A British man says that his family will be ‘obliterated’ after the Home Office refused to grant a UK visa to his Filipino wife.
Iain Stewart, from Kirkcaldy in Fife, has been married to Jovy for six years and the couple, who have been together for 21 years, have a teenage son, Simon. She lives in Manila but regularly travels to stay in Scotland for several months at a time to care for their son. Mr Stewart works away during the week and is only able to join his wife and son at weekends.
Mrs Stewart had been due to return to the UK too see her husband and son, and also have an operation for a serious medical condition. However, the Home Office has rejected her latest application for a visitors’ visa because it said the UK appeared to be her main home. She was told further applications are also likely to be turned down.
Mr Stewart told The Courier: “This has obliterated our family. If she doesn’t come back I will have to go over to the Philippines to look after Jovy because of her health, I’ll lose my job and Simon will be left alone.”
The couple have contacted Mr Stewart’s MP Roger Mullin and asked for his support to overturn the immigration authorities’ decision. The MP has written to Home Secretary Theresa May about the issue.
The Courier reported that Mrs Stewart’s intention to undergo an NHS operation while in Scotland could be behind the visa refusal. It said that regulations currently prevent overseas nationals travelling to Britain with the intention of accessing medical treatment, unless they are coming for private healthcare or wish to donate an organ.
A Home Office spokesman said: “All cases are carefully considered on their individual merits, in line with the UK immigration rules and based on evidence provided by the applicant.”