September 20 2014 Latest news:
Friday, September 5, 2014
A father says he faces being separated from his wife and two-year-old son because of the “absolute incompetence” of the UK Visa and Immigration Service.
Christopher Malone arrived in the UK with his wife Christy, a US citizen, and son Conrad in July after being told by immigration advisors that his wife could apply to remain in the country after she had arrived.
But, when they got to Heathrow Airport, Christy, 34, was told she should not have arrived without a visa and was ordered to leave the country by the end of September.
Mr Malone, of John Amner Close, Ely, now faces spending thousands of pounds flying his wife and son back to America to begin a new visa application.
Mr Malone, who is settling into a new job at Michell Instruments in Witchford, is British and his son has dual US/UK citizenship so both have the right to stay.
He said: “The UK Visa and Immigration International Service gave my wife and me incorrect advice – we have it in writing. We are being penalised for their absolute incompetence.”
The couple have spent weeks pleading their case with the Home Office, but to no avail.
SE Cambs MP Sir Jim Paice has also been involved but told the couple that Mrs Malone, a trained teacher, could only remain here under exceptional circumstances.
Mrs Malone said: “If we were told when we were still in California that we would have to get a visa before we could move we would have had it all done by now.
“We are not trying to be cheeky, we don’t like to cause waves, we just want to be treated like human beings and we want to stay together as a family.
“Nobody seems to want to help us.”
A spokesman for the Home Office said: “We are investigating the suggestion that Mrs Malone received erroneous information before travelling to the UK.”