LONDON: A disabled woman who suffers from a genetic disorder has been working tirelessly to bring her Indian fiance back to the UK after he was deported for staying illegally in the country last week.
Claire May, 34, met Amit Chawla, 27, while he was in Britain illegally and even gave birth to their daughter Riya in February this year.
After Chawla was deported to India earlier this month, May has been working on ways to bring him back using her taxpayer-funded living allowance and disability benefits.
“The benefits I get are mine so it’s nobody else’s business how I spend them — and I choose to spend them on him.
When Amit got deported, it was the worst day of my life. Just because he was here illegally, it doesn’t make our relationship any less real,” she told the ‘Daily Mirror’.
“I love him, and can’t believe he has been sent away. His home is here with me,” she said.
Punjab-born Chawla lived in the UK illegally for six years after his two-year working holiday visa expired in July 2009. According to the newspaper, he spent the next three years taking cash-in-hand cleaning jobs and sleeping on friends’ sofas to avoid being caught by UK Home Office.
In September 2012, he met Claire online and the pair struck up a relationship. Claire suffers from Triple X syndrome, which means she was born with an extra chromosome that can cause short-term memory loss, dyslexia and weak muscles.
“Amit and I got chatting online and soon we were talking every day. I thought he was gorgeous, with big dark eyes and a handsome face,” she said.
In July 2013, after six months of dating, the couple got engaged. By the following year Claire was pregnant, prompting Chawla to apply for a British residency visa. His application was rejected and after being held in a detention centre, he was deported back to India on August 16.
Claire has now bought tickets for flights to India next month where she plans to marry Chawla and bring him back to the UK on a spouse and marriage visa.
“It didn’t bother me he was here illegally – everyone makes mistakes, and I love him,” she said.