An American woman who was facing the threat of deportation during the coronavirus lockdown has been given a six-month reprieve.
Katie Collins has lived in Garthdee with her partner Alan Gibb since 2013 after the pair met in her native Houston, Texas.
Now it has been confirmed Katie has been given an extra six months in her visitor visa.
She went to pick up her up passport last week after immigration chiefs contacted her to say her visa was being extended.
Katie said she was “like a kid at Christmas” after picking up the documents at Aberdeen International Airport.
She said: “We went over there to grab it and while we were there we were sitting in an empty concourse.
“I got my passport back. It is stamped and says I now have six months leave to remain.
“I was a nervous wreck about this because I wasn’t sure it was true.
“But when I collected my passport I was like a kid at Christmas.
“I don’t know what the future holds but right now I am here and I am legal. I don’t need to worry for a bit.”
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Katie was granted a partner visa in 2016 but she ran into issues when she had to return to the United States to care for a family member for 11 weeks.
That meant she missed the deadline for renewal of her visa. On her return, Katie was detained for five hours at Heathrow Airport and a visitor visa was stamped in her passport, which cancelled her partner visa.
Her application to renew her partner visa was refused in January and she was told she was not eligible to do that as a visitor.
The couple have appealed that decision.
Katie said that despite being given six more months on her visa there will be no let up in her fight to secure a permanent visa.
She said: “You hear about people having the weight of the world off their shoulders and it really is like that
“The battle’s won but the war is not over. I’m here with Alan and have six months to work on securing permanent residency.”
A Home Office spokeswoman said: “Ms Collins has been granted six months leave to remain in the UK during which time she can apply for further leave through the right and proper channels.”