A grandmother who came to the UK in 1968 has won her battle for indefinite leave to remain in Britain after being told she could be deported.
Winnie Birkenhead came to the UK when her mother married a British soldier. She was aged five and has never returned to her home country of Malaysia.
A year ago, Ms Birkenhed, who lives in Burnley, Lancs, said her employer received a letter claiming she was not allowed to work in Britain and faced being deported.
The mental health support worker told the Daily Mail: “I got the letter and I rang up the Home Office and a woman said they could they could whisk me off at any time. For the last year, every time someone knocked on the door I thought that someone was going to take me away.
“I was scared that I would be moved to a country that I didn’t even know - they don’t realise how it affects your whole life.”
Ms Birkenhead, a grandmother of two, has not been able to work for a year while the case was ongoing. She said she believed she had become a UK citizen at the same time as her mother in the late 1960s and has a National Insurance number and UK driving licence.
She sent pictures of her life in the UK over the last five decades to the Home Office as part of her application to win indefinite leave to remain.
This has now been granted but she said she had been left severely out of pocket as she could not work for 12 months.
She said: “I found volunteer work and they wouldn’t even allow me to do that. I’ve lost £18,000 in wages, I had to freeze the mortgage but now they want double payments.
“They don’t give a monkey’s if I’ve got a house to pay for - I’m going to be in bad credit for years now.”