A family’s dream of a new life in Scotland has been put on hold as they wait for a visa caused by Brexit red tape.
Italian Erika Torazzina had planned to join her British husband Jonathan Abbott in Aberdeen after he landed a job in the oil and gas capital earlier this year.
But the couple and three children Alessia, 11, Joshua, nine, and Jack, four, have been kept apart since July due to delays in approving paperwork brought in after the UK left the EU.
Erika, 43, who is still living at the family's Italian home, told the Daily Record : “It’s a big disruption to our lives. We are just living in limbo.”
The Home Office, headed up by Priti Patel, said decisions on granting family permits should be made within 12 weeks.
But Erika and her children have waited 15 weeks to join 42-year-old dad Jonathan.
The family, who have hired an immigration lawyer to fight their case, were only told last week that their application had been received.
Erika, a marketing executive who lives near Verona, said: “We have no idea how long it is going to take and if we will have our permits approved.
"We’ve been told there are a lot of families like us and it’s worse because of Covid and staffing shortages.”
The couple, who met while at university in Germany, have lived all around the world because of Jonathan’s work.
Erika added: “My kids are half-British and half-Italian but have never lived in the UK.
"It’s always been their dream. They desperately miss their father.”
Erika has called for the UK Government to relax the rules and wants temporary visas that allow families to apply for permits while already in Britain.
A permit allows members of a British national’s family to stay in the UK for six months and they can then apply for permanent residency.
Jonathan said: “I don’t understand why the Government is making it so difficult for me to bring my family to the UK.”
The Home Office said: “Due to the pandemic, there have been delays to visa applications.
"We are hiring more staff to speed up the process.”Read More Read More