A Canadian woman who was once denied a British visa on the grounds that her 45-year marriage lacked affection is asking the government to reconsider in light of her husband's health.
Maria Summers's husband, David, was recently diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery days before she was slated to return home to Canada.
The British government has said that Maria Summers needs to leave the country by Aug. 23 after twice denying her application for permanent residency.
Summers's first application was rejected after the government questioned whether her marriage to a British citizen was genuine and affectionate.
The British First-Tier Tribunal overturned that rejection, only to decline her application again on financial grounds.
Summers has requested an extension from the U.K. Border Agency and even argued her case in a letter to the Queen, but is currently slated to fly back to Canada on Aug. 23.
David Summers outlined his wife's latest efforts in an email to the Canadian Press.
My wife sent an email to immigration asking for an extension to stay longer. She received an email (this is the first time I might add) back asking for documented proof," he wrote. "We have sent them what they asked for however we have not received a reply."
Her appeal to the Queen, sent on July 25, elicited a slightly more positive response.
In a letter provided to the Canadian Press, the Queen's Deputy Correspondence Co-ordinator Jennie Vine expresses sympathy for Summers's situation and says her concerns are being brought before the "secretary of state in charge of this matter."
The Summers's immigration battle garnered international attention in April when it was revealed that the U.K. Border Agency was rejecting her long-term visa application.
In its decision, the agency explicitly questioned the affection level and authenticity of the couple's marriage despite the fact that they have an adult son.
Numerous photos and supporting letters ultimately took those questions off the table, but the First Tribunal delivered another setback in June with its second rejection of her long-term visa application.
This one said Maria Summers fell less than $2,000 short of the minimum gross income requirement to stay in England and claimed she didn't provide the right documentation to verify her finances.
Summers said she provided T4 slips disclosing her Canadian pension, a letter from her British employer, and proof that she and her husband jointly own a home in Hereford.
She previously said that the multiple rejections left her feeling like a pariah in the country in which she hoped to retire.
"I'm getting to the point now where I'm not even sure I want to be there anymore,'' she said. "I don't feel terribly welcome.''
Summers's antipathy is outweighed by her numerous reasons to stay in the country, of which her husband's diagnosis is only the latest.
Her visa applications also stated that she was needed in the U.K. to help care for her 94-year-old, terminally ill mother-in-law.
The response from Buckingham Palace expressed sympathy for her situation.
"Her Majesty was sorry to learn of your mother-in-law's medical diagnosis and wishes me to convey to you and your husband, David, her warm good wishes that (sic) this time."
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Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press