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Harrogate family's joy has as Home Office reverses decision to refuse mum's visa

Harrogate family's joy has as Home Office reverses decision to refuse mum's visa

Published by The Stray FM News Team at 7:22am 21st August 2018. (Updated at 7:23am 21st August 2018)

"You have been granted leave to remain."

They're the words a mum living in Harrogate has been praying for for the best part of a year.

Valentina Hynes, who is originally from Nigeria, was initially refused a Visa by the Home Office.

She had settled in the UK with her British husband Stephen after he suffered a heart attack while visiting family.

They have a 2-year-old son, Harry-Zander, and had faced the prospect of the family being split in two.

Stray FM ran the story last month after tens of thousands signed a petition supporting their appeal.

Other media followed suit, and Harrogate's MP Andrew Jones agreed to write a letter on their behalf.

Then on Friday, almost out of the blue, Stephen received an email from their solicitor notifying them that the Home Office has agreed to overturn the decision.

Valentina said:

"I was in Sainsbury's and [Stephen] called...and he said you've been granted Leave to Remain.

"And I just screamed, I couldn't believe it. 

"People were looking at me and looking at Harry-Zander because we started to jump all over the place.

"It was absolute madness!

"It felt like we had been given a fresh lease of life, like we'd been asleep for over a year and we've just woken up."

For this, we fought, and for this we WON! In good times and bad times, we kept the faith and stood strong. Thank you to everyone who stood by us in our bad times. This proves that humanity would always win! In these past months, I have learnt how truly incredible humanity and unity is and that no matter how big or small the battle, regardless of who your opponent is, FIGHT! To anyone out there reading this, facing a silent battle, find the strength to FIGHT hard, smart, relentlessly. Victory is on the next turn. Keep moving. I got my Leave To Remain in the UK with my family, I got my life back! It feels like I’ve only just woken from a long coma. I’m free to work and earn money, I’m free to volunteer properly for Charity organisations. I’m free to go back to making this world a much better and happier place. I’m free to look in the mirror again and be proud of my day’s work. I’m free to keep building a legacy of entrepreneurship, hard work and charity for my family. Watch my reaction to this news. (Link in bio) @ukhomeoffice @sajidjavid #somefightsareworthfightingfor #valentinahynes #thevoiceinyourhead #storyteller #writer #humanist #mua #designer #friend #volunteer #survivor #fighter #familyfirst #woman #melanin #immigration #buzzfeed #instagoody #instapost #ibleedyellow

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The couple had been living in Nigeria until last year when Stephen fell ill during a trip to visit family in the UK.

Valentina stayed to support him on a visitor's visa, but her application for discretionary leave to remain was declined.

The family vowed to fight the decision, saying it would force the family to separate and leave a son without his mum.

They had been expecting their appeal to go to court in February.

But following the attention the case received, that decision came sooner than they could have hoped.

Stephen said:

"I think without the support we've received from all quarters it just wouldn't have happened.

"To all out there who've supported us near and far thank you so much."

The family are still awaiting the return of their documents but say the decision will allow Valentina to work legally in the country.

They're now looking forward to building their future in Harrogate.

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