The husband of a volunteer Brownie leader from Portsmouth who faces being kicked out of Britain says the move is ‘disgusting.’
Kate Clifford, 32, moved from Philadelphia in the US to the city in 2008 on a student visa and married British national Ross Clifford, 35, in 2011.
Despite starting her own business, volunteering as a Brownie leader, and raising money for the Mary Rose Museum and Wymering Manor, she now faces deportation after being refused a full visa.
‘It’s been going on for such a long time and we are disgusted with the government,’ said Ross, of Oriel Road, North End.
‘We have done everything the Home Office asked us to do and they are still denying us the right to live in the country.’
Ross has lost sight in his right eye, damaged his knee so there is no cartilage, has chronic depression, and suffers from cerebral palsy.
Since applying for citizenship in 2012 and being refused, Kate and her husband have spent over £3,000 on appeals and alternative applications, including applying for a spousal visa based on Kate being a carer for Ross.
‘We’ve spent all that money with nothing to show for it,’ Kate said.
‘The Home Office gave us such bad advice, I can’t believe they can do that.’
Once her post-study visa expired, Kate was advised by the Home Office to apply for citizenship or Indefinite Leave to Remain.
But when she applied for citizenship, her application was refused as she did not have ILR, or another visa without an expiration date, for a year before applying for citizenship.
The couple have now launched a petition, appealing to the government to keep Kate in the UK, which has been signed by 500 supporters.
If deported, Kate would not only be leaving Ross behind, but her mother-in-law, who is suffering from cancer, her family, friends, and the girls in her Brownie unit.
Ross and Kate say the Home Office never contacted the references they provided.
‘They were quite happy to take our money but they hadn’t actually done any of the background checks so you end up feeling as though you’ve been mugged,’ said Ross.
The Home Office issued a statement saying: ‘All applications are considered on their individual merits, including any compelling and compassionate circumstances, and in line with the immigration rules.’
The office added that it found no barriers which would prevent the Cliffords from relocating to the US.
To sign the petition, search ‘Kate Clifford’ at change.org.