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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Home Office delay for Cumbrian dad kicked out of UK

A mother whose husband was forced to leave the country a year ago faces a further three-month agonising wait to hear of his fate.

Family photo
Robin and Debbe with children Kennedy and Kara, back. Front, Kristofer and Kyslie

Debbie Catwell Forde’s family was torn apart last October when her husband Robin was kicked out of the UK and told to return to his homeland of Barbados.

Debbie, 45, and the couple’s four children, Kara, 17, Kennedy, 13, Kyslie, 10, and seven-year-old Kristofer, have only seen Robin once in 12 months when they flew out to Barbados in March.

They have been living each day in the hope that they will get the result of their appeal, asking officials to reconsider the ruling, but have just been hit with the news that it could now be February when they get a decision.

“We’re all just in limbo,” a tearful Debbie told the News & Star.

“It’s an absolute nightmare and I don’t know whether I’m coming or going. We have been through hell and back.

“Robin has missed so much: Kara’s 17th birthday – which is the second birthday of hers he’ll have missed – and he’ll miss Kristofer’s birthday for the second time.”

Debbie, a British citizen, lodged an appeal with the UK Border Agency (UKBA) against the decision to kick Robin out of the country in February and said she was initially told to expect a decision by July 26.

But the day came and went, and she was then told that she had to wait until October 3, or “shortly after,” as a judge was now looking at the case.

She called the UKBA on October 3 and was told it would be another five weeks, plus an extra 10 days to inform her.

However, Debbie, of Mirehouse in Whitehaven, said she has now been told that it could be February before she hears any news – which would be a year after she lodged the appeal against the original ruling.

“I’m blessed I’ve got the kids with me – I don’t know how Robin’s coping,” she said. “It’s been a very rough year and it is constantly on my mind. Every morning I wake up and I’m so grouchy. I look in the mirror and I see an old woman.”

And if the decision comes back as a no, Debbie said there is “no way” that she can take her family to live in Barbados as the children are settled in the UK.

“There’s no chance we can go back,” she said. “Kara has just started sixth form so I would have to leave her behind and I can’t do that. The other children are all heavily involved in sports.”

Robin, who works in Barbados to support his family, previously travelled to the UK to see his family for two months, four times a year.

Previous laws have enabled him to travel to the country as a visitor and stay with his family for up to six months at a time.

But a change in the law means he now has to show that he and his wife have an annual income of £18,600 for the next two-and-a-half years plus £16,000 in savings, for a visa to be approved.

Debbie was due to meet Copeland MP Jamie Reed today. A spokesman from the Home Office said he could not comment.

jbarwise@cngroup.co.uk

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