A FAMILY torn apart by immigration laws are finally set to be reunited.

Rachel Gair and her 12-year-old daughter, Betsy, have been living in Hexham for 16 months without her husband of over 20 years, Craig Stock.

Despite the fact that Rachel, who is originally from Stocksfield, and Craig have previously lived, worked, and owned their own home in this country, Craig, who is from Canada, was told he could not get a visa to return because Rachel did not earn more than £18,600.

Immigration officials refused to budge despite the fact Craig had been offered a well-paid job when he returned to the UK.

However, after months of battling in the courts, the family have finally got the decision they wanted.

Rachel, who moved back to Northumberland from Canada to be close to her mother, explained how Craig was finally allowed to join her.

She said: “I went to an Upper Tribunal Hearing a few weeks ago and Craig is finally allowed into the country.

“I can’t believe it’s happened, but we’re still waiting. It’s all over, but we have to wait for them to issue a visa. 

“It’s still such a relief. I can’t believe it’s all going to happen. I’m praying to God he will be here before Christmas. The Home Office is not known for their swiftness of getting visas issued. 

“I was happy, but then I got angry again because it’s cost us so much money in court fees and flights. It should never have happened. The judge couldn’t work out why it had.”

The family recently spent time together over summer, but Craig had to return to Canada, meaning he would miss Betsy’s birthday and his wedding anniversary.

A petition to allow Craig back into the country was signed by more than 96,000 people, and Rachel added her thanks to everyone who had signed.

She added: “I’m grateful to everyone who signed. It really helped me through it, reading people’s comments. 

“I don’t want any other family to have to go through what we did. I’m exhausted from my fight for this.

“My family had to suffer through all this.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “To ensure families can support themselves financially, we ask for evidence that applicants looking to sponsor a non-EEA spouse or partner meet a minimum income threshold of £18,600.

“Immigration tribunals can allow appeals where the applicant offers evidence that the judge finds credible, which they were not previously able to provide."