A Renton couple have been forced to put their marriage plans on hold because the Home Office is threatening to rip them apart by deporting one of them, writes Laura Sturrock.

Accountant Chennan Fei, 30, who lives with her fiancee Duncan Harkness in Renton, could be forced to move back to her native China, because of a previous ‘mistake’ by her parents several years ago.

She has lived in Scotland for over 16 years, but must attend an appeal hearing in Glasgow tomorrow (Thursday, December 20) which will decide her future.

However the decision will not be made immediately, it will take two weeks, so they face an uncertain festive period while they wait for the outcome.

Chennan joined her parents in the UK when she was 13, but they failed to renew their status after a change in the law which means that she is now classed as an over-stayer.

She only discovered this after graduating from Edinburgh University, but now could be sent to a country she hasn’t lived in since she was a child.

Chennan is no longer classed as a legal resident and is not allowed to work here.

A judge at the Court of Session in Edinburgh has previously ruled that officials had not acted in accordance with the law, but the couple still face heartache.

Duncan, 27, said: “The Home Office has ignored the judicial review’s advice and continues to persist with this unreasonable deportation - it’s absolutely heartbreaking.

“Our life has once again been put on hold and I hope that common sense will finally prevail so that we’ll finally be able to plan our life together. For now we face a festive period full of uncertainty.”

Chennan’s worst fear is that she may be taken to an immigration detention centre because she has already spent several days in them, and describes the experience as ‘frightening.’

She spent three days at Dungavel and three days at Yarl’s Wood last year.

Chennan said: “I have done nothing wrong and I care so much about this country.”

Local MP Martin Docherty-Hughes said: “Chennan has my full backing in challenging this move which is yet another example of the UK government’s cruel and callous immigration policies.”