a FRUSTRATED Gainsborough man has spoken out about what could be a very long wait before he can be together with his Thai wife.
Norman Robbins met Wilawan Rodpathom on an online dating website earlier this year, before travelling to Bangkok to marry her in June.
Now, the newly-weds are concerned that due to Visa rules laid out by the UK Borders Agency, it could take between two to five years before Wilawan can come and live here in Gainsborough.
“I’m very upset,” said Norman, 60, from Limber Close in Gainsborough.
“As I said in my letter to David Cameron - I just want us to be together, like any other man and wife.”
Norman said that he is especially frustrated because his new bride is looking to open a business here in Gainsborough.
“I completely understand why these border rules exist and agree that some people do take advantage - but our marriage is real,” he said.
“Wilawan is a very well educated woman who speaks and writes in great English. She wouldn’t be coming over here to sponge off the system because she’s a trained occupational therapist.”
He continued: “She does medical massages and wants to come over, get a shop, train up some local English girls and start her own business. There are lots of empty shops around here so it wouldn’t take us long to get going.”
Norman added: “She’d be contributing to the local economy and paying her way.”
Wilawan celebrates her 50th birthday later this year, but Norman says that it’s unlikely he’ll be able to celebrate with her.
“I won’t be able to get the time off work and it’s so expensive to travel to Bangkok.”
He added: “We love each other and just want to be together - it’s just frustrating for us both that it’s taking so long.”
A UK Border Agency spokesperson responded: “All applications for settling in the UK must meet the requirements of our immigration rules which apply equally to everyone. Any foreign national looking to settle here must show they can maintain themselves without relying on public funds.”
He continued: “Changes to the Family Migration Immigration Rules were announced by the Government in June 2012. The minimum probationary period for non-EEA spouses and partners has been extended from two to five years.”
“However, this requirement only applies to applications made on or after 9th July 2012. Applications made before that date will be considered under the existing rules and, if they qualify, will be able to apply for settlement after two years.”