A newly married couple are stranded abroad on a “disastrous honeymoon” because of an immigration wrangle.
David Treasure, 62, and his American wife Nancy, 65, married in Preston on April 7 after meeting online three years ago.
After previously widowed Mrs Treasure overstayed her six-month visitor’s visa, the couple say they followed Home Office advice to leave the country and apply to re-enter permanently as a spouse.
Having travelled to Fuerteventura as an improvised honeymoon – something Mr Treasure said he was told was acceptable by officials and was double-checked with a specialist immigration lawyer – the couple were then told by staff at the British Consulate in nearby Gran Canaria they could not deal with the application, and they instead must go to Madrid.
But the frustrated pair are now running out of prescription medication and money to get to Madrid, and have been told Mrs Treasure will not be allowed into the UK if she makes the return journey.
Mr Treasure, a former engineering company director, of Mossbrook Drive, Cottam, Preston, said: “We don’t know what to do.
“We followed the advice from the Home Office and now we’re stuck and nobody seems to want to help.
“Nancy collapsed on the floor with chest pains when I told her what had happened and, having had a stroke two years ago, I’m not in the best of health.
“I’m trying to be strong for the both of us but it’s a massive strain. It’s horrendous.
“Me and my father ran a business together in Lytham for many years and when he was given an OBE I went with him to Buckingham Palace and met the Queen. Now I’m being made to feel like a terrorist.”
Mr Treasure, who was previously divorced, has contacted the Home Office and his MP Mark Menzies about the problem, but claims he has had no worthwhile help.
In an email from Mr Menzies to Mr Treasure, the Fylde MP said he was sorry to hear about the situation, but said it ass not within his power to give out dispensation for people to come into the UK without the required visa.
He wrote: “I have today contacted a senior officer from UK Visas and Immigration and have managed to secure a further commitment that she will request your wife’s application be expedited as soon as you can provide me with your visa application number once it is submitted.
“While I am not a specialist immigration adviser it would appear that any visa applications made from Spain must be done online, not via a postal address as was hoped, before an appointment is made to see an officer in Madrid.”
He goes on to give details on how to get website help and how to make a complaint.
Mr Treasure said: “Mark Menzies believes we were given the wrong advice from our independent immigration solicitor, and the Home Office is now saying we could have done the application online at home.
“It’s like a stupid game where you take four steps down a tunnel and then hit a brick wall, so you go four steps in another direction and hit another wall.
“It’s some honeymoon! If it wasn’t so serious it’d be funny.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “General advice on visas is available from the Gov.uk website, but it is the responsibility of individual applicants to establish the requirements before they apply. Everyone is encouraged to seek independent immigration advice before making an application.
“We do not provide specific advice on individual visa applications.”
Mr Treasure’s solicitor declined to comment.