URGENT PETITION: GRANT CLIVE AND YVONNE KARUSSEIT INDEFINITE LEAVE TO STAY VISAS
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After living here for five and a half years, my husband and I were informed that our visa applications for Indefinite Leave to Stay had been declined. The reasons given were: "We have not given sufficient proof that we are proficient in English and that despite passing our Life in the UK tests, which state we reached the required level for the purpose of obtaining Indefinite Leave to stay in the UK, we do not have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK!" We were ill advised as to whether we were required to write an English test due to our origins and the fact English was our home language. My husband, Clive, supplied his original certificates from Cambridge and City of Guild London where it shows he passed English. I supplied certificates from Blount Commercial Academy were it shows a first class pass in English. I also supplied them with proof that I attended a week Fraud Conference at Cambridge University and that was obviously all in English. We have now been in the UK for seven years, having spent the last two years fighting to remain here, in the country we call home!
I was born and raised in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) before UDI was declared. My husband Clive was born in South Africa but he went to Rhodesia when he was about 5 months old. Clive's father was transferred there after making guns for Britain during the second world war. My mother is Rhodesian born and bred. Her grandfather was a Grenadier Guard and was sent to South Africa to fight for Britain in the Boer War. His sons were born there, one of them being my grandfather, hence the reason we were born in Africa. My step father (who will always be my father) adopted me and my siblings when we were very young and so I was granted an Ancestral Visa and my husband a spousal visa. My father left Britain when he was about 19 years having been offered a position in Mozambique. He volunteered his services, aged twenty, when the second world war broke out and was in the Southern Rhodesian Armoured Car Division, ending the war in Italy. Britain was keen to develop the colonies and so Dad was given a farm in Rhodesia for his services during the war. This was a massive incentive for him to stay in Africa.
I have an inherent fear of having to return to South Africa because of all the violence there now, which is where we will be sent, if deported. Having lived through the Rhodesian war and experienced horrors there, plus the fact I lived in South Africa after fleeing Rhodesia, I have nightmares on a regular basis of what happened. My mum was attacked in Rhodesia and sustained injuries, one of which has left her totally deaf in her left ear. I was attacked sitting in my car in South Africa. I fought back and ended up cuts and bruises as well as a wrist broken in three places. We just cannot go back to Africa! Everything we own is here in the UK which we have made our home!
Terry Ford, my eldest brother (Dad's only son) was brutally murdered on his farm in Zimbabwe after being beaten and tortured. His faithful companion, Squeak, went everywhere with Terry. He refused to leave Terry's battered body and remained curled up next to his master for hours. Squeak was really very traumatised by what he saw happen to Terry. Terry was farming in Rhodesia, near Salisbury (now Harare) in the Norton area. Robert Mugabe’s sister visited him and wanted his farm. Terry said no and she said " I am Mugabe's sister and what I want I get". Terry was brutally murdered on the farm not long after that. His death made international headlines and members of the family were plagued by the press. Terry was an amazing brother and my siblings and I loved him dearly. He was a gentle giant with an amazing sense of humour. My Father suffered a number of strokes after Terry's murder, choosing not to accept his gruesome death for over a year. We were finally able to bring him back to the UK (he was British) in November 2010.
Our schooling was British, our exams were British and marked in the UK. Our upbringing was very British. Coming here to the UK was like coming home for us. We have worked hard and bought a lovely home in Melbourne, Derby. It has an annex so my parents could live with us and I could care for them. My parents came with us as Mugabe had stopped all pensions and medical aid and they had nothing. We have taken care of them for the past 16 years. Clive has an excellent job as an Estimator for an Engineering Company in Derbyshire. We have settled here, we are happy here and we are safe here. Our family can never return to Zimbabwe and we have nothing left in South Africa to return to. We have never once asked anyone to support us. We pay our taxes, our NI and our rates and taxes. I take care of my ailing Mum (I am her registered, full time carer). Dad sadly passed away just over four years ago.
My elderly mother has dementia and other debilitating medical problems. With her dementia, she relies on me to do most things for her. There will be no family to take care of her if we are deported. The fact that we grew up in Rhodesia and were brought up in the British way under British rule for many years does not appear to count for much, sadly. Our British roots also seem to count for nothing.
We have now been granted 30 month "Leave to Remain" visas, eighteen months now remaining. I was advised to find a job of some sorts as being a carer is not considered a job for Indefinite Leave to Remain and I am the main applicant! I shall continue to take care of Mum, whilst working part time at our local SPAR. I am only 5 minutes walk from home should Mum need me. After two year of hell, we are blessed to still be here. I have subsequently suffered a heart attack due to the on going pressure and am now recovering from it. OUR FIGHT IS NOT OVER! WE WILL NOT GIVE UP!
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