Visa nightmare is over for family

Margaret and Ross Heubner
Margaret and Ross Heubner
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The grandson of a Fylde coast pensioner who was forced to quit the UK following confusion over a visa has been re-united with his family.

Ross Heubner, 18, had to fly back to South Africa alone at short notice when he found out his six-month tourist visa could not be converted to allow a longer-term stay.

But now he’s been re-united with grandma Meg, who lives in Anchorsholme, following a successful application and ready to start a new life.

For grandma Margaret Heubner, 80, who is being treated for bowel cancer, it’s a dream come true and the end of a stressful time for her and her family.

“It’s wonderful,” she said.

“I’m so glad all of this is sorted.

“When Ross had to fly home we didn’t know what was going to happen.

“But now the family is all together and the worry is gone.”

Margaret, who lives with her eldest daughter Larine, was initially given just three months to live but is responding well to chemotherapy

She wanted her family to be able to spend as much quality time with her as they could and in January this year Ross, his mother and father – Tommy and Kim – and younger brother Ryan all made the 12-hour trip.

IT worker Tommy and designer Kim were able to change their tourist visas allowing them to remain indefinitely and work in the UK and Ryan, being under-18 was able to apply to remain through a different process.

But Ryan, having initially held a tourist visa, did not qualify for the change to an ancestry visa.

He said: “I flew home within days of getting the letter.

“Before I left we started the visa process online.

“When I got back to South Africa I had to visit the consulate in Pretoria.

“I was interviewed and then it was just a case of waiting.

“It was two weeks after I applied I got a call saying the application was successful.

“I’m so happy to be back with my family and looking forward to getting on with life.”

And Ross is hoping to pursue his dream of working in investments by going back to school.

“My brother goes to Blackpool Sixth Form College and I’d like to go there too,” he said.

“There’s one or two courses I’d like to do.

“I’d like to do my CISI investment qualification.

“I wasn’t able to work or study before, only to do volunteer work, so this is a big chance.”