British man reunited with his Thai family after 4-YEARS apart. A married couple of eight years who were forced to live 6,000 miles apart have won a visa battle for them to live together in the UK.
Andrew Dickson, of Pennyfield, Cobham, had been fighting to get his Thai wife, Supalak, residency since March 2015.
The couple have two children, both British citizens, and the refusal meant that Mr Dickson had been forced to live apart from his wife and four-year-old daughter, Faith – who had been living on the island of Koh Samui with her mum.
Mrs Dickson had initially been denied a visa because her handyman and former DJ husband had insufficient funds in his bank account – something Mr Dickson insisted was down to an error transferring money.
However, the 41-year-old has now been granted residency for two-and-a-half-years after a new application was approved by the Home Office in September.
“It’s wonderful,” said Mr Dickson.
“It’s lovely to be back together. We are very happy. We are very much a family, we’ve been together for a long time and we just wished to stay together.”
Mr Dickson, 46, says the decision sadly came too late for his parents, who died before their wish of seeing their son’s family reunited came true.
“I was absolutely devastated as I wanted my children to get to know their grandparents,” he said.
“When my wife first came in 2007 on a tourist visa, mum and dad became very close to her.”
An application to allow Mr Dickson’s wife of nine years to reside in the country was rejected in March 2015.
Laws introduced in July 2012 by the then-Home Secretary Theresa May meant that only those earning £18,600 a year would be able to bring a spouse or partner to the UK.
The Home Office calculated that Mr Dickson required £62,500 in his bank account for six months to allow for a shortfall in income to be made up from cash savings.
But he insisted he had the funds but an error when transferring them to the designated bank account meant they were unable to stay there for the six months required by the Home Office.
Mr Dickson, who also has a seven-year-old son Benjamin, who goes to school in Cobham, with his wife, said the decision impacted on his ability to work and raise funds for a new application.
“I took care of Ben and took him to school, but how on Earth can you work when on a one-parent family?” he said.
But since being reunited he said his children love being together and his wife and daughter are settling in well since moving in September.
“We love the democracy here, I love the fairness and the children’s education is fantastic,” he said.
“We’ve come back here to lead a family life.”
Mrs Dickson intends to apply for permanent residency when she is allowed to in five years.