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UK Visa Requirements Divides Indonesian-British Family

A British family has been left divided between Suffolk in the United Kingdom and Jakarta following visa complications.

According to a report from the Suffolk-based East Anglian Daily Times, Kirk and Septin Austin met while working in the same insurance office in Indonesia and married in 2002. The couple, who have two children, have lived and worked around Asia and the Middle East before relocating to Earl Soham, Suffolk, 18 months ago.

Septin Austin was forced to return to Indonesia while authorities process her permanent visa, separating her from her young family.

“In all of the places we’ve lived, when we provided documents to show we were a family, the process of getting a visa was pretty straightforward,” Kirk Austin told the East Anglian Daily Times.

“The only place we’ve faced problems is here in the UK, where I came to be closer to my mother and send the boys to a local school. In accordance with the rules, Septin left when required.”

The British government introduced visa reforms in 2012, which included the requirement that citizens must earn a minimum £18,600 (US$24,113) annually to bring a non-EU or UK spouse to the country.

He said he had withdrawn part of his pension while looking for work and is likely to find a role in which he earns almost double the requirement.

He remains cynical his wife will eventually be granted a visa, after her application was delayed until the submission of financial documents he says are likely to be insufficient.

“I suspect she will be refused entry,” he said.

“Encouragingly, the courts said the interests of children should be paramount – and I have two boys who haven’t seen their mum in months.”

See: Visa Laws Set To Relax Under Immigration, Foreign Affairs Ministry Plan

Image credits: East Anglian Daily Times

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