Sidcup couple pushed to brink of divorce over immigration fight

Gary and Claudia Edwards with their immigration papers.

The couple with Claudia's daughters who attend Welling School and are 'well settled'.

Mr Edwards with all his wife's immigration papers.

First published in News
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A MARRIED couple say they are on the brink of divorce after spending £17,000 fighting to stay together in the UK.

Gary Edwards, 52, and his Brazillian wife Claudia, 35, of Blackfen Road, Sidcup, feel they have been unfairly treated and claim they were given misleading information about the immigration guidelines.

Claudia, who currently has a two-year leave to remain visa says she has been spending 12 hours a day trying to pass the Knowledge of Life test which is required for indefinite leave to remain living in the UK.

She has failed it three times and Mr Edwards says the couple's money is quickly running out as his wife only has a cleaning job.

The mother-of-two said: "We went to the immigration office in Croydon last October a week before my appointment with the evidence I had passed my English language exam.

"I was told I had all the right documents and should pass the test next week.

"I went back a week later for my appointment and was told I had failed because I had not put forward the right documents.

"Each time you apply for indefinite leave to remain it costs £3752 and we have already done this twice.

"We are spending our life savings on these immigration tests and applications.

"All I want to be able to do is to live in the UK with my husband and two daughters.

"I was failed in October because I had not given any evidence of passing the Knowledge of Life test.

"I wasn't told about this test before the appointment and there was no way we could get the money back.

"I have now been spending all day everyday trying to answer the questions which are quite difficult, normal people in the UK would find it hard to pass."

Examples of the kinds of questions include: A very impressive hill fort can still be seen today at Maiden Castle, in the English county of ______? and how old is the Big Ben bell?

Mr Edwards, who currently is out of work because of a back injury, said his wife is even considering divorce because it is putting so much stress on their relationship.

He added: "We lived in Goiania in Brazil straight after we got married but I just couldn't adjust to life out there.

"We came back to the UK at the end of 2011 and started the process to try and get Claudia a permanent visa.

"My wife will probably only give this test one more chance because she cannot handle it anymore, it is to much for us.

"We have spent so much money already and our money is running out fast.

"I have written to our MP James Brokenshire but not recieved any kind of useful response."

James Brokenshire, MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, said: "I respond to all enquiries from constituents and have made clear that I am very willing to raise this case with the Immigration Minister.

"I am looking forward to receiving further details to take this forward."

A Home Office spokesperson added: "All applications are considered on their individual merits and in line with the immigration rules.

"Although Mrs Edwards completed an English language exam she did not provide evidence of passing the Knowledge of Life test, which is a requirement of the rules.

"She has been granted leave to remain for a further two years to allow her to do this."

The couple have spent: £3750 on the first part of British immigration, £3752 for one attempt for a permanent immigration application, £4700 on flights back and forth from Brazil £3000 on visas for the UK while in Brazil £2000 on solicitors fees.

Comments (25)

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3:41pm Tue 4 Feb 14

PoppyGreenLeaf says...

Pushed to brink of divorce. Dont make me laugh, I am sure the wedding vowels were something along the lines of "For better and Worse" If you love each other that much you will do whatever it takes. I think there is a little more to this story than meets the eye.

Fair play to chap though, punching well above his weight.
Pushed to brink of divorce. Dont make me laugh, I am sure the wedding vowels were something along the lines of "For better and Worse" If you love each other that much you will do whatever it takes. I think there is a little more to this story than meets the eye. Fair play to chap though, punching well above his weight. PoppyGreenLeaf
  • Score: 45

3:47pm Tue 4 Feb 14

the wall says...

A lot of men from the west go to Brazil and hook up with younger women.
A lot of men from the west go to Brazil and hook up with younger women. the wall
  • Score: -32

4:08pm Tue 4 Feb 14

white rabbit9 says...

I am an old man, where can I buy a young woman? lol, women are so expensive these days, can I get one that don't require much money. is that at all possible?
I am an old man, where can I buy a young woman? lol, women are so expensive these days, can I get one that don't require much money. is that at all possible? white rabbit9
  • Score: 25

4:22pm Tue 4 Feb 14

The Fozziest of Bears says...

He can't work due to an injury, and she spends 12 hours a day trying to pass the test.

Are you thinking what i'm thinking ?
He can't work due to an injury, and she spends 12 hours a day trying to pass the test. Are you thinking what i'm thinking ? The Fozziest of Bears
  • Score: 28

4:54pm Tue 4 Feb 14

joertmclark says...

I never knew we conducted such tests. Are these new?
I never knew we conducted such tests. Are these new? joertmclark
  • Score: 14

5:28pm Tue 4 Feb 14

goldenbroomboy says...

The age of Big Ben is relatively easy, but Maiden Castle? One would only know the answer if one has actually been to Dorset, or is something of an Iron Age prehistory anorack.
The age of Big Ben is relatively easy, but Maiden Castle? One would only know the answer if one has actually been to Dorset, or is something of an Iron Age prehistory anorack. goldenbroomboy
  • Score: 18

6:41pm Tue 4 Feb 14

handymanchris says...

Just goes to show, if you go down the correct channels the UK will kick you out.

Play hide and seek with UKBA and you can stay here!
Just goes to show, if you go down the correct channels the UK will kick you out. Play hide and seek with UKBA and you can stay here! handymanchris
  • Score: 31

7:25pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Outandabout says...

The Fozziest of Bears wrote:
He can't work due to an injury, and she spends 12 hours a day trying to pass the test.

Are you thinking what i'm thinking ?
No. She can't have benefits unless she has indefinite leave to remain and yes these tests have been here for about 5 years, they are called the Citizenship test. She is seeking residency because of where she is from European nationals are not subject to the same rules as someone from Brazil. Just shows how little people know and yet they spout off. 'Just goes to show, if you go down the correct channels the UK will kick you out.'. If you fail to comply with the law you are kicked out? Yes what else do you expect to happen.
[quote][p][bold]The Fozziest of Bears[/bold] wrote: He can't work due to an injury, and she spends 12 hours a day trying to pass the test. Are you thinking what i'm thinking ?[/p][/quote]No. She can't have benefits unless she has indefinite leave to remain and yes these tests have been here for about 5 years, they are called the Citizenship test. She is seeking residency because of where she is from European nationals are not subject to the same rules as someone from Brazil. Just shows how little people know and yet they spout off. 'Just goes to show, if you go down the correct channels the UK will kick you out.'. If you fail to comply with the law you are kicked out? Yes what else do you expect to happen. Outandabout
  • Score: 20

9:09pm Tue 4 Feb 14

munequita03 says...

Why isn't she working?! If she is on a spouse visa, then she can if i am not mistaken Then they wouldn't be spending all their savings….
Why isn't she working?! If she is on a spouse visa, then she can if i am not mistaken Then they wouldn't be spending all their savings…. munequita03
  • Score: 9

9:29pm Tue 4 Feb 14

sarfflondonbird says...

Oh dear, looks like it's back to Brazil then.
Oh dear, looks like it's back to Brazil then. sarfflondonbird
  • Score: 17

10:11pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Simon bald says...

I'm 40 my wife is 21 but the difference here is I found her in the uk didn't have to buy her from abroad
I'm 40 my wife is 21 but the difference here is I found her in the uk didn't have to buy her from abroad Simon bald
  • Score: 17

10:55pm Tue 4 Feb 14

sharonsas says...

My husband I both passed the Life in the UK test in October, on our first attempt! It is £50 every time you write the test. We both studied the book and did online tests. Wonder how hard this lady is trying! I also had to do the English test. My daughter did the Life in the UK test in 2008, it has been around for many years as a requirement for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
My husband I both passed the Life in the UK test in October, on our first attempt! It is £50 every time you write the test. We both studied the book and did online tests. Wonder how hard this lady is trying! I also had to do the English test. My daughter did the Life in the UK test in 2008, it has been around for many years as a requirement for Indefinite Leave to Remain. sharonsas
  • Score: 28

12:35am Wed 5 Feb 14

Brook says...

I passed the Life in UK Test.
It took 40+ years of paying NI and tax at 40% of income.
(my parents and grandparents did the same and fought in the war)
I passed the Life in UK Test. It took 40+ years of paying NI and tax at 40% of income. (my parents and grandparents did the same and fought in the war) Brook
  • Score: 42

1:49pm Wed 5 Feb 14

lollie,erith says...

i know of a family who had to learn English to stay in the country. she went on a course, they allowed them to stay. then she gave up the course. the family wasnt sent home and are claiming benefits.
i know of a family who had to learn English to stay in the country. she went on a course, they allowed them to stay. then she gave up the course. the family wasnt sent home and are claiming benefits. lollie,erith
  • Score: 38

9:16pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Gypo.Joe says...

lollie,erith wrote:
i know of a family who had to learn English to stay in the country. she went on a course, they allowed them to stay. then she gave up the course. the family wasnt sent home and are claiming benefits.
Lollie Liar.

ThanK YoU
[quote][p][bold]lollie,erith[/bold] wrote: i know of a family who had to learn English to stay in the country. she went on a course, they allowed them to stay. then she gave up the course. the family wasnt sent home and are claiming benefits.[/p][/quote]Lollie Liar. ThanK YoU Gypo.Joe
  • Score: -51

1:23pm Thu 6 Feb 14

ความจริง says...

PoppyGreenLeaf wrote:
Pushed to brink of divorce. Dont make me laugh, I am sure the wedding vowels were something along the lines of "For better and Worse" If you love each other that much you will do whatever it takes. I think there is a little more to this story than meets the eye. Fair play to chap though, punching well above his weight.
Wedding "vowels"?

I make that two.............
[quote][p][bold]PoppyGreenLeaf[/bold] wrote: Pushed to brink of divorce. Dont make me laugh, I am sure the wedding vowels were something along the lines of "For better and Worse" If you love each other that much you will do whatever it takes. I think there is a little more to this story than meets the eye. Fair play to chap though, punching well above his weight.[/p][/quote]Wedding "vowels"? I make that two............. ความจริง
  • Score: -50

6:26pm Thu 6 Feb 14

mouthalmighty says...

What a nasty set of people that are on here. How can you talk about people like that? This couple are respectable people trying to do what's right. What has happened to the "innocent until proved guilty". I for one hope they succeed in their quest, and makes you rotters eat your words.
What a nasty set of people that are on here. How can you talk about people like that? This couple are respectable people trying to do what's right. What has happened to the "innocent until proved guilty". I for one hope they succeed in their quest, and makes you rotters eat your words. mouthalmighty
  • Score: -12

10:11pm Thu 6 Feb 14

toomush2drink says...

It just shows if you really want something you will try your hardest to get it. More effort required if you really want to stay unless its a subtle way of telling hubbie you want to go home ?
It just shows if you really want something you will try your hardest to get it. More effort required if you really want to stay unless its a subtle way of telling hubbie you want to go home ? toomush2drink
  • Score: 13

12:38am Fri 7 Feb 14

patwoodhouse says...

So she has 2 years to pass the test and if she doesn't, she'll need to find £3750?

Why not put aside £5 a day and then it's taken care of. If she passes it'll be a nice windfall instead. If she isn't working, she should be - nothing whatsoever to stop her plus she's actually luckier than some as she has a husband at home full time to provide childcare.
So she has 2 years to pass the test and if she doesn't, she'll need to find £3750? Why not put aside £5 a day and then it's taken care of. If she passes it'll be a nice windfall instead. If she isn't working, she should be - nothing whatsoever to stop her plus she's actually luckier than some as she has a husband at home full time to provide childcare. patwoodhouse
  • Score: 18

1:37pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Marty1979 says...

Why has she been treated unfairly? She was told she needs to pass an exam, she failed & is being given 2 years to pass
Why has she been treated unfairly? She was told she needs to pass an exam, she failed & is being given 2 years to pass Marty1979
  • Score: 16

9:16pm Fri 7 Feb 14

reasonable75 says...

Wonder how long they've been together? The girls in the photo look like teenagers and go to Welling school (courtesy of UK taxpayers?)

So what happens when she does get permission to stay (assuming she passes the exam), are the daughters automatically allowed to stay?
Wonder how long they've been together? The girls in the photo look like teenagers and go to Welling school (courtesy of UK taxpayers?) So what happens when she does get permission to stay (assuming she passes the exam), are the daughters automatically allowed to stay? reasonable75
  • Score: 9

7:51am Sun 9 Feb 14

goldenbroomboy says...

reasonable75 wrote:
Wonder how long they've been together? The girls in the photo look like teenagers and go to Welling school (courtesy of UK taxpayers?) So what happens when she does get permission to stay (assuming she passes the exam), are the daughters automatically allowed to stay?
That is unpleasant, & totally unnecessary.

This gentleman has brought his new wife & stepdaughters to this country at his own expense, not that of " taxpayers" If you are seriously suggesting that two teenagers who are technically still children should be required to pass some kind of test as well or face deportation then you are either bonkers or simply trolling.
[quote][p][bold]reasonable75[/bold] wrote: Wonder how long they've been together? The girls in the photo look like teenagers and go to Welling school (courtesy of UK taxpayers?) So what happens when she does get permission to stay (assuming she passes the exam), are the daughters automatically allowed to stay?[/p][/quote]That is unpleasant, & totally unnecessary. This gentleman has brought his new wife & stepdaughters to this country at his own expense, not that of " taxpayers" If you are seriously suggesting that two teenagers who are technically still children should be required to pass some kind of test as well or face deportation then you are either bonkers or simply trolling. goldenbroomboy
  • Score: -8

6:02pm Sun 9 Feb 14

reasonable75 says...

goldenbroomboy wrote:
reasonable75 wrote:
Wonder how long they've been together? The girls in the photo look like teenagers and go to Welling school (courtesy of UK taxpayers?) So what happens when she does get permission to stay (assuming she passes the exam), are the daughters automatically allowed to stay?
That is unpleasant, & totally unnecessary.

This gentleman has brought his new wife & stepdaughters to this country at his own expense, not that of " taxpayers" If you are seriously suggesting that two teenagers who are technically still children should be required to pass some kind of test as well or face deportation then you are either bonkers or simply trolling.
No, asking a question, they might be technically children but when they leave school (the first possibly this summer) will they have the right to reside in the UK, perhaps claim benefit, go to Brazil & bring a new husband back who then has the right to stay. Just wondering

And he may have brought the family here at his expense, but he is not able to work so the girls education is being paid by who? As far as I know Welling School is not a private school
[quote][p][bold]goldenbroomboy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]reasonable75[/bold] wrote: Wonder how long they've been together? The girls in the photo look like teenagers and go to Welling school (courtesy of UK taxpayers?) So what happens when she does get permission to stay (assuming she passes the exam), are the daughters automatically allowed to stay?[/p][/quote]That is unpleasant, & totally unnecessary. This gentleman has brought his new wife & stepdaughters to this country at his own expense, not that of " taxpayers" If you are seriously suggesting that two teenagers who are technically still children should be required to pass some kind of test as well or face deportation then you are either bonkers or simply trolling.[/p][/quote]No, asking a question, they might be technically children but when they leave school (the first possibly this summer) will they have the right to reside in the UK, perhaps claim benefit, go to Brazil & bring a new husband back who then has the right to stay. Just wondering And he may have brought the family here at his expense, but he is not able to work so the girls education is being paid by who? As far as I know Welling School is not a private school reasonable75
  • Score: 9

12:03pm Mon 10 Feb 14

goldenbroomboy says...

munequita03 wrote:
Why isn't she working?! If she is on a spouse visa, then she can if i am not mistaken Then they wouldn't be spending all their savings….
Read the article.

She is working.
[quote][p][bold]munequita03[/bold] wrote: Why isn't she working?! If she is on a spouse visa, then she can if i am not mistaken Then they wouldn't be spending all their savings….[/p][/quote]Read the article. She is working. goldenbroomboy
  • Score: -8

12:09pm Mon 10 Feb 14

goldenbroomboy says...

reasonable75 wrote:
goldenbroomboy wrote:
reasonable75 wrote: Wonder how long they've been together? The girls in the photo look like teenagers and go to Welling school (courtesy of UK taxpayers?) So what happens when she does get permission to stay (assuming she passes the exam), are the daughters automatically allowed to stay?
That is unpleasant, & totally unnecessary. This gentleman has brought his new wife & stepdaughters to this country at his own expense, not that of " taxpayers" If you are seriously suggesting that two teenagers who are technically still children should be required to pass some kind of test as well or face deportation then you are either bonkers or simply trolling.
No, asking a question, they might be technically children but when they leave school (the first possibly this summer) will they have the right to reside in the UK, perhaps claim benefit, go to Brazil & bring a new husband back who then has the right to stay. Just wondering And he may have brought the family here at his expense, but he is not able to work so the girls education is being paid by who? As far as I know Welling School is not a private school
Why are you assuming that these young ladies will want to leave school & then claim benefits? Contrary to the rubbish spouted by PUKIP & Brtish Nazi Party the vast majority of immigrants to this country are working.

As for education, the girls are his stepdaughters so he is legally obligated to send them to school.
[quote][p][bold]reasonable75[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]goldenbroomboy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]reasonable75[/bold] wrote: Wonder how long they've been together? The girls in the photo look like teenagers and go to Welling school (courtesy of UK taxpayers?) So what happens when she does get permission to stay (assuming she passes the exam), are the daughters automatically allowed to stay?[/p][/quote]That is unpleasant, & totally unnecessary. This gentleman has brought his new wife & stepdaughters to this country at his own expense, not that of " taxpayers" If you are seriously suggesting that two teenagers who are technically still children should be required to pass some kind of test as well or face deportation then you are either bonkers or simply trolling.[/p][/quote]No, asking a question, they might be technically children but when they leave school (the first possibly this summer) will they have the right to reside in the UK, perhaps claim benefit, go to Brazil & bring a new husband back who then has the right to stay. Just wondering And he may have brought the family here at his expense, but he is not able to work so the girls education is being paid by who? As far as I know Welling School is not a private school[/p][/quote]Why are you assuming that these young ladies will want to leave school & then claim benefits? Contrary to the rubbish spouted by PUKIP & Brtish Nazi Party the vast majority of immigrants to this country are working. As for education, the girls are his stepdaughters so he is legally obligated to send them to school. goldenbroomboy
  • Score: -11

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