A truck driver has been cut off from his wife and two children after returning from Australia after Home Office bureaucrats wouldn’t give his family a visa.
Heartbroken dad Gary Moss from Halifax has been waiting a year-and-a-half to hold his wife of 14 years Carmel and children Jonathan, 11, and Natalie, 13, in his arms after he claims civil servants botched their visa application.
Mr Moss said he felt ‘betrayed’ by his country after being told his Australian wife could not move to the UK with their two children, who both have British passports.
And the last time his family came to visit, they were quizzed by immigration for six hours, reducing his teen daughter to tears.
Pen pushers said he did not meet the Home Office salary requirement to bring a foreign spouse into the country.
The Home Office minimum is £18,600 but Mr Moss claimed he provided documentary evidence to immigration officials showing he earned £21,000 driving trucks.
The 43-year-old said: “It’s easier for people to come from a non-English speaking country into the UK than people in Australia.
“Everyone seems to be running from a war and asking for every kind of handout there is and getting it.
“But I’m a British man and my children are British and I can’t live here with my wife and the mother of my children. I’m being persecuted for being British.”
Each visa application costs £2,000 and Gary says he does not know what the family will do if Carmel’s second application, which was submitted last month, is refused.
The dad compared the situation to prison and added: “It’s like being incarcerated, living in limbo.
“We can’t make plans. We can’t look forward to a holiday, or Christmas, or birthdays.
“There is no life. It’s just existence. Being away from your family is torture, especially if it’s a close knit family.
“I was there when my kids were born. It’s horrific to miss them growing up.
“My wife struggles, she doesn’t think she’s a good enough parent. She can’t balance the books each month. It’s awful.”
Mr Moss lived in Australia for 18 years and met his wife Carmel, a court clerk, in 1997 through his hobby ballroom dancing.
The couple married and had two children together but Gary always wanted to raise Natalie and Jonathan as UK citizens.
He said: “England is my home and I want my children to be raised in Britain.
“There’s better schooling here and better opportunities, they will have Europe on their doorstep.”
Mr Moss returned to the UK and settled in December 2015 to ensure that the family met the criteria for a spouse visa.
He said: “I got a house and I got a job that provided the income, then I had to hold them for three months to provide the evidence.
“We did everything that was required.”
Mr Moss told how the family had a terrible experience when Carmel, Natalie and Jonathan travelled to the UK for a month’s holiday last June.
“My children were taken into a separate room for six hours while there were checks on my wife at the airport.
“At no time did anyone let me know that my children were being detained. I thought it was illegal to detain children.
“My daughter Natalie was sobbing when she was finally let out. They are petrified of coming back to Britain because of that ordeal.”
Mr Moss does not know what he will do if Carmel’s second visa application is refused: “If this fails it is an 18 month wait to get it into a court.
“My children won’t be children anymore.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “All applications are carefully considered on their individual merits, in line with the UK immigration rules and based on evidence provided by the applicant.”