From ANDREW DRUMMOND,
September 15 2010
A Thai woman who won her case against the British Border Agency after being deported at the request of her Scots husband is being thwarted in her efforts to bring the matter to the European Court of Human Rights.
Kanokrat Booth, 42, says that despite winning her case against the British Border Agency, who locked her up, cancelled her residence permit, and deported her from Glasgow in May 2010, the Home Office will not re-instate her British Residency permit.
Further the British authorities were being obstructive in her attempts to return to file for divorce, take a civil case and bring the matter to attention of the European Court of Human Rights.
Mrs. Booth married Scots kilt maker Denis Booth after meeting on the internet. They first had a Buddhist wedding in Thailand and a formal wedding in Galashiels. She lived with him in Scotland, but returned to Thailand to visit her children.
Due to her long absence Mr. Booth contacted the immigration authorities to let them know the marriage was over and also claimed she was having an affair with someone else.
Mrs.Booth strongly denied the affair but did admit there were problems with the marriage. Her husband had refused to pay her ticket back from Thailand and did not have time to pick her up at the airport.
On May 23rd Judge Gill confirmed a ruling that the British Border Agency had exceeded its powers.
Above – part of the judgment
‘There is no evidence that the marriage had terminated…Accordingly the respondent’s decision was contrary to Regulation (14)2 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006.’
After the ruling Mrs. Booth sent her passport to the Home Office to be re-instated with her permit. She has been told the Home Office cannot re-instate it as the rules were changed last year requiring her to sit an English test.
Mr. Booth meanwhile says at 68 he cannot be bothered seeking a divorce as he has no intention of marrying again.
While the ruling at the Upper Tribunal safeguards foreign wives from being summarily deported on the instructions of their husbands, while they are still on temporary residence permits, Mrs. Booth is left with a major quandary.
Currently she is an unofficial advisor to the Thai Labour Department on ‘Marriage to Foreigners’.
But because she is still married and cannot go to the UK to file for divorce she says: ‘I have lost my life, my family, my good reputation in Thai society and the respect of all Thai people who have been part of my former life.
‘According to Thai law, I, as a Thai am no longer able to buy, property, house or any other valuable item, because I need my husband’s signature, which is obviously not available to me anymore.
‘I cannot do any kind of business anymore in my home country, as well as in any other country, because of the missing counter signature of my husband. I can’t even get a bank loan for example.
‘The UK Immigration officer in Britain confiscated my original marriage certificate and not returned it. Therefore I have problems in dealing with any authorities, due to the fact that those authorities need to see original documents.’
‘Traveling internationally is not possible for me anymore, as it was in the past, due to the events at Glasgow Airport (cancellation of visa-stamps, resident permit in my passport).’
Following the UK decision to deport her she said she had been refused a European visa.
‘What am I to do? I need to go to the UK to see my lawyer to file for divorce, file a civil case against the British Border Agency, and file a case with the European Court of Human Rights.
“If I am have to take my case to the European Court of Human Rights I have to be in Europe within six months of the date of the tribunal judgment, which the Border Agency have not appealed. But the Home Office have still not returned my passport and four months have passed already.”
‘Further the British Embassy in Bangkok says it cannot advise me which visa to apply for, had I had a passport!’
Mrs Booth, a journalist and former magazine editor has written a book called ‘Miracle of Love – My husband came from the wrong button,”. She said that when her Scottish husband grumbled about her he would say he pushed the wrong button on the internet dating site.
Below is a letter from the British Border Agency to the Royal Thai Embassy in London. This letter was of course written be for the ruling were overturned in her favour.
CULTURE SHOCK – A THAI BRIDE’S FIGHT FOR DIGNITY