An Italian woman who has lived in the UK for 42 years has been ordered to leave or face prosecution.
Leonarda Zarcone, 74, who has three children and four grandchildren in the UK, was born in Italy and has French citizenship.
After moving to the UK permanently with her husband, Marcel Brunetto, in 1981, they settled in Leicester and opened a fish and chip shop.
After the UK left the EU in 2020, her family applied for and were granted settled status, but the Home Office requested more information on Ms Zarcone before they approved her application.
An email from the government went into the grandmother’s spam emails, and she did not see it. Last month, she got a letter ordering her to leave the country.
Ms Zarcone told the SWNS news agency: “When I opened the letter it was the shock of my life. All my family and my roots are here. It’s really frightening. I have nowhere to go.
“I moved to this country 42 years ago with my husband. We raised our three children here and ran a business together here.
“I have paid National Insurance, taxes and lived an honest life. My family have made their lives here and my youngest daughter was born in the UK. We even support Leicester City football team, this is our home.”
Ms Zarcone only found out about her situation with the Home Office after she was stopped by an immigration officer when returning from France in September after a family wedding.
She was eventually allowed through border control at East Midlands Airport with a 28-day visitor stamp which has now expired.
“I am now an illegal immigrant and all because of an email which was sent to my junk folder,” she added.
“I am not great with computers. It makes me cry to think…
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This notice was published: 2023-12-08 16:05:00