Thursday, October 10, 2013
Harry, 10, wants David Cameron to cut the red tape that has stranded his mother in Thailand for more than a year
A Seaton Primary School pupil has made a desperate appeal to the Prime Minister to help bring his mum home from Thailand – where she has been stranded since 2012.
Harry Carter, aged 10, wrote to David Cameron to say: “I have not seen my mum for one year. We miss her very much. My dad is great, he takes good care of me and my sister Sammi, but not the same as my mum
“Daddy tells me that you are a dad and you will listen, I hope you can help me.”
Harry and his father Steve, 49, returned from Thailand to live in Beer last October, while Sammi, six, followed in April. All are British passport holders.
Mum, Kee, remained in her native land while they obtained a settlement visa for her.
As she had previously lived and worked in England and had a job to come to as qualified dental nurse they expected her to join them soon.
But Mr Carter, an electronics engineer whose parents Anne and David Carter live in Seaton, say their attempts to get her home have been scuppered by red tape and mounting costs.
“It is annihilating us,” he told The Herald. “The children are desperate for their mum. She is not coming to live off the state or start a bomb factory. This is just tearing us apart.”
Mr Carter explained: “Thanks to the Home Office and the UK Border Agency my wife of over 10 years is still sat waiting for a decision to see if she can enter the UK legally.
“She has now missed her son’s 10th birthday and one full year of his life. She may also miss being at our daughter’s bedside when she goes in for an operation shortly. Sammi wants her mum to be there.
“It was our choice to leave (for Thailand) but on returning we have found it very difficult to obtain a settlement visa for my wife, firstly due to the fact that I could not offer sufficient financial means to support her. But I am now working as a business development manager with the Eurostat Group and struggling to juggle my work and family life with my elderly parents, as I need to travel the country.”
Mr Carter admits he made his first visa application too early but says “two visa attempts and £2,000 in fees later and there is still no word from the box tickers.”
He said Mr Cameron’s office had now written back to Harry to say it was a matter for the Home Office.
Meanwhile Seaton MP Neil Parish says he is doing what he can to help but warns there is no guarantee of a speedy resolution.
He told the family: “My office has been in touch with the UK Border Agency and they have received Mrs Carter’s (second) application on 17 September and it is currently being checked.
“I know you and your family have been extremely patient but I should warn you that even if they do not require further information the process will stake take some weeks before a decision is made.”
Added Mr Carter: “Thank you Mr Cameron and thank you Home Office, whose number one golden rule is not to separate a family – nice work!
The Home Office says it does not comment on individual cases.