Posted by James McNeile, Partner
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Visa row separates couple married for 45 years
A retired woman who hoped to settle in Hereford with her husband of 45 years was separated from him at the weekend after being refused permission to stay in the UK.
Briton David Summers and his wife Maria left Canada for Hereford in 2013, but now Mrs Summer has had to leave her husband to fly back.
The retired pair claim immigration officials said they failed to prove their love and lacked finances.
To make matters worse, 70-year-old David has been diagnosed with bladder cancer.
Mrs Summers has been living with her husband at their house in Holme Lacy having been granted entrance to the UK five months ago on a temporary visa.
Their plan was to settle here and look after Mr Summers’ elderly mother who has terminal cancer.
“The last five months has been terrific but now I have to go home and start over,” said Mrs Summers.
The couple have asked immigration staff for permission to extend her stay, but a reply asked for further information.
“We have sent them what they asked for however we have not received a reply,” said Mr Summers.
Mr Summers, originally from Hereford, travelled to Canada when he was 18 and the pair met at a dance in 1966 and married four years later.
Mrs Summers was born in the Netherlands and emigrated to Canada with her parents when she was 10-years-old.
She was refused the permanent visa because a judge said she “had not provided sufficient evidence” that she met financial requirements, despite Mrs Summers insisting the relevant documents had been submitted.
The couple have a son and granddaughter.
“It’s terrible that I can’t be here for him,” said Mrs Summers, a retired optician.
“First they said we could not prove we had an affectionate relationship, then they said we don’t feel you have the money to support yourselves.
“But we both receive pensions from Canada, David has a salary as a councillor and I do optical consultant work.”
The Home Office said it did not comment on individual cases.