An 89-year-old World War II veteran has been denied entry in to the U.S. for 10 years because he reportedly overstayed a 90-day visa so that he could stay with his dying wife.
John Oliver had hoped to come to live with his son, Robert Oliver, 61, and Robert's fiancee Mary Bradley, Fox News reports.
Currently, John lives alone in an assisted living facility in Jersey, the largest of England's Channel Islands.
But John’s application for a green card was rejected due to the 2011 infringement. When John’s wife, Betty, became ill during a visit to New Jersey, the couple followed the recommendation of doctors and did not travel back to the U.K.
“My mother was 90; she had severe osteoporosis and liver problems. She was confined to a wheelchair. My father could no longer care for her over there,” Robert said, according to NJ.com.
This meant John overstayed the 90-day limit on his visitor’s visa, while Betty was cared for in hospital and later in a hospice.
After Betty died in 2012, John went back to the U.K. and Robert began the long process of applying for his father’s green card.
“We spent a few thousand dollars in application fees,” Bradley said.
“Our biggest mistake was being honest,” Robert said, according to Fox News. “Lawyers told us we should have just kept him here illegally.”
After the rejection, authorities instructed Robert and John to attend the U.S. embassy in London to resolve the issue.
There, in October 2013, John was told he was barred from entering the U.S. for 10 years.
“They brought letters from John's doctors saying he could not live on his own,” said Bradley, according to Daily Mail. “They refused to consider the doctor's letters.
“ ... If we had to do it all over again, we would have done nothing. They could have been like all the other illegal immigrants the country loses track of.”
While he was in the U.S. with his dying wife, John paid U.S. taxes on his pension and spent around $69,000 on medical care for his wife.
“It's heartbreaking we can't provide anything for him unless we pack everything and leave the United States,” she said.
Photo credit: Family photo via Daily Mail