Deporation fear eases for Haywards Heath family

The Somerville family

The Somerville family

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A Haywards Heath family who faced being split up by a deportation order has won a reprieve.

Australian Phil Sommerville, from Bolnore Village, can stay in the country for two years after the Home Office revoked a decision to deport him.

The Middy reported in April that he faced being sent back to Australia because vital papers to support a visa extention were not in place.

The family said it had never received a March letter requesting the information and Phil and British wife Isabel, who have three children, have been fighting their case ever since.

Isabel told the Middy: “The Home Office, it appears are now backing down after all their errors and it looks as if Phil will get his Leave to remain here for two years. He should have had this issued months ago.

“It’s a bitter sweet victory for us as after nine months of hell and all the Home Office errors it looks like we can finally move on.”

Although the family is celebrating being able to stay together, it still faces the future anxiety of Mr Sommerville’s stay being reviewed in two years.

A letter from a Home Office official said, in part; “I am now satisfied that you meet the requirements of Paragraph 284 and will therefore recommend that leave is granted for a period of two years.

The family has been hit financially by the wrangle, because Mr Somerville had been unable to work since January because of the continuing problems over the visa.

The Somervilles, who have been married 12 years, had moved back to the UK about three years ago, because Isabel’s mother was ill. Isabel told the Middy earlier this year: “The Home Office has caused us six months of hell. The couple have three children, Cooper, 12, Charlee, six, and Jasmin, eight who have British passports.