Married Couple barred from Being Together for 1st Child’s Birth

The Home Office has stopped a married couple from being together for the birth of their first child, due in a few days.

Married Couple barred from Being Together for 1st Child's Birth f

“We are in a state of shock."

A married couple have been barred by the Home Office from being together for the birth of their first child, due in a few days.

Farzana Miah, who lives in Southall, is an Italian citizen who has been granted leave under the EU settlement scheme (EUSS) by the Home Office.

She met Mohammed Mushraf after he came to the UK to study.

The couple married in May 2021 and their child is due on March 28, 2022.

Mohammed applied for leave to remain as the partner of someone with EUSS.

At the time of the application, the couple were in a relationship but had had to repeatedly postpone their wedding plans due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Officials confirmed that they also had to wait for the Home Office to confirm that their relationship was legitimate before the marriage could go ahead.

Mohammed received a certificate of application, which entitled him to work, study and rent a property while his application was being considered, on July 3.

It also stated that those in possession of this certificate could “travel in and out of the country without having to prove your status as your information will be checked automatically”.

Based on this, the couple travelled to India in November 2021 to visit Mohammed’s family before the baby was born.

But when Mohammed tried to return to the UK with his wife, immigration officials barred him from boarding a plane because he did not have the relevant documentation, such as a residence card.

Farzana subsequently had to return to the UK alone.

On February 10, 2022, the Home Office refused his application, citing failure to provide sufficient evidence that he was a “durable partner” of his wife at the time of the application.

Usually, this evidence consists of both of the couple’s names on utility bills or rental agreements.

However, because the couple are practising Muslims, they had not cohabited in advance of their marriage.

Their lawyer, Naga Kandiah has filed an urgent appeal that he hopes can be heard before the baby is born.

Farzana said: “We are in a state of shock.

“Had it not been for what was stated on the Home Office certificate of application about having the right to travel, we never would have travelled to India.

“I have begged the Home Office to let my husband be with me for the birth of my baby, but I don’t think we can melt their heart.”

Mohammed, who remains in India, said: “I feel broken.

“We have tried our best to be together, but I don’t know what else we can do.

“I want to be in the delivery room with my wife to support her but I’m helpless because of the Home Office.”

Mr Kandiah said: “This is a prime example of someone who was misled by the wording of their certificate.

“It has resulted in the separation of this family at, arguably, one of the most critical times in their lives, the birth of their first child.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “In line with the withdrawal agreement, someone applying to stay in the UK as a durable partner of an EU citizen will generally need to prove, with evidence, the relationship was durable by 31 December 2020 and is ongoing.

“Where an application is denied, the applicant has 14 days from date of decision to submit an appeal, or 28 if outside the UK.”

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”