Gay Australian accused British Home Office of separating him from his beloved

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Rusty Goodall and his partner Stephen Buck have amassed more than 75,000 signatures to a Change.org petition addressed to the Home Office and Secretary of State Sajid Javid. They demand to make the visa policy in the UK more transparent, because visa (or rather the absence of it) is the reason why the two can no longer be together. The petition was set up in May after nearly a year had gone by since submitting a visa application and hearing nothing about it, all the while being prevented from working or leaving the country. Only this July the couple received an official response, and this response was ‘no’. The couple are sure that the Home Office does not understand their situation fully, they do not realize that they are ruining their lives. Goodall first moved the UK in 2007 as a working holidaymaker. Since then he came back to Australia several times, but only to prolong his visa. Australia was nit his home anymore, because home is where the heart is, and his heart was with his British boyfriend. . Once Goodall’s visa expired, the couple decided to try living together in his hometown of Gold Coast, in Queensland. It didn’t work out, as Buck struggled to find a job and the couple felt the atmosphere there wasn’t as supportive of same-sex couples as London. They moved back to the UK in May 2017 and, a month later, Goodall submitted a request for a family visa to extend his stay in the UK “on the grounds of private life in the UK,” as the partner of a UK citizen, which required the couple to have lived together for at least two years prior to the date of the application. According to the Home Office, Goodall—an Australian gay, white man—would not face significant obstacles if he went back to his home country, as Australia is considered to be an LGBT-fr4iendly country. Goodall could appeal the decision in six months’ time, but he would have to do so from Australia. His other option is to marry his partner—a decision that they’d feel forced into, Goodall said.

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