Couple’s wedding wrecked by visa nightmare

02 Jun 2015 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A couple who were due to be married at the start of July have been forced to put their plans on hold after the New Zealand-born groom’s marriage visa application was rejected, and he was sent home from the airport.

Gareth MacRae flew into Manchester Airport ahead of his planned wedding to Lliwen Roberts, but officials said they thought he was likely to overstay in the UK and put him on a plane back to New Zealand.

Miss Roberts, from Llanuwchllyn in North Wales, said that the authorities were concerned the couple would marry illegally if her fiancé was allowed into the UK on a six-month visa.

Mr MacRae was initially allowed into Britain when he arrived but the immigration officials said they were busy due to it being a Bank Holiday weekend, and asked him to return to the airport on Monday. At that point, he was told he would have to leave immediately.

Miss Roberts, who has been with her fiancé for six years, told Wales Online: “It was horrible. They took him away and I was just left standing there. We shouldn’t have bothered but we are honest so we went back. And they said they were going to deport him because they believed he would overstay.”

The pair have appealed to the New Zealand Embassy for help and are also seeking specialist immigration advice. Mr MacRae’s family have booked tickets to the UK for the ceremony.

He said: “At the time [I was asked to leave] I was pretty speechless, I did not know what to say. I was very angry but I did not want to show that.

“We were too forward in terms of trying to do the right thing.”

The Home Office said it did not routinely comment on individual cases.