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British Dad and Children separated from Mum after immigration officers refuse to give her UK visa | Immigration Matters

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In an all too familiar ‘family separated by Immigration Rules’ case, a desperate British Father has launched a last ditch attempt to be reunited with his wife from the Dominican Republic who cannot get a visa to join him in Huntingdon, Cambridge, in the UK.

Jason di Leva, 42, and the couple’s two-year-old twins Iliana and Liahn, can only communicate with mum Zulaika, 31, over a Skype and phone links from her home on the Caribbean island.

He said he has already paid out nearly £10,000 in failed attempts to bring his wife to the UK.

Jason, an IT expert from Mill Common, wants immigration officials to reconsider Zulaika’s case and allow her into the country.

Zulaika’s visa applications were refused on the grounds that her English was not good enough and because Jason was not considered to be earning enough – at least £18,600 – to support her.

He is now planning to appeal, but may have to introduce article 8 human rights grounds as she does not meet the Immigration Rules.

He said: “My wife speaks very good English but the English test they gave her was a Canadian one and she had trouble with the accent. Last year was not very good for me financially, but this year things are going a lot better, but they would not take that into account.

“I just want to bring her to the UK so I can get back to work properly and we can become family again.”

Jason said: “It looks to me like they are looking for any excuse.

“She cries all the time and is super-depressed and she regrets letting the children come here. I feel like my life has come to an end, to be honest. There is no reason why she shouldn’t be let in.”

Jason is looking after the twins during the day and is working on a range of IT and design projects at night when they are in bed, which is restricting his ability to work and contribute to the UK economy.

He met Zulaika on a holiday to the Dominican Republic and decided to remain on the island where the couple married and had their twins.

He said: “The time came when I wanted to get back to England so I could work and I also wanted the children to grow up in a more secure environment.

“Where Zulaika lives there is blistering heat, cholera epidemics, raw sewage running down the street and there is only electricity four or five hours a day.”

He said attempts to get Zulaika to the UK as a visitor, fiancée and then as a wife were all turned down, but he was able to bring the twins into the country.

Now he is trying to bring his wife in with her nine-year-old son Angel. Source: Cambridge News.

Jason di Leva

Jason di Leva with wife Zulaika on their wedding day with twins Iliana and Liahn, and Zulaika’s son Angel

Immigration Matters receives hundreds of emails from families torn apart by the new family migration Rules introduced last year.

Adviser Cynthia Barker said the new rules are having grave consequences for families of British Citizens or those settled in the UK.

“Many are from British people who have gone abroad to work for a period, but now find themselves unable to return to their own country with their non-EU wife and children because they do not yet have a job in the UK and, therefore, cannot show the minimum required £18600 of income for the last six months.”

Last year the UKBA has conducted a major overhaul of the Immigration Rules to make it far more difficult non-EU citizens to join their family members in the UK, or to stop what former Immigration Minister Damian Green called ‘chain migration’.

The visa restrictions extend to British settled persons who want their spouse, unmarried or same sex civil partner to come and live with them in Britain. You must now prove earnings of at least £18,600 per annum or have substantial savings, otherwise your partner’s visa will be refused.

The new Immigration Rules do not apply to European or EEA nationals living in the UK or who have recently arrived here.

Under the 2004 freedom of movement EU directive of 2004, EEA nationals living here can bring non-EU dependent relatives – including those living outside Europe – to settle in the UK without any restrictions and few conditions.

This includes those who may have just arrived from or have previously live in any EU country.

Even visa overstayers with EEA national relatives can exercise their family rights to stay in the UK under European rules.

Unfortunately for some, since the European expansion in 2004 the UK Immigration Rules have become harder and tougher on non-EU migrants, to make up for the fact that EEA immigration laws are so easy and flexible.

Cynthia Barker added what could be an alternative solution for some:

“What most people do not realise is that she, like other British people, can become EEA nationals and gain the same rights for their relatives as other Europeans.”

If you have been arrested or detained, need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 1, 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed, Spouse Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please call 01908 488 638  or email us at: or visit for free immigration news updates.

Related articles:

New Immigration Rules split non-EEA families apart


Marrying a foreign national – new Family Immigration Rules apply from Monday 9 July

Family settlement changes – new VAF4 forms required from 9 July 2012

Baroness Warsi attacks ‘racist’ Home Office crackdown on family immigration

UK Government wants curbs on EU migration – Bulgarians and Romanians already restricted

New appeal regulations on family visit visa confirmed


New Immigration Rules take effect 1 October

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