THE Home Office has finally accepted that a woman who has lived in Scotland for 30 years, has a Scottish mother and is married to a Scot – is British.
Crystal MacIver had been threatened with deportation by the UK government following a paperwork bungle 28 years ago.
But the delighted 44-year-old revealed today that she had finally been confirmed as a citizen of the UK.
Despite that, Crystal, who has a National Insurance number and three grown-up children living and working in Scotland, will still have to go through a citizenship ceremony.
She said: “I feel great, I’m over the moon. I feel like I’ve won the lottery.
“I got the letter and it’s the first time I’ve been able to sleep in weeks.
“It says “I am pleased to say you have been granted a certificate of British Citizenship.”
“I’m waiting on my ceremony now. It’s in a couple of weeks time in Irvine. Quite a few of my family and friends are going along.
“I’m still in shock, I just keep reading the letter and smiling.
“I’m going out on Friday night with my family to celebrate. I want to thank everyone who signed my petition, and my MSP Patricia Gibson.
“I have no doubt that if it wasn’t for all the publicity, I would have been kicked out.”
Crystal sent several years of tax returns, along with other documentation proving her parentage, in support of her case to stay in the UK
She was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts but came to live in Ayrshire when her Scottish mother came home after getting divorced.
After going to Ardrossan High School, Crystal earned an HND in hospitality management.
In the 29 years she has lived in Scotland, she had several jobs, married married her first husband, had two children, remarried, and had her third child.
She now looks after her grandson, Christopher James, 18 months, while her daughter and son-in-law go out to work.
It appears Crystal’s mother did not apply for a British passport when they arrived in the UK and she has simply renewed her US passport ever since.
She faced deportation after deciding in 2011 to get a UK passport. An immigration officer told after she returned from a holiday that it would be more convenient.
Crystal, from Stevenston, Ayrshire, first had to prove that her mother was British. Having done that, officials demanded evidence of her right to stay in the country in the form of an immigration document.
A shocked Crystal said it was impossible as she arrived in the country as a 14-year-old girl and has no idea whether any such document ever existed.
The Home Office claimed her inability to produce the documents shows lack of regard for the laws of the country and calls into question her good character.
She was forced to consult a lawyer after being told to produce the documents by June 8 or her bid to stay in the UK would be refused, resulting in deportation.
Crystal, whose husband, Graham, works offshore as a pipe fitter, said at the time: “Not in my wildest dreams did I think this was going to happen.
“I’m more Scottish than I am American. I just can’t believe it.
“I’m in shock. I’ve got no one in the states. My dad’s dead, I have nowhere to go to.
“ I will literally be on the streets. I will have nowhere to stay. I can’t even drive. I’m in shock.”
Her case became public after son Christopher, 26, had started an online petition to keep his mother in the UK and locals in Stevenston, Ayrshire where she lives put up posters around the town supporting her.