Family face agonising wait for Home Office visa decision
PUBLISHED: 06:00 15 September 2018 | UPDATED: 06:16 15 September 2018
A young family has been separated and left in a state of limbo for nearly five months as they await a visa decision from the Home Office.
Vicky Gould, 31, and her 11-month-old daughter Sofia are currently living in Woolverstone, near Ipswich, while Argentine husband and father Sebastian de Leon is nearly 7,000 miles away in Buenos Aires.
The couple submitted 250 pages to apply for a UK spousal visa on April 27, following their wedding in March, but after a 92-working day wait, which exceeded the Home Office’s 60-day target, they are still yet to hear the outcome.
Last night, Vicky received an email to say a decision had been made on the visa, but the couple now face a further anxious wait for the outcome to be revealed.
The family will find out their fate when Sebastian receives his passport in the post and the Home Office has given no indication of when that will be.
Following Sofia’s birth at Ipswich Hospital in October last year, the family had to then leave Suffolk for Argentina in February to allow Sebastian, 36, who is an electronics engineer, to apply for his UK visa.
Vicky and Sofia travelled back to Suffolk in August to live with Vicky’s parents with Sebastian unable to join them until a visa decision is made.
The Argentine father now faces the prospect of missing his daughter’s first birthday.
Vicky, a charity worker, said: “I feel like a single mother. It’s very unsettling for us.
“If we haven’t heard about the visa in a month, we are going to have to go back to Argentina as we don’t want our family to be apart any longer.
“The thought of Sofia spending her first birthday apart from her father is too sad to think about, yet taking her out of nursery and changing countries yet again will be incredibly unsettling for her.
“The hardest part is trying to make any plans.
“We are both living with our parents in limbo and if we do go back to Argentina, how are we supposed to rent somewhere, not knowing for how long we may need to rent?”
A Home Office spokeswoman said: “We aim to deal with spousal visa applications within 60 days, but there are unfortunately occasions where cases can take longer to resolve.
“Mr de Leon’s application is being processed and we will be in touch with him soon.”