South African wife ordered to leave UK

02 Feb 2017 | Posted by Carl Thomas

 

A couple living in Devon are being forced to move back to South Africa because of UK visa issues.
British born Paul and South African wife Gail Freathy have run their own photography shop in Torquay since 2013 when Mrs Freathy came to the UK on a spouse visa. She has been told she she no longer eligible for this visa because the couple run their own business and do not pay themselves a salary.
She applied for a different type of visa and was turned down. The couple now face selling their business and returning to South Africa.
Mr Freathy told the Exeter Express & Echo: "We are destroyed, ruined. We have invested our life savings over here, brought our entire household of furniture, bought the business and even our little pets, who are too old to make the flight back to South Africa where I am not welcome anyway as I am British."
Mrs Freathy has been ordered to return to South Africa and cannot return within a year. She has been told she can appeal against the decision but not from within the UK.
The couple moved to the UK from South Africa after they were the victims of violent crime. They set up their successful business, which made a £55,000 profit last year, but because they do not pay themselves a salary they are not eligible for a visa.
Mr Freathy said: Paul said: "We pay our taxes, our National Insurance contributions, we serve the community, we are loved and love back.
“We are not refugees, slipping into the country, trying to take benefits. In fact, as a diabetic I haven't applied for any benefits, as I feel it's unfair. I work for a living and can provide my own finance, I would rather not become a burden on the state.”