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

Lennox Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Carla Tal­bot

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

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