Couple face UK spouse visa problems despite 10-year marriage

14 Aug 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A couple are facing time apart as their applications for a UK spouse visa were surprisingly rejected.

Jeff Walters and his Canadian-born wife Bonnie have been married for a decade. They have spent much of their time together in Bonnie's home country, but last year decided to move to the UK to allow 72-year-old Jeff to spend more time with his children and grandchildren from a previous marriage.

When they first moved, Bonnie entered the country on a six-month UK visa. The pair later paid over £500 to get hold of an extended stay to allow Bonnie to remain in the country. But the pair were surprised to hear from the Home Office that the application was rejected. This has now happened twice.

The couple have spoken to WalesOnline about their frustration with the situation. Mr Walters said: “We re not trying to defraud anyone. We have tried to do everything as honestly and properly as possible. This has been a great strain on us.”

He added that they even hired an immigration lawyer to help them get their case heard and submit the second application. Old bills, receipts and documents proving that the couple had a serious a long-term relation were provided, but the UK immigration authorities still rejected the application.

Details about why the case might have been rejected emerged in comments given by immigration authorities to ITV News. A spokesperson said that it is not possible to switch from visitor visa to a full UK spouse visa under the country's immigration rules whilst in the UK. However, Mrs Walters could possibly apply for a visa if she returned to Canada and sent her application from there.