A heavily-pregnant Slaithwaite mum who faced deportation because of a visa blunder has been given leave to stay in the UK.
Australian-born Katherine Tate, 23, who is six months pregnant with her third child, could have been forced to leave her British husband and two young sons.
The family were locked in a £5,000 legal battle with the Home Office and faced being ripped apart at one of the most special – and vulnerable – times of their lives.
But now, after the family’s plight was highlighted by the Examiner, the Home Office has backed down and will allow Katherine to stay until after she has given birth.
There was confusion over the weekend as to whether the Home Office had changed its mind but the Examiner was able to secure written confirmation on Sunday evening.
Katherine said: “It’s just brilliant news. It’s all just been so stressful. We want to thank everyone so much.”
Last week the Examiner told how Dale, 30, from Holmfirth, met Katherine in Brisbane in 2009 and married a year later.
They had two sons Oliver, now three, and two-year-old Harrison who were born in Australia but were British citizens.
The couple eventually set up home in Slaithwaite and believed Katherine could apply for a visa in the UK.She applied for a parental visa but had to take her case before an Immigration Tribunal. A judge ruled in her favour.
However the Home Office appealed the decision leaving the family in limbo.
Dale, who runs an electrical contracting business and does not claim family benefits, launched an online petition.
After the story was featured in the Examiner the case came to national prominence and 6,000 people have so far signed the petition.
A Home Office official phoned Katherine on Friday to inform them of the decision but Katherine thought it was a “prank call.” The caller was vague and evasive and Katherine said: “I didn’t believe it was genuine.”
After the couple’s story broke they were inundated with up to 30 phone calls, many of them, in Katherine’s words from “wackos.”
It was only when the Examiner received e-mailed confirmation that the family could celebrate.
Dale said: “We are delighted but it’s sad that we had to turn to the media for common sense to prevail. I believe it was arrogant of the Home Office to appeal and not accept a judge’s decision. Surely that is why we have a legal system?
“Katherine has been through so much stress, she’s hardly slept and she rings me constantly at work.
“For six months it’s been all we’ve ever talked about and our unborn baby has had no attention. Our whole life has been on hold.”
It is understood Katherine can now stay in the UK for 12 months but that she will need to apply for a spousal visa again.
She said: “In 12 months’ time we will have to apply again and pay another £1,000. We will also have to get a solicitor again because of what we’ve been through so that will be another £2,000.
“We have also been told that if you have a visa rejected you are excluded from applying again for 10 years.
“That thought is really scary and we hope it won’t come to that. For now we can forget about it and look forward to having our baby.”
A spokesman confirmed the Home Office was withdrawing its appeal.