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Thorpe man’s big day ruined by refusal to grant parents visas to attend

A Thorpe man’s big day has been ruined because immigration officials refused his Zimbabwean parents permission to attend the wedding.

Tazivei Masarira, from Birkbeck Way, Thorpe St Andrew, is getting married to his partner of six years, Edith Ogden at Norwich Register Office on Saturday, October 30 and naturally wants his parents to be there for the big day.

But immigration officials have refused visitor visas for the couple on the grounds that they did not provide sufficient documentation on their finacial circumstances.

Mr Masarira, a 34-year-old qualified physiotherapist, who works in the NHS in Great Yarmouth is now a British Citizen.

His bride-to-be, 31, is a language and speech therapist, and they have a two-year-old boy Gregory together.

He has also lost £1700 - the cost of the airline tickets for his parents - because they originally intended to fly to the UK last week.

Mr Masarira, who has lived in Thorpe for two years, said: “I am devastated. It would mean the world to me if my parents could be there for my big day.

“My parents have been here to visit me in 2005 and were given visas then and left to go back to Zimbabwe at the end of their holiday.

“The immigration officer concedes in his letter of refusal that they have no doubt in my ability to house and look after my parents when they are here and that I have provided all that they ask for in the visa requirements but still goes on to deny the visas.

“My parents – Rangarirai and Theresa - have provided everything that was asked of them.

“The reason for denial told me was that the immigration officer was not convinced that they would go back to Zimbabwe because of the economic conditions and that my parents were living beyond their means.”

He said that, as his parents were top civil servants who had been given leave and were still in active employment and living within their means, he would like to know who would qualify for visas from Zimbabwe.

He had applied for visitors’ visas in August but they were denied and a subsequent appeal this month was also turned down.

Barbara Woodward, International Director for the UK Border Agency, said: “In this case Mr and Mrs Masarira failed to provide sufficient evidence of their financial circumstances in Zimbabwe although we made this requirement clear in a visa refusal in August.

“As well as evidence of how their flight and stay in the UK will be funded, applicants have to provide evidence of their own personal financial circumstances in their country. Mr and Mrs Masarira have a right of appeal against this decision or can reapply at any time.”

<t> Are you entangled in a visa row with the government? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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