A South African wife faces deportation after moving to Britain with her Scottish husband of 30 years as she only entered the country on a temporary visa.
Anna Meikle, 65, moved to Falkirk to retire with her husband William, in 2013, after they spent three decades living in South Africa.
But their retirement plans are now up in the air after Home Office enforcers threatened to detain Mrs Meikle before deporting her back to her home country.
Mr Meikle, 71, a retired sales rep, said: ‘We are just waiting for the axe to fall after 30 years together.’
Anna Meikle, 65, faces deportation after moving to Britain with her Scottish husband of 30 years, William
The pair married in April 1987 in South Africa but returned to Mr Meikle’s Scottish hometown of Falkirk four years ago.
But Mrs Meikle is now set to be kicked out of the country after failing to apply for a spouse visa.
Describing her ordeal, she told the Daily Record: ‘It is very stressful and frightening. I am just waiting to be dragged off and put on a flight. It is awful. I have nothing to go back to and I need my husband.
‘I was an orphan and my adoptive parents are dead now so I have nothing in South Africa…my family are the Meikles. They have always been the people who were there for me.
‘I would like nothing better than to get a wee job over here and just live happily. I love Scotland and I have met lots of lovely folk here, I just want it to be home.’
The pair married in April 1987 in South Africa but returned to Mr Meikle’s Scottish hometown of Falkirk four years ago
Mr Meikle said: ‘We are both pensioners, we aren’t causing any trouble, we aren’t a burden on the state, we just want to live our lives in peace.
‘Instead we are going through this absolute hell. The Home Office seem determined to throw an elderly woman into a very dangerous and uncertain future.’
He added: ‘The only option would be for me to stay here and try to send over some money. It is heartbreaking.’
The 71-year-old said they had been through every appeal and tribunal but been refused at every turn.
The couple have been told Mrs Meikle will have to return to South Africa and then apply from there for a spouse visa.
‘To get that visa you need £60,000 in the bank and you need to earn £18,000, so the reality is Anna will never get back in if she’s forced to leave’, Mr Meikle said.
John McNally, MP for Falkirk, said the couple had been treated ‘appallingly’ and left in a ‘terrifying situation’.
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘All applications are considered on their individual merits, including any exceptional or compassionate circumstances, and in line with the Immigration Rules.
‘The decision to refuse Mrs Meikle’s application has been upheld in the Courts. We expect people with no legal basis to remain in the UK to leave the country voluntarily.
‘Individuals who wish to settle in the UK should make the application from outside the UK.’