A couple facing the threat of deportation have an anxious wait to find out if they can spend their lives together after tying the knot just hours after the bride was released from a detention centre.
The pair dreamed of a perfect day to become man and wife, but instead, the ceremony was held just a short time after she was granted bail from Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre and allowed home to the North East.
The 25-year-old graduate is originally from Pakistan and came to the UK to study, but was then subjected to two attempts by her family to enter into a forced marriage, with legal action taken to protect her from further plots.
She has renounced Islam, which is seen by a criminal act by some strict Muslims, and has been physically and mentally abused by her relatives here and in her home country.
She spent three weeks in Yarl’s Wood as the Home Office threatened to deport her, while her fiance back on Wearside and their solicitor launched a judicial review.
The outcome of that decision, their second review, could take up to six months, leaving the couple in limbo.
The couple, who do not want to be identified for fear of reprisals, have been told they could go and live in Pakistan, but they believe they will both be at risk of harm and even murder.
Their registry office wedding day was held just 48 hours after she granted a release from the Government centre in Bedfordshire and she remains on Home Office bail.
The woman’s husband, who lives in Sunderland, said: “We would have liked a nice venue and get our friends there, even a church and have it a bit more traditional, which is what we had been planning.
“But we’re married, and that’s what we wanted, and she is over the moon.
“She’s still having flashbacks about what’s happened to her and I have to go to work and leave her, which isn’t great.
“Now we have some sort of axe hanging over us because we don’t know what is happening with her status, we can never quite be sure.
“We’re having Christmas and New Year together, so we’re going to try and get back to some sort of normality.
“If you read her application, it’s cut and dry.
“We’ve done everything possible.
“We’re married, we don’t want anything off the state, we live in my own home.
“She has a degree and a masters and they’re looking out for people in her profession in the UK, she wants to work, and they will make a lot off us in tax.
“It’s been costing them £100 a day to keep her in detention.”
The Home Office has said those who establish a genuine need of protection will be granted asylum.
A spokesman has previously said those to not need protection expected to leave the UK voluntarily and with assistance, adding where they refuse to it will seek to enforce their removal.