A COUPLE with a six-month-old baby say they face being separated due to blunders at the UK Border Agency which have led to the mother being threatened with being forced out of the country.
Mark Cammack and his wife Jorlie have been given a week to contact immigration officials but warned they will not be able to launch an appeal until enforcement action is taken.
The couple have been told they applied to extend her stay a month late – but they say they made the request on time by recorded post and even have an acknowledgement letter. Mark, 40, said: “We don’t know what’s going to happen.
“We’ve got a six-month-old baby and I’m worried for our little one as I work nights as a HGV driver and can’t afford to give up.
“My mum is severely disabled and there is little she can do to help. I’m disgusted with the way we’ve been treated as we’ve done everything by the book.
“We even know other people whose visas have been granted even though they applied for them after we did.”
Jorlie, who is from General Santos City in the Philippines, was ordered to leave the country in a letter from the UKBA which arrived at their home in Saxon Close, Cricklade, last Monday.
She said: “It’s frustrating and upsetting for us to think that I may have to leave. My baby is here and he needs a mummy. I can’t leave him.
“I have done everything asked of me. They refused me on three grounds yet I had completed them all. It would break my heart to leave.”
Jorlie, 26, has until next Tuesday to discuss her departure with immigration officials or face what the agency terms as “enforcement action”, which could mean her being forced out of the UK or detained. The letter states that she can only appeal once action is taken against her.
The couple married at Swindon Register Office a year ago after meeting on an internet dating site.
Jorlie arrived in the UK in September last year on a six-month visa. The request was initially refused but the UKBA apologised and approved it after the couple contacted North Wiltshire MP James Gray.
Jorlie then applied for leave to remain, which would allow a two-year extension to her stay.
They sent off the documentation, including their son Colin’s birth certificate, to the UKBA in January and received an acknowledgement of the application and a letter via Mr Gray’s office several months later apologising for the delay amid a backlog of “complex” cases.
The grounds for the refusal of Jorlie’s leave to remain are her alleged late application and a failure to provide a copy of an English language test and Colin’s birth certificate. But the couple say they have provided all three and are now worried that the department has lost the originals.
The UKBA claims Jorlie made the application after her initial temporary visa ran out.
The troubled department has been condemned by MPs for a massive backlog of cases, with a damming report stating that 100,000 items of post have been left unopened. A spokesman for the Home Office said: “We do not routinely comment on individual cases but all applications are considered on their own merits and in accordance with UK immigration law.
“Those who come to the UK must abide by our laws.
“With any application it’s the responsibility of the applicant to ensure they meet the immigration rules.”
Mr Gray said: “This is a private matter between me and a constituent. I won’t be able to discuss the details.”