Success for St Albans couple threatened for months with deportation
- Credit: Archant
Christmas has come early for a young family celebrating visa success after months fighting deportation.
The district rallied behind Chinese national Wanwan Kiff, and her local husband David, when her second visa application was rejected in August - one month before baby Oliver was due.
In the seven months it took the Home Office to process her application, Wanwan had no access to NHS treatment for herself or the baby.
The refusal gave Wanwan four months before she must relocate to China with no accommodation, no job, and torn away from her newborn. David is a freelancer who could not find work without any Chinese languages.
After a series of articles in the Herts Advertiser and other news outlets, social media outrage, and a 2,000 signature strong petition, Wanwan’s appeal has just been accepted.
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She now has leave to stay in the UK for two and a half years.
David said: “We are over the moon, it’s an amazing feeling. We can now enjoy family life and enjoy Christmas - we are going to my parents and my sister has a newborn too.”
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Throughout the saga, the family paid more than £7,000 in solicitor costs, antenatal care, scans, and in applications.
It cost the couple £1,500 for a same day decision on the appeal as they feared a normal application could take 12 months or longer - in which Wanwan would have had to leave.
He said the decision to use the premium service was easy because he could not have lived with the stress of not knowing.
It still took six and a half hours at the Croydon Premium Service Centre: “It was not very nice at all but you don’t want to bother anyone because they are making very important decisions.”
When the decision came through, the couple simply “held each other”.
David praised their lawyer and is hopeful about the next application in 30 months.
He added: “Oliver has been amazing, he’s a perfect baby and we are so happy with how he is. We are doing really well. It’s something we have wanted from the offset and some people struggle with pregnancy so we are so lucky to have him and we are so grateful.”
After being born two weeks early, Oliver is now 13 weeks old and will be gifted a play mat for his first ever Christmas.