a NELSON couple are fighting the UK Borders Agency in a bid to bring their two children to this country from Thailand.
Stephen Aspin and his Thai-born wife Chamaiporn, of Edward Street, had their original visa applications for Phanuwat (eight) and Natnicha Khaophuan (seven) turned down in August and an appeal hearing is set to take place later in 2013.
The UKBA says their application does not meet all the requirements of this country’s immigration rules, but Mr Aspin says some of their reasoning is flawed.
The children have been brought up by Mrs Aspin’s grandparents since she came to this country in 2006 – their father has since remarried and has little or no contact with them.
And with Mrs Aspin’s father having died in 2010 and her mother now 70 years old and becoming increasingly forgetful, the couple feel the children’s rightful place is in this country.
“The agency says they have no evidence of contact between us and my wife’s mother, yet her passport has been stamped eight times for visiting Thailand and I have two pages of phone calls we have made which they have seen.
“It is all contradictory and a shambles.”
Mr Aspin also said he and his wife send £100 a month to Thailand to continue funding their children’s private education.
“When they started school, I had lost my job and the recession was starting here and we thought it best to leave them in Thailand, thinking it would be over in a year,” said self-employed bricklayer Mr Aspin.
“But things have lasted longer than we thought and the family circumstances out there have changed.
“It is best they come here but the agency has turned our applications down.
“We have spent a lot of time and money on this and my wife is a British citizen, but the agency has still turned us down. I think it’s a travesty.”