'Sorry we can't help': Home Office

SORRY, but there is nothing we can do to stop you being deported.That was the verdict today from the Home Office as an American man will have to leave England despite being married to an English wife.

SORRY, but there is nothing we can do to stop you being deported.

That was the verdict today from the Home Office as an American man will have to leave England despite being married to an English wife.

Doug Houtman's application for a visa to remain in the country was rejected because dealings with asylum seekers and refugees forced a change in the law.

When in America Mr Houtman was told to get a six-month visa, however he is now being told he should have got a two-year long spouse visa.


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He cannot get this when in England and will have to go back to America while his wife will still be here.

A Home Office spokeswoman has confirmed that there is no appeal against strict immigration laws.

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A statement by the Home Office said: "It is a long standing policy not to comment on individual cases.

"Overseas nationals wishing to come to the United Kingdom on the basis of marriage should apply for entry clearance from abroad.

"They will be given leave to enter the UK for two years, after which they can apply for settlement.

"Immigration rules on spouse visas were changed on April 1 to crack down on the abuse of the system where people would apply for a visitor's visa and then switch into marriage after their arrival.

"This prevented officers from examining applications in detail to confirm that the marriage was genuine and that there is adequate maintenance and accommodation."

Mr Houtman has planned to see Ipswich MP Chris Mole to get further help.

The American will hope for a similar outcome as the Mary Martin case in February. She was threatened with deportation back to America earlier this year despite living in Ipswich for 53 years.

However, after an Evening Star campaign, the Home Office changed their mind and allowed her to stay in the country.

Fast facts

Over 2,120 staff are directly involved in the overseas visa operation.

The year 2002 saw a rise in entry clearance applications of over nine per cent to around 2 million. 1.7 million visa applications were successful.

If necessary the Home Office have the power to remove those who they feel should not be in the country by using force.

Weblinks www.ukvisa.gov.uk

www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk

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