A DEVASTATED mother whose family has been torn apart by immigration laws has told of how her husband is missing out on his daughter’s life.

Rachel Gair, who is originally from Stocksfield, and her daughter 12-year-old Betsy, are living in Hexham while her husband of over 20 years, Craig Stock, from Canada, has been prevented from joining them for more than a year. 

The couple have previously lived, worked, and owned their own home in the UK between 2003 and 2010, but they returned to Canada in 2010, moving back to the UK in March last year to look after Rachel’s elderly mother. However, Craig’s application to live in the UK was refused.

Rachel, who works 30 hours a week at a school, explained that Craig’s application was refused because she doesn’t earn more than £18,600 – despite the fact Craig has been offered a job on his return to the UK. 

She said: “I’m a British citizen, we have good jobs – we’ve never been a burden on society. We’re a hard working, honest family and they’re not letting us in because we’re not rich.”

The family appealed through the courts, but the judge ruled that Rachel’s mother did not need care, and the family could easily return to Canada.

But Rachel, who has launched a petition which has been signed more than 1,400 times urging the Home Office to reverse its decision, said: “There’s no compassion here. My mum doesn’t need constant care but knowing one of her grandchildren is here makes her so happy. Hexham is home to me.

“My husband is so sad because he’s missing out on his daughter’s life. I just can’t believe this is happening to us.”

A Home Office spokeswoman said the minimum income threshold of £18,600 was to ensure families could support themselves financially. “The Home Office’s decision on this case has been reviewed and backed up by an independent immigration tribunal,” she added.

Rachel’s petition can be signed at change.org under “Reunite my family in the UK. Stop family separation.”