THE row over a Co Derry woman who “only identifies as Irish” rumbles on between her, her American-born husband and British immigration officials.
Emma DeSouza from Magherafelt says her life has now been “put on hold” after the UK Home Office was granted permission to appeal her citizenship case at a higher court.
The British government previously rejected her American husband Jake’s application for a visa after she refused to call herself British.
Emma DeSouza was told in September 2016 that her husband’s application for a family member residence card to remain in the Northof Ireland had been rejected.
The UK Home Office rejected the application because Ms DeSouza applied for the visa as an Irish national, informing her that under British nationality laws she was a British citizen.
As a British citizen, she was informed that she could renounce her citizenship and reapply as an Irish citizen to ensure her husband’s visa.
However, Ms DeSouza says she will not sign any declaration that indicates she is British.
Under the Good Friday Agreement people born in Northern Ireland can choose to be British citizens, Irish citizens or have dual citizenship.
Seven months ago a Belfast court had rejected the Home Office’s bid to appeal against a ruling that her US-born husband Jake should be allowed to live in the UK without going through immigration procedures because she carried an Irish passport.
After hearing that the Home Office has now been granted an appeal to a higher court, Emma says she feels “disheartened and at the same time unsurprising” at the latest legal move.
“It is likely to take another six months before we get a court date,” said Emma.
“Still, we feel stronger than ever moving forward.”Tags: