Dorset

Dorset grandmother, 65, faces expulsion from UK

Joan Wakely with her husband Michael
Image caption Mrs Wakely has until February to take a British citizenship test

A Canadian-born grandmother who has lived in Dorset for 65 years is refusing to take a citizenship test despite facing expulsion from the UK.

Joan Wakely, who uses a Canadian passport, was told there was no record of her being a citizen when she arrived at Gatwick Airport from holiday.

The 65-year-old has lived in Britain since she was six months old.

The UK Border Agency said "long residence" did not guarantee people could live in the UK indefinitely.

Illegal immigrant

Mrs Wakely, who was born in Vancouver, said: "It is stupid. I have also been told to pay an £840 fee by February.

"But I am refusing. I am not sure what I will do in February."

Mrs Wakely and her husband Michael, 64, who live in Shaftesbury, were returning from holiday in Florida in August when she was stopped by immigration officials.

She added: "My husband was told he could have married me in the US and was bringing me back to England.

"So I joked, 'He should have brought someone back 40 years younger'."

The last time the mother-of-three left the country was 18 years ago for her honeymoon in Paris.

Mrs Wakely's Canadian father met her English mother when he served in Britain during World War II.

No discretion

A UK Border Agency spokesman said:"Long residence in the UK is not, on its own, a sufficient qualification to remain here indefinitely.

"For people who have contributed to our country and made their lives in the UK there is a clear legal process to follow to obtain a long-term right to remain here.

"Part of this process is paying the relevant fee and there is no discretion to reduce or waive this.

"It is the responsibility of everyone seeking entry to the UK to ensure they meet the requirements of our immigration rules."

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