Fresh visa hope for Brazilian mum-to-be

20 Jun 2016 |
The Home Office has agreed to look again at the case of a pregnant woman Brazilian woman living in Leicestershire who was threatened with deportation at the end of her UK visa.
Deiseane Santiago became pregnant while visiting her fiancé Simon Ellis in Kegworth. She came to the UK on a five-month visitors’ visa in January and her original application for an extension was turned down by the authorities.
However, because of the risk of the Zika virus in her home country and the threat it poses to unborn children, the Home Office has decided to reconsider the case.
Mr Ellis told the BBC that the situation had left him feeling "scared and trapped".
He said: "All I want is a safe birth for my baby. I don't want a chance for that baby to catch microcephaly and I don't think I should have to take that chance."
Ms Santiago said she had been left feeling stressed, depressed and unable to eat because of the threat of being sent back to Brazil. She had previously been told she could be arrested and deported after her UK visa extension application was rejected.
However, in its letter agreeing to reconsider her case, the Home Office said that it understood that doctors have advised pregnant women against travelling to countries where the Zika virus is active, although it said this advice was targeted at British nationals.
Ms Santiago, who met Mr Ellis online three years ago, is now waiting to see what will happen. Her baby is due in November.
Friend of the couple, Susan Cooke, said: "We are not out of the woods yet. But for the first time this week, things are looking hopeful. This could actually turn into a success story with a healthy baby being born in the UK."