Pensioner living in UK for 64 years branded ‘illegal immigrant’

Saturday, November 20, 2010

LONDON - A pensioner, who has been living in Britain for 64-years, returned home from her holiday to be told she is an illegal immigrant because she was never granted citizenship.

Joan Wakely, 65, a grandmother from Shaftsbury, Dorset, has lived in the UK since she was six months old when her parents moved from Canada to Britain.

But when she arrived at Gatwick Airport with her husband Mike, 64, after a holiday in Florida, she was classed as “an illegal alien” as she was travelling with her Canadian passport.

“It seems that for the last 64-and-a-half years I have been an illegal immigrant - that is how I take it. It is absolutely stupid, ridiculous,” the Telegraph quoted her as saying.

“At first I thought they were having a laugh. My reaction was one of total disbelief.

“Now at 65 I have been threatened with deportation from a country where I have lived since I was six months old,” she revealed.

She has now paid 840 pounds to apply for full UK citizenship, which includes taking a test to prove she can speak English, but faces being deported in February if her application is rejected.

The UK Border Agency admitted that it was “an unusual case”, and a spokesman added that she would have to go through the process as someone who has been staying there for a year.

“It is the responsibility of everyone seeking entry to the UK to ensure they meet the requirements of our immigration rules. Long residence in the UK is not on its own a sufficient qualification to remain here indefinitely,” he added. (ANI)

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