severe developmental difficulties.
Not only is the Home Office decision making life difficult for Vicky it is also making her family a burden to the taxpayer as she is unable to work and care for her children. Vicky is keen for her husband to be with them and support them, many might ask why can he not do that from the Philippines, well the answer is the daily wage in the Philippines is less than £4 a day.
The circumstances are not good for Vicky firstly she is away from the man she loves for no other reason than they were born in different countries, she also has to support her children alone when her husband really wants to help her. The children are also suffering as a result of this Home Office ruling.
If you think Vicky should be allowed to be with her husband and her children should be with their father please sign her petition to get the Home Office to reconsider her husbands UK Settlement Visa.