Sunday 25th July 2004
I am writing this letter to detail the circumstances of my wife
Myrlia's application for further leave to remain in the UK as my
wife. We are aware that, given Myrlia's current visitor status,
she is not directly entitled to make this application from inside the
country, but we believe strongly that there are compassionate
circumstances that we would kindly ask the Home Office to consider.
Our situation has elicited strong support from
our friends, my employer and my Member of Parliament, and from our
distressed extended family. We have included with our
application a number of letters written by those parties.
In January of this year, after an extended period of visiting each
other in London (where I was resident) and Munich (where Myrlia
formerly lived with her ex-husband), Myrlia was finally granted a
divorce and we managed to organise our wedding.
In February, after a chaotic period of uncertainty about where we would
settle, Myrlia found herself in the UK on a visitor entry clearance
when we decided that we would like to settle here. We dutifully
took steps to formalise her residency here, and although Myrlia was
pregnant and had been advised by her doctor to avoid further flights,
we were prepared to travel in order to obtain visas if absolutely
necessary. We promptly contacted the Home Office by telephone,
explaining our circumstances fully, and were advised that we could make
an in-country FLR application with a letter detailing our situation.
We made the application as advised, and many weeks later it was
rejected on the basis of Myrlia's visitor status, contrary to the
advice we had received. By that time, Myrlia's pregnancy was too
advanced for flying to be an option, and her visitor clearance was due
to expire at the end of July, when our child would be only eight weeks
Since the rejection of that application, we have been in a constant
state of stress, knowing that we had no right of appeal and would have
to find a way to resolve the situation, or be forced to undertake
international travel very soon after our child's birth.
In the months since the Home Office decision, the question mark over
the residency issue has left us unable to move to a house more suited
to a young family, and I have been unable to commit to long term
projects at work that might have further advanced my career.
Our daughter Grace was born here on her due date, the first of June,
and is now less than eight weeks old. In addition to the
inevitable stresses of parenthood, the inappropriate apartment and my
worries about supporting my family, we have spent every spare moment of
our time worrying about how we could possibly leave the country to
obtain the entry clearance the Home Office insists upon. My wife
is showing many signs of stress and depression, and I am faring little
Grace is breast-fed, and must therefore travel with her mother. She is
also, to date, un-immunised. We have, naturally, received strong
medical advice against flying with such a small infant.
If my wife and infant were to make the long flight to Myrlia's de-facto
country of current residence, the USA, they would be absent for a
significant and indeterminate time. I would be unable to join
them without either resigning from my job (thereby voiding our claim
for residency) or taking an unpaid leave of absence, which we could not
support financially. Separation of our family in this way would
inevitably heap further distress upon us.
After arriving alone in America, my wife and British daughter would
need to undertake further flights and lengthy road journeys if she were
required to attend immigration interviews. The likelihood of
Myrlia's stress and depression worsening is significant, and the two
could not reasonably obtain medical care if it were needed. (A
minor incident on a past visit resulted in a bill of $4000 for an
uncertain diagnosis and no treatment.)
In order to resolve this situation, I decided that the risks to our
family are too great for such a trip to be made, and that we would make
a further application for leave to remain in the UK in the earnest hope
that the Home Office will recognise the compassionate circumstances of
our application and grant us permission to stay here as a family.
I thank the Home Office in advance for the time and consideration given
to our case.