Three children are begging the Home Office not to deport their dad.
Australian Phil Sommerville has been told he will be sent home - despite his British wife of 12 years and their three children living in the UK.
The saga centres around a letter the Government body claims to have sent in March - but the family say they never received - asking for more information to support Phil's visa application about his relationship and the family's home.
The first the family knew was when the 46-year-old was threatened with deportation in April.
His distraught wife Isabel, who lives with her family in Bolnore Village near Haywards Heath, said: “We have always been together as a family. When we applied we thought we were just dotting the i's and crossing the t's.
“It's terrible. They're trying to crack down on the wrong people.
“They said we didn't provide the evidence they asked for - but we never got the letter asking for the evidence. It's a hopeless situation.
“The totally ridiculous thing is, if they send him back and he reapplies from Australia, he will probably be successful.
“I just can't believe it. It's like a really bad dream which just keeps going.”
The family appealed the decision but still unaware of what extra documentation was needed by the Home Office, had their case dismissed.
But the judge pointed out numerous errors made by the immigration officials in his decision, which the family received on Saturday.
In his ruling the judge said if Mr Sommerville was made to return to Australia, another application from the other side of the world would probably be successful, but cause “significant disruption and expense”.
The couple met in a bar in Cairns, in 1999 while Isabel, who grew up in Haywards Heath, was backpacking around Australia.
She said the “love story of the century” saw him follow her back to the UK and they married two years later.
They settled in Australia, but returned to the UK in November 2010 to help look after Isabel's terminally ill mother.
The couple's son Cooper, 12 and daughters Jasmin, 8, and Charlee, 6, wrote to the judge considering the appeal begging for their daddy not to be sent to Australia.
On Tuesday Phil filed a further appeal against the decision.
A Home Office spokesman said they do not comment on individual cases.
The Argus is backing the Sommerville's fight to be kept together.
Don't Deport Daddy will support the family in their battle to keep Phil in the UK.
The Argus believes it is cruel and quite plainly wrong to split up a loving father from his wife and children.
We are calling on common sense to prevail and for the Home Office to reassess the family's situation.
We are backing the calls of Cooper, 12, Jasmin, 8, and Charlee, 6: “Don't Deport Daddy.”
Email us with your messages of support at email@example.com.
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