A married couple are facing a year apart after the Indian-born husband was refused a UK spouse visa.
British woman Julie Bolitho married husband Vikram Kushwah, a fashion photographer, in September and the couple aimed to live together in Oxfordshire. However, his spouse visa application was rejected and he must wait a year before he can appeal against the decision.
Julie said she is now planning to leave the UK and settle in Sweden with her husband, where it will be easier for him to obtain a visa.
The yoga teacher told the Oxford Mail: “I refuse to be without my husband for 12 to18 months. It will mean shutting down most of my business, renting out my home, and somehow shipping two cats and three dogs 900 miles.
“Obviously, it's appallingly frustrating and has large financial implications. Beyond this, my sense of the UK is greatly damaged.”
The couple have complained about the process and are awaiting the outcome of that, which could see the original rejection overturned. However, even if that is the case, Julie said her belief in the fairness of the UK has been damaged and she is unsure she will return to the country to live in the future.
She said: “I've lived in Oxfordshire for 10 years. I am part of the community here. I love my friends and colleagues.
“Another friend, a fellow yoga teacher, was horrified when I told her we were moving to Sweden as she knows how difficult it is to build up a yoga business in Oxfordshire--that it takes so much work and dedication to make yourself self-sufficient.”
The Home Office said the case had been reviewed and officials were satisfied that it had been handled correctly.