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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Woman given six days by Home Office to prove her marriage was genuine

The daughter of a terminally ill man whose American husband wants to join her in Cumbria was given six days to prove their nine-year marriage is genuine.

Amy and Vinnie Fazzalaro photo
Amy and Vinnie Fazzalaro

Amy Fazzalaro married her husband Vinnie in 2005 and settled in Florida.

But when her 66-year-old father Mike Cruickshank, of Keswick, developed prostate cancer she returned to England to spend more time with him.

That was over a year ago and since then the couple have been trying to meet tough Home Office requirements that will allow 30-year-old Vinnie to join her and for them to be reunited.

In the most recent stage of their application, on July 25, Amy received a letter telling her she had six days to prove the couple were still actually together.

She says it was a shock and has spoken of her frustration at the Home Office.

“We thought we’d sent all the documentation they needed and it seemed such a short period of time to get the information to them. It’s not easy to arrange when you’re thousands of miles from your husband or wife but we did it though,” said Amy, 27.

“It’s been difficult waiting just to get the application in. I had to be working over here for a certain period of time before Vinnie could apply to join me and now, it seems, I’m not earning enough [in her job as a veterinary technician] to support him according to the rules.

“Every day I feel how much I want to be with my husband. I wake up and he’s not there. I just want to see him again.”

Meanwhile, the strain of a divided family is taking its toll on Mr Cruickshank.

“Their separation makes me feel very sad indeed. I just want to see them back together again, for us all to be able to be together as a family again,” he told the News & Star.

“At this point in my life I really need support from my whole family, and that includes Vinnie. The thought of them being together again keeps me going on the bad days.”

In the meantime, without earning as much money as she needs to fulfil Home Office requirements for her husband to join her, Amy can only sit and wait to see what their decision is. But she says they won’t give up.

“We want to raise our children here. We want Dad to see his grandchildren while he’s till in reasonable health. We are all trying to be strong but it’s hard sometimes.”

A Home Office spokesman said Mr Fazzalaro had been asked to provide additional documentation and his application remained under consideration.

A statement added: “We welcome those who wish to make a life in the UK with their family, work hard and make a contribution. But family life must not be established here at the taxpayer's expense.

“The onus is on the applicant to provide evidence to show that they meet the criteria.”

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