Wayne’s storyPosted: 01/08/2014
I’ve haven’t seen my wife and daughter since 2009, because of a visa issue.
After six months of constant chatting, I hopped on a plane to meet Gerlie, who is also 39, in the Philippines.
We both clicked and I, not wanting to say goodbye, decided to extend my two week trip.
In September 2007 we were married then, just months later, Gerlie found out she was pregnant.
When baby Adam, now five, was born he kept on getting sick – there was a lack of clean water and basic medication.
After two years together, we both decided it would be best for our child’s health to move to the UK. The plan: I would go first with Adam, find a house, and start my wife’s visa application
With the family together, Gerlie would then look after the children while I found another job in technical support. It seemed like the perfect plan, but quickly fell apart …
Just before I flew home in summer 2009, Gerlie found out she was pregnant again. It meant I missed the birth of Angela, who is now four.
Then came another blow … For Gerlie’s permanent visa, I had to prove I had £18,600 in the bank.
As my child’s sole carer, and with no one else to help, it was impossible for me to return to a full-time job.
Feeling desperate, I contacted my local MEP and even Downing Street. But I’ve received no help.
I’ve now spent nearly FIVE YEARS trying to be reunited with my family … And to meet my little girl for the first time.
It’s only recently, with Adam starting school, that I have been free to look for work.
I’m currently completing an ICT training course to ensure my technical skills are up-to-date. But even when finished I’ll have to work around my son’s school day. It means it will be years before I have the money to get my wife’s visa … If ever at all.
For the time being, Adam and I chat online to Gerlie and Angela every day. We’re a virtual family.
Little Adam has only ever met his sister through a computer and can barely remember the touch of his own mum. He regularly asks about Gerlie and when he can see her.
I’m stuck. I can’t get the money I need without my wife with me. But I need the money to do that.
It’s frustrating. There’s a list of countries whose citizens can just come to the UK and stay visa-free, but my wife can’t. My family is literally split in half because of it.
It looks like we’ll never be together, and it’s heartbreaking to think I may never meet my daughter. But despite everything, we’re still in a very happy relationship. Nothing can split that up.
Trying to get someone to sponsor her to come to UK I think is the only way, as I’m unable prove any savings either.