She is a Singaporean who is married to a Briton.
Together, they have lived in Britain for 27 years and have two grown-up sons who are British citizens. Even her granddaughter was born in England.
But now Irene Clennell, 52, who lived with her husband in Country Durham, faces deportation after being detained during a routine appointment in January at an immigration reporting centre in Middlesborough, reported BBC.
While Mrs Clennell was given indefinite leave to remain in Britain after her marriage, it appears as if periods she spent in Singapore caring for dying parents was the deal-breaker which revoked her residential status, added the report.
Before her arrest. Mrs Clennel told the BBC: “The kids were born here, my husband is from this country so I don’t see what he issue is. But they keep rejecting all the applications.”
She told reporters last year: “I have got no family in Singapore and I have no property in Singapore. My parents are dead. My only family is a sister, and she is working in India. My husband is British. I do not see why I cannot stay.”
She told BBC she had made repeated attempts – both in Singapore and back in the UK – to re-apply for permission to live with her husband.
The Clennels tied the knot in 1990. Mrs Clennell does not claim state benefits and is not allowed to work. Mr John Clennel, 50, who is a gas engineer is in poor health, reported the Daily Mail.
Irene said she was her husband’s primary caregiver.
She added: “My granddaughter – I want to see her grow up. And my husband is not getting any better. I want to be with my family. If I do go back, I don’t know when I’ll be able to see them again.”
Mr Clennell told BBC: “Since Irene’s been detained, my mum’s been coming over to get my meals and so on.”
He told BuzzFeed: “I just can’t believe this is happening. It’s a disgrace. She hasn’t claimed any benefits here and I’ve worked nearly all my life, so I can’t see what the problem is. She doesn’t cost the state anything.”
Director of UK’s Migrant Voice Nazek Ramadan said Clennell’s case is one of the many cases of how arbitrary policies “tear apart families and ruin lives”.
“These kind of bureaucratic decisions are a direct result of a relentless drive towards unrealistic migration caps that don’t take real lives into account.”
When asked for a response, the Home Office told the media: “We do not routinely comment on individual cases.”