A married woman who has lived and worked in the UK for almost three decades is facing being deported to Singapore over UK visa income requirements.
Irene Clennell has a British husband, two British sons, and a British granddaughter and has lived in the UK since 1988. However, after her husband John suffered a number of serious health problems she has been his main carer and the couple do not meet the financial requirements for her UK visa renewal.
Mrs Clennell, who lives in Ouston, Co Durham, said: “My husband is so stressed. He’s not well enough to travel. He’s in constant pain and there’s no one to look after him properly.
“I just want to be with my family. I don’t have anything in Singapore. I don’t have a house to go to, I don’t have a job. I feel closer to my mother-in-law and sister-in-law here than my family in Singapore. My parents are both dead and I only have one sister there and we’re not that close.”
The family spent five years in Singapore in the 1990s and Mrs Clennell made several lengthy trips when her parents were dying. She has been in the UK for a number of years on a visitors visa after her numerous applications for permanent leave to remain were rejected
Mrs Clennell is attempting to appeal against the decision but is unsure whether she will be entitled to claim legal aid. She is not allowed to work in the UK and her husband – a former gas engineer - is now on sickness benefits.
Nazek Ramadan, director of Migrant Voice, said: “Irene Clennell’s case is like many others we’ve worked with. It’s yet another example of how arbitrary policies tear apart families and ruin lives.”