Italian Grandmother Faces Deportation after 42 Years in the UK

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Deportation Procedures in the UK
Image courtesy: The SkyNews

Leicester Fish and Chip Shop Owner, 74, Ordered to Leave Amid Home Office Oversight

An Italian grandmother, Leonarda Zarcone, who has called the UK home for 42 years, is now under threat of deportation following a Home Office directive. Born in Italy and a French citizen, Zarcone and her husband, Marcel Brunetto, relocated to the UK in 1981, establishing their life in Leicester with a fish and chip shop.

Settled Status Granted Post-Brexit, But a Missed Email Sparks Crisis

Upon the UK’s departure from the EU in 2020, Zarcone’s family applied for settled status and received it, though the Home Office sought additional information about her.

Unfortunately, an email from the government requesting this crucial information ended up in Zarcone’s spam folder, unbeknownst to her. Last month, a letter arrived, ordering her to leave the country.

Unseen Email Leads to Shocking Revelation

Zarcone expressed the shock of her life upon discovering the letter, emphasizing her deep ties to the UK, where she raised her three children, ran a business, and contributed through taxes and National Insurance.

The grandmother, deeply rooted in the community, now faces the possibility of uprooting her life.

Immigration Officer Encounter Unveils Legal Limbo

The crisis escalated when Zarcone, returning from France after a family wedding in September, was stopped by an immigration officer. She was granted only a 28-day visitor stamp, which has now expired, leaving her in legal limbo as an unintended illegal immigrant.

Son Appeals to Common Sense, Cites Mother’s Contributions

Zarcone’s son, David, who also resides in Leicester, pleaded for common sense to prevail. He presented evidence of his mother’s decades-long residence, state pension receipts, and tax records, highlighting her substantial contributions to the UK.

Home Office Response and Family’s Cry for Help

In response, the Home Office stated that all EU Settlement Scheme applications are meticulously reviewed based on individual merits and evidence provided. They emphasized the availability of support, including assistance for vulnerable applicants.

Zarcone’s predicament has prompted a plea from her family, emphasizing her honest life, contributions, and the emotional toll of potential separation from her family.

As the community rallies behind the 74-year-old, questions arise about the efficiency of communication channels in a system that could upend the lives of long-standing residents.

Re-reported from the article originally published in The Sky News

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