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Katharine Plows: ‘We were ignored by UKBA’

Katharine Plows and her partner David Bartholomeusz had to surrender their passports for nearly eight months while applying for a FLR-M unmarried partner visa.

Bartholomeusz came to the UK from Australia in 2010 on a Tier 1 Highly Skilled visa and sent in his application in July 2012, with Plows’ passport as his sponsor.

During this time, they were ignored by UKBA who failed to respond to letters, faxes and emails as well as numerous phone calls.

They involved their MP, Streatham’s Chuka Umunna, but UKBA wrote back to him saying they couldn’t tell him anything about their application.

Plows, 25, who’s British, said: “I can say without a doubt that it was the most stressful 32 weeks we’ve had in our relationship. We were unable to go back to Australia for Christmas. We missed the birth of his brother’s son as well as friends’ weddings and babies.  

“The hardest part was the fact that we had absolutely no control over the situation. David felt like he was being kept prisoner in the UK.”

And it wasn’t just their travel plans put on hold. Plows and Bartholomeusz, 35, have jobs that require them to leave the country.

“David’s work got very frustrated – especially as they opened a new office in the US during this time and needed him to train new employees. As for me, I also tour, but as David’s sponsor, I had to surrender my passport, paying £130 for a second one so that I could fulfil my duties.

“It was such a stressful time for us. We would welcome any pressure put on the government to reform the UKBA.”

Got a UKBA horror story? We want to hear all about it. Email the details to carol.driver@tntmultimedia.com

Sign the petition here.

Photos: Getty; Sohpie Roper,PA WIRE


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