A SHAFTESBURY woman who has lived in Britain for 65 years is being threatened with deportation.

Grandmother Joan Wakely was born in Canada but has lived in this country since she was six-months-old and has paid taxes all her working life.

She and her husband Mike have brought up their three children and two grandchildren here.

But the 65-year-old retired administrator is now facing a battle to remain here after being stopped by airport immigration officials who branded her an illegal alien.

Mrs Wakely, who has always held a Canadian passport, was told that they had no record of her being a British citizen.

She has been given six months to remain in Britain before she faces the prospect of being deported to Canada, where she has no home or family.

In order to remain here permanently she must pay £840 and pass a test for full UK citizenship, although there is no guarantee her application will be accepted.

Mrs Wakely was born in Vancouver in 1945 after her English mother Doris had met her father Doug Couper, a Canadian serviceman, during World War Two.

After the war her parents briefly moved to Canada so Mr Couper could be demobbed.

Six months after Mrs Wakely was born the family returned to England and lived in Hertfordshire before settling in Shaftesbury.

Mrs Wakely assumed her parents had taken care of the necessary immigration issues and has always used her Canadian passport to travel around the world.

She was stunned when she was pulled aside by officials at Gatwick Airport following a recent holiday to Florida.

Mrs Wakely said: “It’s ludicrous. At first I thought it must be a joke. I’ve lived here since I was six-months-old. In fact, if you work it out I was actually conceived here.

“Over the years I’ve travelled to Canada, Israel, all over Europe and to Paris for my honeymoon, and never had any trouble.”

A UK Border Agency spokesman said: “It is the responsibility of everyone seeking entry to the UK to ensure they meet the requirements of our immigration rules.

“Long residence in the UK is not, on its own, a sufficient qualification to remain here indefinitely.”