A deportation that Britian found worthy.
From Daily Mail: A couple from New York who fell in love with Britain and have run a guest house there for almost six years are facing deportation. Americans Russell and Ellen Felber, who run the popular Torridon Guest House in Inverness, have been told they have just one month to leave the UK.
Mr. Felber, 59, and his wife fell in love with Britain and visited every year before packing up their lives and moving to the Highlands on a three-year entrepreneur visa in 2011, which was later extended for another two years.
They have invested £400,000 in their house, which was previously used as student accommodation, and have adorned the walls with Scottish pictures and tartan – but their application for permanent residency was refused in September due to an employment issue.
They consulted solicitors, who are in the process of filing a legal case, but last Friday the Felbers received a letter from the Home Office telling them they have to leave in 30 days, despite legal action continuing.
Mrs. Felber, 53, says she spent days in hospital due to stress but is now recovering at home. ‘When we applied for our two-year extension we were told we had to have two full-time employees for 12 months or one employee for two years, so we had one for two years and our extension was accepted,’ Mr. Felber said.
‘Now they are saying we are supposed to have another two people for 12 months but we can’t find that anywhere in our paperwork. It says so in the application now, but there is nothing in the papers we filled out, we fit all the criteria for that. It was such a huge shock to us both and my wife collapsed, she hasn’t been able to cope.’
Solicitors told the Felbers they believe the deportation breaches their human rights and Inverness MP Drew Hendry has been lobbying the UK Home Office in their defence.
Mr. Felber pointed out that the couple contribute to the local tourism economy, as well as paying national insurance and taxes, and say they feel like part of the community.
Before taking ill Mrs. Felber was an active member of Inverness Cathedral’s bell-ringing club and had been taking Gaelic lessons but is worried they will now need to give up the life they love. ‘If you had asked me last week I would have had hope, but now it’s hard to say,’ said Mr. Felber. ‘I’m still clinging on to a bit of hope but my wife has lost it, she has given up.’
Mr. Hendry has requested an urgent meeting with immigration minister Robert Goodwill. ‘I wrote to the immigration minister on the issue and was promised a reply but without a word, a letter arrived on their doorstep, among a pile of Christmas cards,’ he said. ‘I have requested an urgent meeting to discuss this, even if it is over the festive break, and have asked if he can halt the process. It is outrageous, giving that kind of deadline, especially over Christmas, it is impossible.’
‘This is yet another case where a couple, working hard, being successful and adding to our community and local economy are being forced out of the Highlands by a ruthlessly dogmatic Home Office.’
The Felbers now face a worrying festive period while accommodating guests due to arrive after Christmas. ‘I’m trying to put a smiley face on for the guests who are already coming but we don’t know what to do about people who want to book for next year,’ Mr Felber said.
‘We are already half booked for June, July and August next year, it is looking to be the busiest summer yet, but we don’t know if we will be here.’
A Home Office spokeswoman said: ‘We do not routinely comment on individual cases. All applications are carefully considered on their individual merits, in line with the UK immigration rules and based on evidence provided by the applicant.’