A New Zealand couple and their son who moved to the UK in 2010 have been told they must leave because they missed the deadline to renew their indefinite leave to remain permission.
Louise and John Talbot came to the UK to help sons Charles and Edward start a farm in Dorset. The family was able to live in Britain via ancestry visa because Mrs Talbot’s grandmother was born in the UK.
The visa expired in May and because son Charles was studying for exams, they missed the renewal deadline. Their other son Edward was born in Britain and has dual UK-New Zealand citizenship.
Now Mr and Mrs Talbot and Charles have had their passports seized by immigration authorities and have been told they must leave the UK voluntarily or they will be deported.
Mrs Talbot told The Express: “It has been an utter nightmare – so cruel. It was one simple mistake. It was just a slip, an unintentional error. We were not trying to bend the rules.
"We are utterly distraught at the thought of our lives being devastated because of a technicality. This is our home. I would serve a prison sentence to sort this out."
Her son Edward described the decision as “bureaucracy gone mad”.
He called on the Government to look at his parents’ case and overturn the decision to send them back to New Zealand.
He said: "We came here legally, we haven't submitted false documents, and we haven't committed any crimes. In any other walk of life or business it just wouldn't happen."
The Talbots, who live in Blandford Forum, first started visiting Dorset decades ago. Mr Talbot’s first trip to England was more than 40 years ago when he came to Dorset to work on a farm for a year.
On retiring, the couple, who have been married for 32 years, decided to settle in the UK to help their sons set up a cattle farming business.