Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 5°C

Search

Dalham: Visa delay splits up family

PUBLISHED: 15:14 13 September 2012 | UPDATED: 20:39 13 September 2012

Chad Carlson is being forced to return to the States after a Home Office blunder with an application for him to remain in the UK as a spouse. He has been married to Beverley for two years and they have two young children. Chad was based at RAF Lakenheath for 11 years before retiring last year. Left to right, Chad, Jacob, Florence and Beverley Carlson.

Chad Carlson is being forced to return to the States after a Home Office blunder with an application for him to remain in the UK as a spouse. He has been married to Beverley for two years and they have two young children. Chad was based at RAF Lakenheath for 11 years before retiring last year. Left to right, Chad, Jacob, Florence and Beverley Carlson.

Archant

A WAR veteran has been torn apart from his wife and two young children because of a lengthy Home Office delay.

American USAF veteran Chad Carlson, who was based at RAF Lakenheath for 11 years, was forced to fly back to the States yesterday [Wednesday] leaving his distraught wife Beverley, and children five-year-old Jacob and two-year-old Florence behind.

Mrs Carlson, of Stores Hill, Dalham, said her husband, who retired as a Master Sergeant after two decades of service last year, submitted a spouse application to the UK Home Office Border Agency in February.

She added: “My husband applied and paid a £550 processing fee to the UK Border Agency in February 2012.

“After six months of waiting we discovered his case has not even been looked at.

“We have been forced apart for an indefinite period due to lengthy delays at the UK Home Office Border Agency, well beyond the stated processing times on their website at the time of application.

“They also still hold both of our passports submitted with the application.”

Mrs Carlson, who was born in Bury St Edmunds, said the impact has been huge on her family as her husband’s post-retirement work in the aviation industry involves travelling.

“Without a passport he has not been able to fulfil overseas aviation contracts where the majority of work in this field are placed,” the 39-year-old added. “Eventually the work dried up completely because he could not meet client requirements due to these travel restrictions.

“We have now exhausted all our funds and assets to support ourselves, and we have no choice but for my husband to return to the USA to find urgent work.

“I cannot follow because the Home Office has my passport still.”

But Mrs Carlson said the worst part is her husband, 38, will only be able to travel to America on his military retirement orders and will not be able to travel back to the UK without his normal passport.

Speaking before returning to the States, Mr Carlson, who has already spent months at a time apart from his family while being deployed to Iraq for five-months and posted to Korea for a year, said: “As you can imagine we are under an unprecedented level of stress.

“It’s a very traumatic time for our children and they don’t really understand what’s happening. They will suffer greatly by being apart from their father for an indefinite period of time.

“The fact the Home Office has not done what it is supposed to do is very frustrating and we don’t know when we’ll all be back together.”

Mr Carlson is a member of Dalham Parish Council and the Almshouse Committee and has been described as “a pillar of the community”.

A UK Border Agency spokesman said: “We apologise for the delay with Mr Carlson’s application.

“In recent months we have received a higher than anticipated number of visa applications which has meant that cases have not been dealt with as quickly as we would expect.”

24 comments

  • I am speechless and disgusted beyond description that someone has such unbelievably biased comments. I know this family personally and they do not deserve the comments that you have written here. No one has any right to question how many siblings someone has and this is not the point of the discussion anyway.. If you do not have a positive contribution to help this family who does not deserve this separation, why don't you just poke your nose elsewhere?

    Report this comment

    Shamila Kabatnik

    Sunday, September 16, 2012

  • This story is not uncommon. I am embarrassed by the inefficiency of the border agency - they are not, it would appear, even accountable... if there's a delay, there's a delay and people's lives get disrupted for no good reason. If the Health Service operated on this basis, people would die!

    Report this comment

    Paul T

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • Who knows whether this man is hard working though ? Who knows if what he claims is true ? If he doesn't have the right to be in this country perhaps he shouldn't be in this country ???

    Report this comment

    bettycoltrane

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • You know, it's sad that in an earlier comment, it was stated that this story is not uncommon. Why break up families when they have done nothing wrong? Why should anyone have to explain to 2 very small children why Daddy can't be there at night to tuck them in? Why should a family be torn apart indefinetly? Why should ANYONE's life get disrupted because the border agency can't respect the deadlines and waiting period they set up? It kills me to see my aunt and uncle hurting and not together. Why can't this be fixed?

    Report this comment

    lisa

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • @bettycolltrane - one day you may need help, assuming you don't already. If you do I really hope for your sake you have the same level,of friends and family network that Bev and Chad do! Maybe if you can't keep your extreme right wing and incorrect interpretation of this to yourself you shouldnt try to score cheap points in the way you have. They are more deserving of our support than any other person I have met!

    Report this comment

    graham.wells1

    Sunday, September 16, 2012

  • What a joke these government departments are, the treatment this family has received is dispicable. I find it increasingly disturbing that the human rights of terrorists, rapists, murderers and other criminals are put before those of hard working honest and caring family men. This decision is ridiculous and should be corrected as a matter of urgency.

    Report this comment

    Grant Parker

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • If they are such a fantastic family why don't they go and live in the US with all his 13 siblings ???

    Report this comment

    bettycoltrane

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • I sincerely sympathise with this family. I, too, have had difficulty with getting my passport returned. I already have an indefinite leave to remain but when I renewed my US passport, I thought it important that my visa be in my married name. I have been waiting since beginning on May (not as long as this family) and in the meantime, my grandfather passed away and I was unable to travel to the US without my passport to attend his funeral. Upon contacting the Home Office, they said they would return my passport (but it could take ten days), I would forfeit my £220 paid and upon return to the UK, I would have to pay another £220 and the process would start again from beginning. The delay was blamed on the OlympicsParalympics and an overload of requests. I have always found the Home Office responsive and quick to turn around the requests. This is very disappointing.

    Report this comment

    Kimberly

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • What does their local MP have to say about this? I have always found my local MP (Tim Yeo) helpful when dealing with Government Departments - it's not what you know but who you know - some departments even have "MP's complaint sections" that can suddenly speed things up.

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Friday, September 14, 2012

  • This sort of treatment is unacceptable, the Home Office should be embarrassed at allowing themselves to be seen as automatons who do not look at individual circumstances and deal with people accordingly. I hope this raises awareness, gets the Home Office to change their processes and most of all, I hope this family are reunited and reimbursed very soon.

    Report this comment

    Helen

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • Try explaining to those two young children that the reason why their father has to leave them for an indefinite period of time is because the UK Border Agency has a higher than anticipated number of visa applications. This is just plain incompetency and could the UK Border Agency please get their job done as quickly as possible, so that this family does not have to suffer any further? Could they please realise that they are disrupting the lives of decent people who certainly do not deserve this separation? It is simply not acceptable to put a family through this sort of agony.

    Report this comment

    Shamila Kabatnik

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • I thought we didn't like illegal immigrants though ?

    Report this comment

    bettycoltrane

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • It is heartbreaking to see such a wonderful family go through such trying times, without being able to do anything but wait. Wait for someone to decide what there future holds has to be the worst feeling in the world. These children need their father, and a wife needs husband. Forcing a family apart goes against everything in my book! I hope and pray this gets resolved QUICKLY so they do not have to be apart longer than they already have been. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

    Report this comment

    JaclynSpring

    Friday, September 14, 2012

  • Why don't you all go and live in the US if the UK is so rubbish ??

    Report this comment

    bettycoltrane

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • I find this story very disturbing - particularly as a father of two and a 'family man'. How an agency of a government who promote family values can get something so wrong is beyond comprehension. They should be ashamed of themselves. I hope this case is dealt with as a matter of urgency and a well deserved apology and finacial settlement is forthcoming. Shambolic

    Report this comment

    Neil Fisher

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • At Betty Coltrane: I am the wife of Mr Carlson. I take huge offence at your oneline cheap remarks. My husband is not an illegal immigrant. He was here on his Air Force Visa, valid until spouse visa came through. He was not asked to leave, BUT we as a family had no option to make that choice because the situation had caused us such a financial loss. We DO NOT claim benefits, nor do we have any intention of doing so. We support ourselves, always have, always will, no matter what the struggle. Mr Carlson has gone to seek work immediately. As for the extremely rude snipe at the number of siblings my husband has, you couldn't wish to meet a more loving, hardworking, close family. They also do not feed off the government in their coutry and they all have a hugely strong work ethic. As for us going to the USA with him, the Home Office still had my passport so we could not travel. Besides why should our children be uprooted when they are so settled here at school and with their Grandparents close by. My husband does not think he has the right to anything. He works hard at everything he does and earns his achievements. Should I also mention that he graduated with a degree in Environmental Management, certification of which arrived this week, 3 days after he left! I have a right to be in this country, as do our 2 young children, all 3 of us are British Citizens born and bred so why should I effectively feel forced to leave my own country. I have no doubt that anyone in this situation would do exactly the same and fight for their loved ones in this truly unjust situation. My husband is an honourable man of great integrity as are our families. It is heartwarming to know that his military service of 20 years (some in warzones and remote places) not only to his country but indirectly ours is fully appreciated! Huge sacrifices are made for people who take this freedom we are fortunate enough to enjoy for granted.

    Report this comment

    Beverley Carlson

    Sunday, September 16, 2012

  • This is very unfair & I hope your visa come through soon. You surely have every right to be together as a family in the UK, without having to go through all this.

    Report this comment

    Katrina

    Sunday, September 16, 2012

  • Border Agency should be ashamed! They are supposed to keep the people we want here safe and keep the people we don't want here out! Looks like they are getting it round the wrong way. Very Good Article by Lauren Everitt......well done for finding this story!

    Report this comment

    graham.wells1

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • I think it is wrong for this family, these children,to have had to say good bye to their farther. A husband having to say good bye to his wife, for who knows how long. This family is the family of my brother Chad. He is a wonderful farther and husband to his beautiful family. All of this could have been avoided with a bit of efficiency by the Home Office! Pretty simple. I hate seeing what my brother is going through! It is so unfair for the entire family!

    Report this comment

    Charlene Nappa

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • I am the sister (the oldest of his other 13 siblings) to Chad, sister-in-law to Beverly, and aunt to Jacob and Florence Carlson. I too want to let you all know that his family in the U.S. is just as horrified and dissapointed that it has taken so long for the UK to process the paperwork that would allow him to reside and work in your country. I cannot imagine having to do what he is forced to do by leaving his family for an indefinite time. He should not be without them for a single day! Now his wife Beverly is left to raise her children without their father. That's not how it is supposed to be. Shame on the bureaucracy of the UK for allowing this to happen. Not to mention that my brother has put his life on the line to protect our country and yours for 20 years. I am hoping that everything is being handled quickly and that the government is willing to refund the monies he had to spend because of your failures. So upsetting.

    Report this comment

    Crystal

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • I agree with all of the above comments, this man is a decent, hardworking, family man and would only provide a positive input (and already does) into British society. Come on the powers that be, this is wrong and needs to be rectified so he can come home NOW!!!

    Report this comment

    Allison Harker

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • How many siblings ??? Thank goodness you don't all want to come and live here...

    Report this comment

    bettycoltrane

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • Rather than have to "leave his family behind", why doesn't he take them to live in the US ?

    Report this comment

    bettycoltrane

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

  • The man is an American citizen, why does he think he has an automatic right to live here for ever ? Why doesn't he take his wife and children to live in the US ?

    Report this comment

    bettycoltrane

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

An armed robbery took place at a bookmakers in Stowmarket on Sunday evening, police have confirmed.

After a six year break from teaching a mum of three is returning to the classroom with the help of Essex County Councils Return To Teaching Campaign.

Dozens of ex-teachers are returning to their calling following a successful campaign to tackle staffing shortages across Essex schools.

A knife was recovered by firefighters from a river near Ipswich train station as part of a police investigation this evening.

A cow which escaped from a field forced police to close the A14 for more than an hour in Suffolk tonight.

The family of a policeman from Braintree injured in the Westminster terror attack have described their “tragedy”.

Our iwitness members have been sending us their photos they’ve been taking this weekend.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24