Wife of 45 years refused UK visa

10 May 2015 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A Canadian woman who has been married to her British husband for 45 years faces being thrown out of the UK if she cannot convince Home Office officials of the affection levels in her marriage.

Maria and David Summers, who had lived in Ottawa, planned to retire to the UK where they could care for David’s mother, who has cancer. She originally was granted a six month British visa in 2013 but faced problems when she tried to renew it.

The Home Office questioned whether the couple, who have a 42-year-old son, were in a committed and loving relationship, and whether they would remain together if Mrs Summers was give permission to remain in the UK. The application was refused and Mrs Summers returned to Canada, while she put together her appeal against the ruling, which includes photographs taken throughout their relationship.

She told CBC News: "How am I going to show them that we have a loving relationship?

"We've been married for 45 years, we've known each other for 50 years. We've been together for a long time. It's not like I'm a young bride and wanted citizenship somewhere."

Mr Summers, who spent Christmas apart from her husband for the first time in almost half a century, has now returned to the UK to await the outcome of the Home Office’s decision. It is expected towards the end of this month.

The retired optician said that if her UK visa application was again turned down, the couple would have to give up their home in Hereford, put Mr Summers’ mother into a care home, and return to Canada.

“We've been in Canada for a long time, but it wasn't the plan when we retired,” she said.