Well this is awkward.
A Canadian woman is being forced to prove she loves her husband of 45 years to avoid being kicked out of the U.K. Maria Summers’ problems with British authorities began in 2013, after customs officials told her when she first arrived that she was welcome to stay in the country for six months. After that, however, the couple would have to depart for at least 24 hours to open a new six month window.
To comply with the order, the couple took a one-week vacation to Malta, but say they faced scrutiny once they returned. Summers says customs officials detained her for five hours, where she was questioned, photographed and fingerprinted.
Not wanting to go through that process again, Summers decided to apply for an extended visa that would grant her all the same travel permissions as her husband, who is a British passport holder. The application for that document included a copy of her marriage license dated 1970, along with a name deed from 1985 (Summers says the entire family changed surnames at that time for personal reasons).
The name change document raised the eyebrows of British authorities, and that seems to be what’s causing all the fuss.
“It is reasonable to expect that in a genuine subsisting, supportive and affectionate relationship, there would be evidence of regular contact, signs of companionship, emotional support, affection, and abiding interest in each other’s welfare and well-being throughout the entire duration of your relationship,” the rejection letter states.
“…I am therefore not satisfied that your relationship is genuine and subsisting or that you intend to live together permanently in the U.K.”
Wow, that’s an interesting response. Especially when one considers the facts:
First up, THEY HAVE A 42-YEAR-OLD SON TOGETHER. They’ve also been married for 45 years. And the entire reason they wanted to move to the U.K. in the first place, is to care for the husband’s sick mother.
Surely, none of that screams “subsisting,” “supportive” or even “affectionate.”
As a result of the bizarre ruling, Summers has now been forced into the awkward position of having to prove her affection to her husband to British authorities in court. She’s already amassed a collection of photographs that she thinks prove the strength of their emotional bond, which chronicles entire decades.
But she worries it may not be enough.
“How am I going to show them that we have a loving relationship? We’ve been married for 45 years, we’ve known each other for 50 years,” she told the Canadian Press. “We’ve been together for a long time. It’s not like I’m a young bride and wanted citizenship somewhere.”
The U.K. border agency is expected to hand down its ruling on the appeal sometime in late May.