Couple win support to fund UK visa battle

30 Nov 2015 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A British man whose Swaziland-born wife has been denied a UK visa to live with him in Britain is receiving support from the arts and music community in his fight.

Graham and Paula Cousins are being kept apart by the minimum income rules which state a British spouse must earn £18,600 a year or have savings of £62,500 to show they can support their non-EU resident husband or wife.

Mr Cousins, who works as a self-employed window cleaner, has received £10,000 from his friend, comic writer Alan Moore, plus support from music writer Charles Shaar Murray, former Conservative MP Tony Clarke and the band Alabama 3.

Donations from people supporting the Cousins’ campaign mean they now have sufficient savings to meet the regulations and are planning to reapply for a UK visa for Mrs Cousins.

But Mr Cousins told Politics.co.uk: "We've got to wait another six months before I can apply again but deep down I still don't believe we will actually get the visa. They'll probably refuse us this time because I'm wearing the wrong colour coat."

The couple, who originally met online, are celebrating three years of marriage but have not seen each other since 2013. Mr Cousins is afraid of flying, so has been unable to visit his wife in Africa.

Mrs Cousins has faced a number of issues applying for a UK visa. In one instance, she was told her TB test was not acceptable because of the clinic it had been carried out in. She had to spend 12 hours travelling to have the test done again at a clinic approved by the authorities.

She said: “The last time we saw each other was February 2013. If I could just spend some time with my husband once or twice a year... but no. Nothing. I want to live with my husband because I love him. It's so simple."