Family reunited after delayed visa application is approved
A young family left in limbo by a delayed Home Office visa decision enjoyed an emotional reunion at the weekend.
Vicky Gould, 31, and daughter Sofia were separated from Argentine husband and dad Sebastian de Leon as they anxiously waited for the outcome of his visa application.
The father, who was 7,000-miles away in Buenos Aires, even faced the prospect of missing his daughter’s first birthday.
The couple had submitted 250 pages of documentation for a UK spousal visa in April, following their March wedding, but faced an agonising 95-working day wait for a decision – which exceeded the Home Office’s 60-day target.
After this newspaper featured their story last month, Sebastian received his visa in the post four days later.
Sebastian, 36, arrived in the UK on October 5 – just in time to celebrate Sofia’s first birthday at Vicky’s parents’ home in Woolverstone, near Ipswich, on October 7.
The family will move into their own home in Manningtree, Essex, on Sunday.
Vicky, a charity worker, said: “We’re just so happy, we were in limbo for so long, it’s great that the wait is finally over and we can get back to normality again.
“It was a period of such anxiety for us and it feels like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders.
“Sebastian arrived just in time for Sofia’s first birthday and it was lovely to get all the family together to celebrate.”
The couple met in January 2016 when Vicky was working in Buenos Aires and she was introduced to Sebastian through a mutual friend to practice her Spanish.
Electronics engineer Sebastian, who is launching a start-up business called Creative Languages, said: “We’re so happy that we’re ending this long journey for a visa.
“Sofia’s first birthday was the cut-off, if we hadn’t got the visa by then they were going to come out to Argentina to live.”
While he was in the country for Sofia’s birth last year, Sebastian took in an Ipswich Town football match with Vicky’s dad.
He added that he was looking forward to getting back to Portman Road in the near future.
“I saw Ipswich play Birmingham,” he said.
“To be honest, it was not a very good game but I hope to see them again and see them score some more goals.”