Hereford & Worcester

Hereford couple split by visa row to be reunited in UK

David and Maria Summers Image copyright Maria Summers
Image caption Maria Summers will have to apply to the Border Agency to extend her stay in 10 years time.

A couple married for 45 years but forced to live an ocean apart have won their visa battle to live together in the UK - for the next 10 years.

David and Maria Summers had been living in Canada but moved back to his family home in Herefordshire to look after his 95-year-old mother.

Mrs Summers was denied a visa and sent back to Canada just as her husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer.

After a year-long visa row she has been granted right of abode for a decade.

Updates on this story and more from Herefordshire

The mother of one said she was first refused a UK visa because they could not prove an "affectionate relationship" - a decision overturned by a tribunal.

Her next application was refused on the grounds that their joint income was insufficient, which the couple disputed.

'Nightmare over'

David Cameron said he would look into the couple's case when it was raised at Prime Minister's Questions on 18 November.

Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, said Mr and Mrs Summers had experienced "a long and frustrating struggle".

"But this decision now means Maria has the right to enter the country again and remain in the UK for at least 10 years," said Mr Norman.

"It's not yet a permanent solution, but it is a huge step forward."

'Ecstatic'

Mrs Summers was born in the Netherlands and emigrated to Canada with her parents when she was 10 years old.

Mr Summers, 70, a Herefordshire councillor for Dinedor Hill, travelled to Canada when he was 18.

The pair met at a dance in 1966 and married four years later.

Mr Summers, who has two chemotherapy sessions left of his treatment, said: "I'm ecstatic. it will ne nice not to go home to an empty house every day."

"It's been a nightmare and I hope it's over," said Mrs Summers.

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