Visa wrangle has happy ending for Great Yarmouth father

A Norfolk father is beaming with joy after immigration bosses ruled that his Vietnamese wife and baby son could come to live with him in the UK.

Great Yarmouth business owner Phuc Phan Van, known to his friends as Tony, had been sorely missing his wife whom he married a year ago.

He grew up in Vietnam, as did his wife Thao Le Thi Phuong, 29 and they now have a baby son Tom.

Tony was desperate to be reunited with his wife after his five-month old son was born, having spent next to no time with him.

So he was devastated when he made a 2,000 mile round trip to collect passports only to be told immigration bosses did not believe he was in a 'genuine relationship' with his other half.

But after the EDP ran a story to highlight his plight, the UK Border Agency granted permission for the 33-year-old's wife and son to live in the UK.

Tony said: 'I was a bit nervous going to collect the passport after the last time. I wanted this so much and I've got a smile back on my face now.'

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After the EDP ran the story, a petition to help Tony's wife and son get passports got 92 signatures.

He was originally told by the UK Border Agency that their passports were 'ready for collection' in September.

He flew out to Slovakia, where his Vietnamese wife and son were living on a five-year visa, and took them to Vienna in Austria where Slovakian immigration matters are handled.

It was there that Tony, who owns Five Star Nail Bar in Regent Road, found out that his wife and son had not been granted passports.

He was back working alone at his nail bar the following morning and says he felt like a broken man at the time.

He is an EU citizen and has been living and working in the UK for seven years.

And on Friday, November 11 his wife and son were granted passports too.

Tony says he could not be happier and is grateful to his friends in Great Yarmouth who have backed his efforts to be reunited with his family all the way.

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