An American-born man may be deported from the UK because a judge doesn’t recognize his legal marriage.
The 41-year-old American-born Brian Page met 36-year-old Ben when they were both on the same train in 2012. The two continued their relationship, with Ben traveling to the US on an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ETSA) visa. The two were married in 2014.
Trouble arrived for the couple when Ben’s mother became ill and the couple flew to the UK to be with her. This time, Brian used an ESTA visa with a valid limit of six months.
Unfortunately, the prolonged illness led to Brian needing to extend his stay. After a four-year battle with the immigration department, one judge has decided that their union only counts as a “civil partnership.”
“It’s crazy,” said Ben to Milton Keynes, “because we’re legally married and this government voted to recognize gay marriage. Yet they are forbidding Brian, my legal husband, to stay here.”
The couple also share that the judge wrote in the determination letter that they should consider moving to Canada.
“Home Office has refused to recognize our 4-year marriage instead calling it a 'partnership'! Also suggested that we could go live in Canada where neither of us has any ties (Yes, she actually said that in her determination letter!),” they wrote online.
Things have also become worse for the couple financially. Not only has Brian, an architect, been unable to work, but the two have sustained large legal expenses (£17,000). In addition, they now need another £1,500 within the next two days or they may be separated for a possible two years.
To help fundraise the amount for an appeal, the two have started up a Go Fund Me page.
As they wrote in the page’s description:
“I never thought we would be here asking for people to help us stay together. We are hard-working people who haven't ever asked for anything from anyone until now. After draining all of our savings over the last 4 years fighting this, we don’t have the money to fight this last bit. I have tried everything to get it in time but they purposely give you 14 days so you don’t have the time. I wish I could borrow the money but I don’t know who else to ask! So we are here. At the worst point for us.”
At the time of this post's publication, the two have raised £920 of the £1,500 goal.
h/t: MK Citizen