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Eastbourne bride kept apart from husband by visa red tape
11:00am Wednesday 21st August 2013 in News
Two newlyweds have been torn apart because of strict immigration rules.
The pair has been forced to live apart for the past 11 months because they do not meet the £18,600 income threshold to obtain a visa.
Norah Stewart, of New Langney Court, Eastbourne, met her husband, Mouhamed Moulahi, in Tunisia in May 2010 and the couple were married in a religious ceremony in January 2011.
But despite her full-time position as a beauty consultant for Boots, Mrs Stewart does not earn enough to meet the requirements for her husband’s visa application.
Distraught She said: “I work six days a week, I still have to support my two youngest children. What more can I do?
“I’m a hard worker, I work to support my family and have always worked – I’ve never relied on benefits.”
The pair applied for a visitor’s visa for Mr Moulahi to come to the UK but it was refused.
The couple then applied for a settlement visa in October, just before Mrs Stewart was planning on returning to England for the birth of her grandchild.
However, the visa was refused again and his distraught wife found out a couple of weeks ago that the appeal had also been unsuccessful.
Mrs Stewart said: “I can’t take another 11 months of not living with my husband. I feel like I could break down, it takes all my strength to keep it together.”
The mother-of-four was last able to visit her husband in February but peak holiday season means flights currently cost around £600, meaning it will be months before she is able to fly out for a visit.
She is currently waiting for a court date to provide evidence to her home and family life, which could also take several months.
She added: “When I phone the courts they say they can’t be sure and it could take months. What more evidence do they need?
“I have four children, three grandchildren, Mouhamed and I lived in Tunisia together for nine months and we talk everyday on Skype or by phone.
“The system just seems to want to delay everything – they are stopping people from living their lives together.”
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