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Ex-soldier in visa fight for wife

PUBLISHED: 09:55 30 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:28 03 July 2010

A FORMER soldier, caught up in an immigration battle, says he hopes to bring his Canadian wife and daughter home with him after Christmas following a meeting with Home Office officials.

A FORMER soldier, caught up in an immigration battle, says he hopes to bring his Canadian wife and daughter home with him after Christmas following a meeting with Home Office officials.

Darren Jarrad is fighting to be reunited with 24-year-old Chantel and two-year-old Shyanne after his wife's visa application was turned down earlier this year.

A meeting with his MP and a government official on Monday threw up new hope of appealing the decision - and has allowed the former Royal Anglian to think about the future.

Mr Jarrad, 28, who has not seen his Canada-based family since April, said: “I am more optimistic now - it seemed like everything was going to be alright.

“We are going to spend Christmas in Canada, hopefully she will have the visa and she will come back with me a few days later.”

The situation remains extremely complicated and hinges on a number of decisions being made in the next few weeks.

The saga began earlier this year when Chantel's visa application was turned down because of fears she would not be able to support herself without help from public funds.

Following a job offer from a Wroxham care home, Mr and Mrs Jarrad, who married earlier this year, had been on the verge of reapplying - at a cost of £600 - because they had been advised an appeal would not take into account their new circumstances.

Now the family, who plan to live with Mr Jarrad's dad in Felmingham, near North Walsham, could avoid that bill after the Home Office worker said the job offer could be considered as part of the appeal - although the deadline for lodging it has now past.

On Tuesday, Mr Jarrad sent off a letter to an independent tribunal to ask for the appeal to be heard anyway.

The floor technician and restorer, who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, said he realised there was still a long way to go. He said: “I don't want to get too hopeful. I didn't want to get too hopeful before this meeting, because he wasn't going to say 'here's your visa', and I don't want to get too hopeful now.”

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, who also attended the meeting, said he was encouraged by the latest development. He said: “I'm not counting on anything, and I'm not assuming that we are going to succeed, but it looks like they are trying to help us sort out the problem and, if that's the case, it's very good news.”

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