Visa issues threaten to separate pensioners

08 Jan 2017 | Posted by Carl Thomas


Two pensioners who left Australia to live in Scotland together are facing being separated after the authorities turned down the wife’s application for a UK visa.
Scottish-born John Cruickshank, 81, and Australian wife Cheryl, 66, had been living together in Queensland in Australia. But social workers wanted to put them into separate care homes so they left rather than being split up.
They moved to Forres in Moray in 2012 and every few months, Mrs Cruickshank renewed her visa from Cyprus. They have been together for more than 20 years but did not marry until 2015.
Cheryl, who suffers from epilepsy and is her husband’s carer, told the Daily Record: “We came back to Scotland because they were going to put John in a home and me in a women’s hostel. They said we couldn’t look after each other.
“He used to care for me when I had bad seizures and now the roles are reversed and I care for John. We don’t want to be apart and we can’t go back to Australia. We’ve got great neighbours and we have support – John has children and grandchildren in Fife and Aberdeenshire.”
She has appealed against the rejection of her UK visa application and has been told she can remain in the country while the appeal is processed.
The couple’s SNP MP Angus Robertson is supporting the couple’s fight to stay together in Scotland. He has been in touch with the Home Office about the case and said that even though the couple married “relatively recently”, they have been together for a long time.
He added: “Over and above this, Mr Cruickshank has unfortunately suffered significant ill health and, as a result, Cheryl is his carer. This is a deserving case and I’m ­urging the Home Office to take a ­sympathetic view of their case.”