This 'n' That

Monday, January 16, 2006


US visitor is sent home over her diary admission
By Richard Savill
(Filed: 14/01/2006)

An American woman visiting Britain on a tourist visa has been sent home after immigration officials at Heathrow read in her diary that she had wanted to find work on a previous visit, her English boyfriend has said.

Elizabeth Louis, 23, arrived on Thursday with James Caddy, who had spent Christmas with her in Cincinnati.

But on their arrival, Miss Louis was questioned by immigration officials and had her bags searched.

Mr Caddy, 26, had to leave the room and later found out that officials had decided his girlfriend could not stay. She telephoned him at 3am to say she was being sent home because of a diary entry.

The entry stated that on a previous visit she had been offered a job with a multi-national bank but had not been able to accept it because she did not have the correct visa. She had also written that she had hoped to be able to find work in Britain.

Mr Caddy said her intention had apparently contravened the rules of her tourist visa. Miss Louis was returned to America last night.

The couple, who met in a Harry Potter chatroom, have visited each other frequently. Last night Mr Caddy said because Miss Louis did not have a degree she could not obtain a work visa. Mr Caddy, who runs his a web design company in Bournemouth, said they planned to marry but they would not do so solely to secure a permanent visa for Miss Louis.

"We met about four years ago and our relationship has grown and last year Betz came over for six months. She came back in November for a while and before Christmas I went over there and was with her for three weeks.

"It was as we came back yesterday that we had the trouble. Betz was held back and I sat with her for seven hours while they searched our bags. When she was here last year she was offered a job as a PA at J P Morgan, but because we could not secure a work visa she had to decline the job."

He added: "She has never intended to do anything wrong. We thought we were doing everything by the book because we did not want to mess up the chances of her getting a permanent visa in the future.

"The diary entry was made at the beginning of her visit last year. She never actually looked for a job in the end. On this visit she had no intention of working. I have been supporting her. It seems wrong to chuck her out because of a diary entry."

Brian Caddy, 55, James's father, a graphic designer, who lives with wife Pauline in Christchurch, Dorset, said: "It has been a complete mess. I don't know what was said in the interview between Betz and immigration but the technicality on which she was sent back was minuscule."

The Home Office said: "People seeking leave to enter to the UK are assessed according to immigration rules."

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