New hope for US woman caught in visa row

06 Sep 2016 | Posted by Carl Thomas
A US woman who has been battling for a number of years to remain in the UK to care for her British husband believes she is a step closer after a judge ruled she can stay.
Karen Officer, who lives in Malvern, Worcs, with husband Bruce, had been refused leave to remain by the Home Office. Mrs Officer cares for her husband, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of high functioning autism.
She originally applied for leave to remain in the UK in January 2013, only for her application to be turned down the following year. The couple went ahead and married in Scotland in 2014 and have told immigration authorities it would be impossible for them to live together in the US due to Mr Officer’s Asperger’s.
In the couple’s latest appeal, Sheldon Court in Birmingham ruled that she can remain in the UK. However, the Home Office can still appeal against this ruling.
Mrs Officer said: “The judge found in our favour, ruling that I be given ‘leave to remain’. That’s exactly what I was applying for in the first place, so we’re pleased.
“The one note of caution is that the Home Office could try to appeal against the decision at a second-tier tribunal. They can only appeal at this higher level if they can make a case that the judge made a significant error in interpreting or applying the law, not just because they don’t like the outcome.”
She is now waiting to see where the Home Office will appeal, and if it doesn’t, she will be able to get a job, drive, and get back her US passport which has been confiscated.

She is planning to visit her family in the US, who she hasn’t seen since her wedding two years ago.