South East Wales

Home Office U-turn over stroke survivor's wife's visa

Leah and Simon Waterman
Image caption Leah Waterman cares for her husband Simon who can barely speak and needs 24-hour help

The wife of a stroke survivor who was told she must leave the UK to apply for a visa has now had it approved.

Leah Waterman, who is from the Philippines, had faced being split from her husband Simon who can barely speak and needs 24-hour help.

Mr Waterman had been told he would have to become the sole carer of their two children at their home in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire.

But the Home Office has now confirmed they can stay together.

Mrs Waterman said she felt "happy and overwhelmed".

"I'm looking forward to every day now we don't have to think about what's going to happen next," she said.

"We are more focussed on Simon's condition.

"We can be more relaxed and not worry about anything, it means we can move forward."

Image caption Leah Waterman cares for her husband who has seizures

Mr Waterman, who can communicate with the help of a mobile phone app, said he felt "happy, awesome, proud" after the decision.

Mr Waterman, 56, uses a wheelchair and has regular seizures after having a severe stroke in September 2015 when living in the Philippines.

After spending more than a month in hospital, Mr Waterman and his wife and children - now seven and 10 - visited family in Monmouthshire in December 2015.

Shortly afterwards, Mr Waterman developed seizures and the couple decided to stay near his family for support.

On the expiry of Mrs Waterman's visitor's visa in July 2016, she applied to remain in the country.

The Home Office had ruled the family did not have the exceptional circumstances required to apply for a visa from within the UK and Leah would need to apply from the Philippines, leaving the family behind.

But with the help of their MP David Davies, the visa has now been approved.

"In light of the new information provided as part of Ms Waterman's appeal, we were able to take into account her exceptional circumstances and have now granted her limited leave to remain," said a Home Office spokesperson.

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