Anne can stay after citizenship mix-up
Scottish-born Anne has never even been to the US but last week Home Office told her she’d be deported there to live without family
A Dumbarton mum was threatened with deportation to the US - a country she has never visited. Scots-born Anne Devlin, 33, was left horrified last week when she received a letter from the Home Office telling her to make arrangements to leave the country and move to the US if she could not prove she had a right to live in the UK within 10 days. Horror turned to relief when officials then told her she does, in fact, have a right to live in the UK. She claims she was told a Home Office error is the reason for the ID nightmare.
A Dumbarton mum who was born in Scotland was threatened with deportation to the US - a country she has never even visited.
Anne Devlin, who has lived in Bellsmyre for 14 years, was left horrified last week when she received a letter from the Home Office telling her to make arrangements to leave the country and move to the US if she could not prove she had a right to live in the UK within 10 days
Anne, 33, was also stripped of her provisional driving licence and told she had no lawful reason to be in the country.
However, she was relieved when officials eventually told her she does have a right to live in the UK.
The mum-of-four claims she was told an error on Home Office documents is the reason behind the bungle and her countless issues with her nationality throughout her life here in the UK.
But the Home Office say “new information” provided by Anne means she now has dual nationality.
Anne’s mother was born in America and moved to the UK as a child.
When Anne was born in 1984, the law stated she had to take her mother’s nationality because she was not married to Anne’s father.
But Anne — who was born and raised in Glasgow before moving to the town when she met her husband Michael — has never been to the US.
Last week she faced the prospect of having to leave her children — 11-year-old son Harvey, twins Carly and Cameron, both eight, and twoyear-old daughter Isla — and move to a country where she doesn’t know anyone.
Speaking to the Lennox Herald, Anne said: “I’ve never been to America. I don’t have any family or any friends there — I don’t know a single soul.
“I thought it was a joke at first. I just couldn’t believe it when I opened the letter. I was just filled with so many questions.
“Would my kids stay here? Would they come with me? What would my husband do? It was really scary.
“I faced being sent to America on my own with nothing.
“I’m so relieved that I can put it all behind me now and that it is finally sorted.
“It has been an issue for such a long time and I’m so glad I know it won’t have any affect on my children.”
Anne was first faced with difficulties from age 11 when she was denied a British passport before a holiday to Canada.
Anne and her mother had to make an emergency trip to London to pay for an American passport so she would be able to leave the country.
Problems continued into adulthood and in March, Anne lost out on £350 after she was denied a biometric residence permit which would grant her the right to remain in the UK.
Anne claims she missed the deadline by one day and was told she could not reapply.
However, she says she has since been told she will be eligible for a refund of the cash as she should never have had to apply.
Anne continued: “The Home Office are looking into this for me as it turns out I should never have had to apply for this permit in the first place as I should have been listed as a British citizen all along.
“Even when I was 11, I should never have had any issues being accepted for a British passport, but I was.”
Despite the nightmare, Anne has praised the Home Office for their help — and also West Dunbartonshire MP Martin Docherty-Hughes who appealed on her behalf.
Mr Docherty-Hughes said: “I contacted the Home Office on behalf of Mrs Devlin and did everything I could as her MP to get the matter resolved as quickly as possible.
“As a mother of four young children who has lived in the UK her entire life, to receive a letter from the UK Government threatening imminent deportation to a country she has never been to is deeply distressing.
“Scotland is, and always has been, Mrs Devlin’s home and she has my full support.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “We have spoken to Ms Devlin and confirmed she holds dual nationality and no further application is required to confirm this.
“She will not face any enforcement action by the Home Office.”
Mix-up Anne Devlin and husband Michael, and their four children at their home in Dumbarton. Children left to right; Carly, 8, Cameron 8, Harvey, 11 and Isla, 2
Wedding day Anne and Michael