Visa mistake threatens wife’s right to remain in UK

14 Jan 2016 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A couple who married last year and live together near Hereford now face being split up because of a UK visa administrative mistake.

Tanja Furnell, who has a two-year-old son Alexander with husband Lee, is originally from Macedonia. In August 2014, she won an appeal to stay in Britain and was granted a family life visa by a judge in Birmingham allowing her to remain permanently in Britain.

Following her marriage, Mrs Furnell applied to change the name on her passport and also applied for a new visa. However, the wrong one was put on her passport and she has now received a letter from the Home Office stating she must leave the UK by 2019.

The letter told Mrs Furnell that she had been turned down for a derivative residence card as a primary carer of a British citizen because she had not provided evidence showing she was the main carer of her young son.

The letter said: “You have not provided evidence as to why the child’s father is not in a position to care for Alexander if you were forced to leave the United Kingdom.

“You state that Mr Furnell works full time. Notwithstanding the information regarding Mr Furnell’s employment, it is his choice to undertake such employment and it does not negate his responsibilities for the child.”

The Furnells discovered that instead of the family life visa, officials had wrongly put the derivative residence card on Mrs Furnell’s passport when she changed her name.

Mr Furnell said he refused to spend any more money correcting what had been an error by the authorities.

He told the Ledbury Reporter: “Is this the first time they have made a mistake with a visa? Are there people being told to leave the country when the Home Office have made a mistake?

“I am British, my son is British and we are married. There is no reason to split us up. She has got a right to remain.”