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Husband of Borehamwood mother-to-be denied visa to see daughter born
A mother-to-be faces giving birth alone after her husband was refused permission to come to this country in her hour of need.
Emma Hassine, 25, who is seven and a half months pregnant, married her husband Othman, 21, a Tunisian national, in May this year.
They couple had hoped to live together in Borehamwood.
But soon after they got married, she lost her job, meaning she was no longer earning enough to sponsor a spousal visa for her husband to live with her in the UK.
Mrs Hassine, who lives in Martins Walk in Borehamwood, then applied for a six-month family visit visa so her husband could be in the country to witness the birth of his daughter and help his wife in the first difficult months.
However, the UK Border Agency refused their application on the grounds it did not believe he would return home at the end of that time.
A change in the law made in June means her husband has no right to appeal the decision.
Mrs Hassine said she was “astonished” her husband had been denied permission.
She added: “It is absolutely ludicrous. He has extremely strong family ties in Tunisia; he has every intention of returning when his time in the UK is up as he would not risk never seeing his family again.
“We provided sufficient evidence to show I would support and accommodate him whilst he was in the UK.”
She said she thought her husband was being punished because he did not have a good enough job, adding his human rights, including his right to family life, were being contravened by the refusal.
Mrs Hassine, who is currently training to be a hairdresser, said she was terrified at the prospect of being without her husband during the birth of her first child in February.
She said: “We are both devastated and feel that this special time in both out lives has just been filled with stress and upset.
“We feel stuck on what to do and where to go. I think it is a very serious matter that genuine families are being kept apart in this kind of situation.
“No one has the right to keep families apart. This is causing me major stress and upset through my pregnancy. I just want my husband with me.”
Mrs Hassine has launched an online petition to raise awareness of her situation and ask for the law to be changed.
She said: “The right of appeal for a family visit visa has stopped and time is running out.
“Something has to happen. Immigration laws have to be changed.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “Applications for visit visas will be refused if prospective travellers fail to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate their intention to leave the UK at the end of the planned trip.”
The petition can be found here.
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