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American Mark Nelson, who has been married to Madginford's Julie Nelson for nearly five years, told to leave United Kingdom

An American man who has been married to a Madginford woman for almost five years is facing deportation.

Minnesotan Mark Nelson has spent 11 years living and working in this country, but the Home Office ordered him to leave the UK within five days.

The 54-year-old, who is also a carer for wife Julie, was initially told he could not appeal the decision until he returned to the States, but the government has since retracted this threat.

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Julie and Mark Nelson have been married for five years.
Julie and Mark Nelson have been married for five years.

It has, however, left the repairman unable to work and his wife Julie, who is 47 and has fibromyalgia, anxious about the future.

“The Home Office have gone back on their initial threat, but he still can’t work. He has been out of work for three or four weeks now and it’s putting a strain on everything,” she said.

“He has worked hard for the past 11 years and is now being treated like this. The Home Office have put us under a huge amount of stress and have done little to help.

“If he does get deported I’m not going to be able to go with him, it’s going to split us apart. We will be living on other sides of the world and won’t know how long it’s going to go on for.”

Video: American Mark Nelson is facing deportation

The couple’s problems started following the introduction of the Zambrano doctrine – an EU regulation which can be used to grant a non EU carer of a UK citizen the right to reside and work in the country.

Under this new legislation, Mr Nelson, who once ran the now defunct Curves Gym in Senacre, applied to stay in the country, but his application was refused.

In August last year a judge recommended they re-apply, but they have just heard his application has again been declined.

A Home Office spokesman confirmed it was looking into Mr Nelson’s case but that it was not in a position to comment as inquiries were ongoing.

Helen Whateley, MP for Mid Kent and Faversham, is also assisting the couple but declined to comment.

A spokesman for Mrs Whateley said she did not discuss constituency casework with third parties.

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