My husband’s UK Settlement Visa was wrongly refused. Please help me overturn this decision.
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I am Vicky Salda a British National, my husband is Benj Salda, a Philippine National. We have two children together, Thomas who is aged 2 years 9 months and is undergoing assessments for autism, and Hollie aged 9 months. My children and I have lived almost 7,000 miles apart from my husband for the last 11 months due to UK visa restrictions. My daughter has not yet met her Daddy.
We have been able to meet the requirements to apply for the visa where it states in Appendix 18.104.22.168, that if you get Disability Living Allowance on behalf of your child then you are eligible to meet the adequate maintenance allowance. We were therefore able to apply for my husband to join us in the UK. In February 2018, we applied but our application was denied.
I met Benj in the Philippines in 2014 and we soon fell in love and decided to get married. I lived in the Philippines for 3 years in total with my husband and later our son. In 2017, my father took seriously ill with a heart condition and for this and other reasons, I wanted to move back to the UK so I could be near my Mum and Dad. Unfortunately at this point we realised that it was not going to be possible to return to the UK as a family. At the time I was pregnant with Hollie and I travelled alone with Thomas back to the UK leaving Benj in the hope he would be able to join us as soon as possible.
I suffered a very difficult pregnancy but also I started to notice some really worrying developmental problems with Thomas. He was still unable to speak and he was displaying some unusual behaviour patterns that were making him unsafe and needing constant supervision. I decided to see my local health visitor and have some assessments done which she has requested.
Thomas has many special requirements and there are many concerns about his social and emotional development. Thomas needs 24 hour supervision and care as he has no concept of danger. He is currently undergoing assessment for autism. He sees many specialists including a paediatrician, Ear Nose and Throat as he might have mild hearing loss and needs an Auditory Brainstem Response test under general anaesthetic. He sees Portage once a week, and has Occupational Therapy for sensory issues. He has seen a physiotherapist and is hyper mobile, and a speech therapist. He needs 1-1 support at nursery which he has only just been able to start as there was no 1-1 support available until now.
Despite providing all of the relevant documentation in our application, our visa refusal letter stated
“We considered under paragraphs GEN 3.1 and GEN 3.2 of Apendix FM as applicable, whether there are exceptional circumstances in our case which could or would render refusal a breach of Article 8 of the ECHR because it could or would result in unjustifiably harsh consequences for you or your family. In so doing, we have taken into account under paragraph GEN 3.3 of of Appendix FM, the best interests of any relevant child as a primary consideration.
Based on the information you have provided we have decided there are no such exceptional circumstances in your case.”
The Home Office did note that our son Thomas was currently under assessment for sensory processing skills and is receiving Disability Allowance and that we wanted to raise our children together and support one another financially and emotionally making sure our children had the best chances possible.
However, they continued by saying,
“We have reached this decision because I am not satisfied that a refusal would lead to unjustifiably harsh consequences to either you or your family. I have also considered the best interests of your children.”
The Home Office believes it is perfectly acceptable for me to continue being a single mother to a child with severe developmental difficulties, and a baby.
As things stand currently my family has become a greater burden on the taxpayer as I am totally reliant on support from the benefits system. I don’t want this. I want my husband to be here to support me so between us we can find a way to support our family. Currently there is no way I can work with a baby under 1 year and a child who needs 24 hour care and supervision. There is no way my husband can support us from the Philippines where a daily wage is less than £4.
These circumstances have had an enormous impact on my mental health. It is perfectly normal that I miss my husband who is my best friend, but I have no support with my children. It is very difficult to leave the house, get to appointments, cook meals and generally do anything that involves looking after myself as I have a child who needs all of my attention and a baby. I don’t believe I should have to be struggling like this when our application should have been successful according to the ruling by the Home Office.
We have since asked for a review of our application however this is taking an unknown length of time and when in contact with the Home Office or my Local MP I am given standard responses that do not answer my questions or give me any idea how much longer I have to survive for like this.
Please can you help us correct this wrong refusal of the visa and bring my husband home to his family.
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