A Northern Ireland-born woman and her American husband's application for residency has been denied.
Gemma Capparelli has hit out at the UK Home Office's decision to reject her husband's application for permanent residency in Northern Ireland.
Capparelli, who born in Belfast, holds an Irish passport. She has been told by officials that she also needs to prove that she is entitled to live in Northern Ireland herself.
After spending ten years overseas, Capparelli, her husband Dominic, and the their son applied for residency in her home city.
Despite the 36-year-old woman including her birth certificate with the application, it was refused on the grounds that she had "no evidence" she was "entitled to permanent residency herself".
Capparelli maintains that the denial is in breach of her rights under the Good Friday Agreement.
Gemma Capparelli said she never expected the authorities to question her right to live in her hometown of Belfast just because she married an American. “It’s causing us a lot of stress. I never thought coming home would cause such angst” #migrantvoices https://t.co/bXcFuk4uFl— Migrant Voice (@MigrantVoiceUK) November 1, 2018
"I never thought coming home would cause such angst," she told The Guardian.
"The Home Office really are not living up to the Good Friday agreement. They are saying I’m not even a resident in my own country. It is mind-boggling. You feel like you are in limbo," she added.
The case echoes that of Derry native Emma DeSouza and her Californian husband Jake DeSouza, who also faced rejection by the Home Office when Emma applied for a visa for Jake. As Emma applied as an Irish citizen living in the UK, she was told that because she was born in the North she must reapply as a British citizen.
The Desouzas are awaiting the outcome of a Home Office appeal after a judge initially ruled in favor of the couple.
The Capparellis have also lodged an appeal of the decision.