Family is split for a year in visa crisis

Jillian Elwell, 39, pictured with her husband Fikret Kabul, 42 and their sons Leo,11 and Mikey, five.
Jillian Elwell, 39, pictured with her husband Fikret Kabul, 42 and their sons Leo,11 and Mikey, five.

A DETERMINED wife is battling the authorities to be reunited with the Turkish husband she has not seen for almost a year.

Jillian Elwell of the Reform Working Men’s Club at Goldthorpe married her bar-worker husband Fikret Kabul 13 years ago.

But a “nightmare” mix-up over his visa that began last summer has kept the couple apart, and sons Leo, 11, and Mikey, five, from seeing their dad.

Repeated attempts to renew Fikret’s visa, through a ‘fast-track’ company that has now ceased trading, has also cost the family thousands of pounds.

Jill, 39, met Fikret while visiting Turkey in 1995. She said: “Initially Fikret used holiday visas and would come for three to six months at a time. He owned a bar and worked throughout the summer then would come here when it quietened down.” Jill’s then employers at Goldthorpe were flexible too, and the pair flitted between the two countries until Leo was born when they decided to make Goldthorpe their main home. Fikret acquired two-year spouse visas until last year, when he took a newly introduced test that would allow him to apply for residency.

He failed this three times.

(Full story in this week’s South Yorkshire Times)