SA couple win fight not to be deported from the UK
The couple had fought since earlier this year to stay in the country after Gail's spousal visa expired and could not be renewed. She was told to leave the UK and then reapply for a visa‚ but decided to stay put and try to resolve the problem.
Freathy‚ 58‚ who is British-born‚ and South African-born Gail then applied for a family permit or leave-to-remain visa. Both were denied. After initially being told they had just 28 days to leave‚ Gail appealed the decision against the family visa application.
An ecstatic Gail later received a letter saying her appeal had been successful‚ after they turned for help to the European Convention on Human Rights.
"We are just beside ourselves with joy. We won on human rights grounds. The judge ruled in our favour‚ along with awarding us the costs of the hearing‚" said Freathy.
Fearing the worst‚ the couple were prepared to sell their photographic shop in Devon to fund their battle.
"It is such a relief. We have been able to keep the shop. Thank goodness‚" said Freathy.
The pair left South Africa for Britain in 2013 after a violent robbery at their Johannesburg home. They invested "every cent" in moving‚ with furniture and pets‚ to start the photographic shop.
The spousal visa‚ according to Freathy‚ was initially not renewed because the Home Office discovered that the business the couple owned was not paying them a full salary.
Freathy said their business made £55‚000 (R909‚000) profit last year‚ which was put back into the business‚ instead of paying themselves a salary.
Source: TMG Digital.