Bring Irene Home
Please help us fight to keep our family together
I wanted to update the page as events have changed dramatically since the page was set up
As everyone is now aware Irene was deported on Sunday
I have now instructed Legal representation and will keep everyone updated throughout
I would also personally like to Thank everyone who has donated and also for your kind words of support which has been totally overwhelming
A timeline of the past 30 years can be found in previous updates
Irene has been robbed of a normal family life with her husband and 2 sons long enough and all she is guilty of is spending to long outside the UK looking after her sick parents
Hopefully we get the happy ending we as a family deserve
For 30 years, my sister-in-law Irene has lived in Britain after arriving here from Singapore. She has a British husband, two wonderful British children and a granddaughter she dotes upon.
She has worked hard for those 30 years raising her family and being an important and beloved member of the local community.
Now, because of insensitive and unfair government rules, she has been taken away to a detention centre and has been told she will be deported.
Her husband John - my brother - is seriously ill and Irene is his sole caretaker. Without her to look after him, we’re all worried for him, and to rip apart a family after 30 years of happiness seems so unfair.
Irene has never claimed benefits in the UK. John has worked his entire adult life. We need to fight to keep them together so he has someone to care for him, and so she can stay with her family, where her home is.
Irene has nowhere to go in Singapore, both her parents have passed away - her whole life is here in Britain. It would be heartbreaking for all of us to see her go.
We need to raise £10,000 for legal fees to fight this injustice. Anything you can donate to our family so we can fight back against this unfair, draconian decision that threatens our family is so very appreciated. Please spread the word and share.
Thank you so much,
Angela Clennell, Irene's sister-in-law
Whilst we do not want to jeopardise any future action that our legal representatives will be taking to ensure that Irene returns to settle in the UK with her family, we recognise that many people have kindly reached in their hearts and pockets and have donated to help Irene return to the UK.
Irene and her family are overwhelmed by the kindness of people and we will be updating this page with factual information as our legal representatives make progress with the fight to bring Irene home.
It is important also to note that we have been inundated with calls from various press outlets most of which have been supportive,positive and sympathetic to Irenes plight. Sadly this cannot be said of all press contacts that have contacted us in an attempt to progress the right wing agenda.
Irene wants to come to her family who are ALL British citizens and are ALL resident in the UK.
Thank you for your continued support.
The support we have received is totally overwhelming and I'd like to apologise if I haven't responded to your kind messages but as you can imagine my inbox is overflowing Thank you all
Have the family considered the possibility of using the "Surinder Singh route" option? Essentially, if her husband or one of her children can relocate to an EEA country such as the Republic of Ireland, she can use EU law to gain entry as a family member. After three months minimum and being able to show you have lived there as a full member of the community, and have been self-sufficient through work, study, or in this case self sufficiency using the donations, you will then be allowed to re-enter the UK under EU freedom of movement law. See here for the details: https://www.gov.uk/family-permit/surinder-singh
Having periodically read about this case in the press I cannot believe that the authorities have made such a stupid and awful decision. Four people with all of the costs of the flight to Singapore for a person who is an admirable citizen and keeping her in a detention centre beforehand! In this case the law and its interpretation is an ass! Get this person back into this country as soon as possible. I will be signing the petition and I sincerely hope that our MP's and the government will redress the situation and get her back here where she belongs!
The recent court case instructed the government to consider 'other sources of income' when considering spousal residency - I suspect that this campaign will continue to grow and I sincerely hope that the income it generates will allow Irene to return to the UK. It is an honour to give to this cause and fight which is important for so many others also.
Wow after reading many comments it seems that the UK is going the same way The United States is going.. down a deep dark path.. like I mentioned before.. If this is becoming the Normality for our nations.. UK, US, ect.. its time to stand up and fight for whats right.. even if it involves hiding people from the Nazi Tactics.
Hi Angela Clennel , Please can you get a message to Irene ... I got in touch with my friend margy who lives in Singapore & she's told me about " Aware" charity will Help Irene ....google it & phone or email them to get support in quickly with Irene .... Please let me know that you have read this & it reached you ?? I am totally sharing this as it is also happening to my friend UK born David married to a Thai wife being separated despite being married for 7 years = So Cruel as stopping a mum from being with her 7 year old son ... Human Rights gone wrong !!
I do not know Irene and so, obviously, I cannot answer to her personal circumstances about why she didn't apply for citizenship. I see several questions about that here. I am a foreign spouse of a British citizen, and can tell you general reasons why many of us who are foreign spouses in the UK don’t apply for citizenship. Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) confers almost exactly the same rights and duties on us that citizenship does, and it only needs to be renewed every ten years. The application requires about ten times less pages of documentation than the citizenship one, and the rules about conferring ILR are clear. So you can be reasonably certain of whether your ILR application will succeed or fail. The cost of renewing ILR (considering legal fees as well as the application fee), runs about £2,000-£4,000. (Some people of course get away with much cheaper, if they are very lucky. And it can also be more expensive. The cost is dependent on individual circumstances, such as whether any errors have ever been made about you on a form, in your life.) It is theoretically very hard for the government to revoke ILR, but it has become easier and easier in recent years, such as with the introduction of the income requirement for the British spouse. The rules are very confusing (personally I think this is intentional, as part of the programme to create a hostile environment for immigrants.) It is not reasonably possible for regular people to stay on top of the rules. Even immigration solicitors, including ones working for the Home Office, have difficulty staying on top of them as the rules are so complicated, and have been changing every few weeks for the last several years. Citizenship, on the other hand, is obviously more desirable than ILR, because it is even harder for the government to revoke; it does not have conditions in the way that ILR does (for example, you won't be ordered to leave the country within six days if your spouse suddenly dies); and over the course of a marriage/lifetime, it may be cheaper and easier than repeatedly renewing ILR, depending on your circumstances and your recordkeeping. But, the cost of attaining citizenship tends to be incredibly high, putting it out of reach of average earners, and the documentation requirements tend to be impossible for normal, reasonable people. For example, in order to produce the documentation required for citizenship, during the entire duration of ILR, couples must: keep careful, detailed records of every holiday; retain every payslip; ensure they receive paper bills in the post (rather than using the convenient e-billing pushed by utilities and banks); ensure some paper bills are in each of their names; keep very careful financial records; and must keep several items of post received per month to each of them, from utilities or government departments. They need all of this covering the full time of ILR, which will be at least three years under current rules, and in Irene’s case would appear to be much longer. The citizenship application tends to require thousands of pages of documents to be submitted (mine was about 2,000 pages). Just like with ILR, a mistake in the application can see you deported, which would be a particular tragedy if you had lots of ILR time left when you applied. The legal fees to ensure this lengthy, complicated application is correct and reasonably likely to succeed—or any application of that size and complexity, as you might imagine—are not cheap. I expect my citizenship process will have cost about £6,000-£8,000 before it is finished. And it is a gamble—under current rules the government can be more subjective when deciding to refuse citizenship decisions than with ILR decisions. This means it is never certain that citizenship will be granted. Some people probably get away with spending much less money than me, of course, but it again depends on individual circumstances, whether you’ve been fortunate with not having mistakes made about you in the past, things like that. For me it has cost dearly and the money may be lost in the end. But I suspect I feel the same way all foreign spouses of British citizens do—we have to do all we can to prevent issues that could see us in Irene's situation, sent overseas from our spouse when they most need us, even though that situation may be entirely unpreventable in the end. It’s just that the cost and requirements for full citizenship are not reasonably in reach of all of us. I note that nothing I’ve written should be taken as legal advice; I am a layman and any mistakes above are mine and unintentional. It’s just based on my own experience recently, attempting to change status from ILR to citizenship in a situation that seems not terribly dissimilar to Irene's.
For those asking why she didn't apply for British citizenship, I am guessing that it is because Singapore doesn't permit dual citizenship, so she would have had difficulty spending the time she needed with her parents in their latter days (as she could only have entered on the same short-term visitors' visa as any other British citizen).
Hi Angela - I am a Brit living in Singapore. I read about this the other day and was blown away by this. I can probably do something more direct than most - as in put some physical cash directly in her hand - no strings. Has she found anywhere to stay yet? Let me know.
The way Irene was treated is appalling!! To be taken away from her family and put in a detention centre, with only the clothes she was wearing and no money was disgusting. Then to deport her without allowing her to pack a case, get money, arrange somewhere to stay and say goodbye to her family is tantamount to bullying and not what you would expect from a so called civilised country!! Bring Irene back! The Home Office and the UK government need to be taken into account and must apologise to Irene and her family and to the rest of the UK.
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-39099574 Mrs Clennell, who had been living in Chester-le-Street, was given indefinite leave in 1992 to remain in the UK after her marriage - but this lapsed because she lived outside the UK for more than two years. According to Li Goh-Piper, a Kent-based supporter who is running a petition calling for her return to the UK, she had arrived in 1988 and married two years later. Mrs Clennell and her husband moved to Singapore in 1992, before Mr Clennell returned to the UK in 1998 with their children. Mrs Clennell remained to care for her mother and says she came back to the UK several times for short visits. She lived in the UK in 2003 until January 2005 and says that during this time she made numerous applications for leave to remain, which were all rejected. After being turned back at a UK airport in 2007, she makes another application at the British High Commission in Singapore in 2012. However, Mrs Goh-Piper says, this was rejected on the basis that Mrs Clennell did not provide proof of contact with her family.