A Northam family is celebrating after a judge has granted them the right to stay together and live in the UK.
In November, the Gazette reported how Scott Handy started a petition to the Home Office pleading for his Guatemalan wife Glenda not to be deported and separated from their two young sons.
Glenda had initially only entered the UK on a tourist visa because the family was planning to move to Spain, but the EU referendum meant Scott’s job offer fell through, and the Home Office claimed she had illegally entered the country.
Launching an appeal against the Home Office, Scott received the backing of more than 53,000 people and in January Glenda faced her hearing.
Now, after a 66-day wait, the family has received the news that Glenda’s appeal to stay in the country has been granted.
Scott took to Facebook to share the news to their supporters.
He said: “Although at that moment we thought we had won, the last paragraph of the report stated that the Home Office still had a further 14 days to appeal the judges decision.
“Just two days ago we received notice that the Home Office did not make an appeal and now her visa will finally be granted.
“Such a massive weight off our shoulders and we can now just get on with our family life and feel a bit of security knowing that our boys will be able to benefit from both of their parents, and not just one if Glenda had lost the appeal.”
Scott, 42, met Glenda, 35, when he was working in Guatemala.
The couple, who married in Guatemala in November 2013, have two children, Xavier, three, and Xander, two – both are British citizens.
Scott said he feared for their lives in Guatemala, and could not face taking his family back there for fear of the violent crimes and murders which occur daily.
While Glenda’s appeal has been granted, the family faces a 10-year journey ahead for residency.
“But we have a green light so we will cross that bridge when it comes,” said Scott.
“I cannot thank you all enough for your support and kind words, and change.org has been a fabulous platform and great motivation with fortunately a happy ending.
“Thanks to all our family and friends and kind donors for your financial assistance to help pay for the hefty lawyers bill, without you all we certainly wouldn’t be here.
“Thank you the 53,000 change.org signatures and thanks to everyone who has helped us to remain as a family here in the UK.”