On Thursday 19th July 2007 my wife received a letter that was to have a profound impact on our lives. Her application for a spousal visa from the British Embassy in Seoul was refused, and during the following six months of fighting back against my Government while my father's health gradually failed, we expended considerable quantities of time and energy, and underwent a great deal of stress, to fight for a right which I had previously assumed was mine to begin with as a British citizen - namely, to live with my wife in my country.
Our battle culminated in a Hearing at the end of January, and we have now received the result. The judge ruled that the Embassy's decision was 'contrary to law' so we've won... for now. The Government have two weeks to lodge an appeal, but the thinking is from the judge's determination that they won't have any grounds to do so.
I would not describe it as a victory, because legal battles are like wars - the only way to really win is not to start them in the first place. It's cost us a lot, financially and in time we didn't have, and it's left me completely alienated from my Government and possibly the country it represents. Having your own Government fight to keep you out of your own country can have that kind of effect I suppose.
So, it looks like I might finally be heading home, but we're not breaking out the metaphorical champagne until my wife has that visa in her hands...