“They said it is not unreasonable that my British son leave the UK.”
Fiona is a British citizen. Her husband, Nate, is from USA. Their son, William is a British citizen. The family believe living in the UK rather than USA is in the best interest of their son. This decision is their right to make, as parents and a family where two of three members is British.
The Home Office is trying to deport Nate. In doing so, the family not unreasonably deems the department to be in violation of Article 8 (respect for private and family life) and s55 (best interest of the child), jeopardising the rights of British citizens Fiona and William.
Nate has a job offer paying over £18,600. However he is not allowed to work, nor would his income count towards the income threshold anyway. Fiona works 70 hours a week to make ends meet.
Fiona and Nate met when he came to the UK on a work visa. They fell in love and got married in 2008. Before his work permit expired, Nat applied for and was granted a spouse visa to 2011.
In 2010 the family relocated to USA where Fiona was given a green card for two years. Once their son was born in 2011, the family decided it would be in their son's best interest to be raised in UK. So Fiona and William returned here in August 2012, joined by Nate a month or so later as he finished his work obligations in USA.
Nate entered the UK as a tourist to ensure the family could celebrate William’s birthday in October together. He had his return flight to USA booked for a few days later. However, they soon found out the immigration rules had changed. They realised if as they had intended, Nate returned to the USA and applied for a spouse visa, they would be refused.
A solicitor advised them to apply whilst Nate was still in the UK, on grounds of the best interest of their son. Advice they took.
However, whilst waiting for the decision from the Home Office, they were issued a letter by the Home Office requesting a meeting in Portsmouth. The purpose of the meeting was to determine if Nate had entered the UK illegally – whether he had been deceitful and to discuss his intentions. At the centre in Portsmouth, Nate was escorted to a room where he was told he was under caution and questioned.
The officer carrying out the meeting told him normally these kind of meetings would be conducted at a police station – whether this is genuine or an attempt to intimidate Nate, the family doesn’t know.
The officer concluded that Nate had not been deceitful and that he had entered the UK legally.
Two weeks later, they received a response on their application. It had been refused for several reasons which they listed as:
· Fiona did not meet the financial requirements
· Nate was in the UK as a tourist
· Nate and Fiona’s relationship is subsiding therefore he doesn’t have sole parental responsibility
· It would not be unreasonable for William to return to the USA to be with his dad. Fiona could return with them if she so choose.
· Nate had failed to obtain the correct entry level clearance prior to travelling to the UK, especially given his experience with other applications on previous stays in the UK.
The refusal letter also stated Nate should be removed from the UK and returned to the USA. There doesn’t appear to be any consideration to the best interest of the child – the British child. The family has filed an appeal with the First Tier Tribunal and are awaiting a decision on whether their appeal will be allowed.