A carpenter and groom-to-be who has worked in some of the most iconic buildings in the Capital is facing deportation just months before his wedding due to UK visa mistakes.
James Geale, who moved to Britain from Australia a decade ago, is struggling to keep hold of his UK visa after making a mistake when applying for a passport.
According to Mr Geale, he has been unable to work since 15th December 2017 and faces costs of tens of thousands of pounds after failing to send his passport application to the Home office by the 12th August deadline.
Despite making the mistake himself, Mr Geale added that he feels “betrayed” by the department, stating that the consequences of his error do not “fit the crime”.
“I put my hands up, I made a genuine mistake, both me and my partner thought the deadline was in August and if you have to fine me then that’s fine but the Home Office have left me in a catch-22 position and I feel they won’t let me rectify the mistake,” he said.
In an attempt to rectify the issue, Mr Geale reportedly attempted to move their wedding forward and subsequently gain a UK spouse visa. However, he is unable to marry without a passport, which is currently being held by the Home Office.
“I feel betrayed, I have worked here for 10 years, paid my taxes and got my head down, I love being here, it’s my home but they can’t make any allowances,” he said. “It’s going to take me away from my home and my family.”
Unless the Home Office decides to change its position on the case, the couple’s only option is to marry abroad and move back to the UK together once Mr Geale has spent a year living out of the country.
However, a Home Office spokeswoman has suggested that Mr Geale can apply for an administrative review of the decision to deny him a UK passport in the meantime.