Tyne & Wear

Deported Irene Clennell fights to return to husband of 27 years

Irene Clennell
Image caption Mrs Clennell has been married for 27 years and has two sons and a granddaughter in the UK

A woman deported despite being married to a British man for 27 years has had to re-apply for permission to return and live in the UK.

Irene Clennell's indefinite leave to remain lapsed because she lived outside the UK for more than two years to care for her parents in Singapore.

She had lived in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, with her husband and has two British sons and a granddaughter.

The Home Office has said it does not comment on individual cases.

Mrs Clennell's Hilary Brown solicitor said "the rules are prescriptive" and, as her husband was not well, she was "quite distressed about the forced separation".

Although Mrs Clennell was granted indefinite leave to remain in 1992, the couple lived together in Singapore for a number of years.

When Mr Clennell returned to the UK with their children, she stayed to care for her parents.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Mrs Clennell was held in the Dungavel Detention Centre in South Lanarkshire.

Repeated re-applications for permission to stay, both from Singapore and after she managed to return to the UK, have all been rejected.

Speaking after being deported in February she said she knew about the limit on staying outside the UK but, because her husband and children had been with her, believed her leave to remain would be reinstated on her return.

She said: "All they say is I've got no grounds to be in that country.

"[If] two kids and a husband is no grounds then I don't know what kind of grounds you want."

Director of the campaign group Migrant Voice, Nazek Ramadan, said: "There shouldn't be any terms for her visa.

"She's married to a British citizen and she has lived here many years, and she has British children.

"Why do we introduce all these restrictions, why did she need to keep applying?"

More on this story