Coatbridge man's wife faces deportation
10 April 2018, 12:21
A father has accused the UK Government of "ignoring" his family after his Belarus wife was told she will be deported.
Olya Merry, from Coatbridge, said she "burst into tears" when she received a letter from the Home Office saying she could be deported if she does not leave the UK this week.
Mrs Merry, who has a two-year-old daughter, said she had struggled to get permission to stay in the UK ever she married husband Derek five years ago.
She said she had been "refused visa after visa".
She continued: "On Saturday I received a letter from the Home Office telling me I would be deported.
"I felt absolute shock, devastated, numb, I burst into tears because I couldn't believe it.
"I couldn't believe it would happen to me because I just have a peaceful, loving family and they want to deport me."
The couple lived in Ireland for almost six months, with Mr Merry saying the Home Office had advised them to make use European freedom of movement rules.
They gave up their jobs and homes in Belarus and Scotland and moved to Ireland, where they say the rules required to have their "centre of life" for at least three months before relocating to Scotland under an EU family permit.
Mr Merry told the programme: "We returned because she fell pregnant, and then they changed their ideas and said 'No' to letting us stay in Britain."
He said he was now terrified officials would come to the family's home to take his wife away.
Mr Merry said: "I would assume they will at some point, if she doesn't willingly leave, they're going to come to the door.
"It absolutely terrifies me to death, I don't want to lose my wife and my daughter. What father wants to lose their family?
"We've tried to get the Home Secretary, we've tried to get the Prime Minister, but we're just being ignored.
"We're citizens of this country and they are ignoring us, this is our government that is doing this to their own people."
The Home Office has told Capital that they do not comment on individual cases.
They say they have established clear rules for British citizens looking to bring their non-EEA family members to the UK under both the UK Immigration rules and under the EEA regulations.