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  1. ITV Report

Home Office to appeal ruling on residency

The Home Office is to appeal a ruling by a tribunal judge that a Londonderry woman's American husband should be granted residency to live here.

Emma and Jake De Souza have been involved in a two-year legal wrangle after their application was initially rejected because Emma held an Irish passport.

He is from California, while she is from Magherafelt and Belfast is home.

Emma said: "It feels like we haven't really started our married lives together, we want to settle down, buy a house and put in proper roots.

"But how can you do that when you don't know if you'll be able to stay?"

Jake added: "The right decision isn't always the decision that's made, I hope for the right decision, I feel we are on the side of justice."

Credit: UTV

The journey goes back to when the couple moved to Belfast and applied for a family residence card for Jake.

This was rejected because Emma holds an Irish passport.

The Home Office said as she was born in Northern Ireland she would have to renounce her British citizenship.

But Emma argued under the Good Friday Agreement she can be seen as Irish only and appealed.

Jake's passport was held by authorities during this legal wrangle, but then a judge at their tribunal upheld their appeal.

And in another twist, the Home Office is appealing.

Emma said: "Personally as someone who was born here and feels so passionately about the country, to have such a basic right questioned is baffling."

Jake and Emma vow to fight on, knowing theirs is a case that many will be closely watching.