Home Office threat to deport US citizen will ‘rip family apart’

A former American soldier who has made Northamptonshire his home, fears his family could be ripped apart after his application to stay in the UK was refused.

Robert Geiger faces the prospect of being sent back to the USA, as the Home Office claims he has not provided evidence that he lives in the Roade home he shares with his wife, Victoria, and 11-year-old son, Pierce.

Robert Geiger is being forced to move out of country due to red tape.

Robert Geiger is being forced to move out of country due to red tape.

The couple, who have been married for 13 years, have lived together in England before, when Mr Geiger was based at RAF Lakenheath as a munitions specialist working for the US Air Force.

They returned to America after the 9/11 atrocity, when Mr Geiger went back into the military, but returned to the UK in 2010, when Mrs Geiger’s father was terminally ill with cancer.

They decided against returning to the USA, and Mr Geiger applied to remain here permanently.

Mr Geiger, aged 39, is from Columbus, Ohio, and served for eight years in the US Air Force and four years in the US Navy. He is currently a househusband as he is not allowed to work.

He said: “I have made a home and I am not a drain on the benefits system. Unless they come and take me, there is no way I am leaving my son and wife. We’ve been married for 13 years and my son is just about to move to big school.

“When I came out of the air force I had a visa. We lived in Dunstable and I had a job at Luton Airport.

“This is my home and this is where I am going to be. I am not leaving my son. This is where I belong. There is no way I want to go back. This is the happiest I have been in my life and I feel like it is being ripped away from me.”

Mrs Geiger, aged 52, said: “I could not work 12-hour nightshifts if Rob was not here. I would never dream of leaving my son at home at night. We survive and Rob looks after him when I am not working.

“I am a British citizen and my son has the right to have his dad here. Rob is not a drain on anybody, he is my support.

“We need him here and I am not having my family destroyed over red tape.”

The letter sent by the Home Office to Robert Geiger said: “You have been unable to provide sufficient documentary evidence to show that you reside at that address with your partner.

“You have failed to meet the mandatory relationship requirements of the immigration rules.

“Your application for leave to remain in the UK has been refused and you no longer have any known basis of stay here. There is no right of appeal against this refusal.

“Should you fail to leave, enforcement action will be taken against you.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “Every visa application is considered in line with the UK’s immigration rules. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure they provide the required evidence to support their application.”