A MARRIED couple face being torn apart because the Government decided the husband ‘does not fit the criteria’ to remain in the UK.

US citizen Clayton and Collette Murwin, now living Liscard have been married for 18 years, and lived in the UK from 2000 to 2003 before moving to the USA to care for Clayton’s mother for 13 years.

Collette, 56, received a permanent resident status for the USA in 2003 but after missing her children she travelled back to the UK just in time to witness her eldest son Daniel Timbrell get married.

After returning in March 2016 Collette decided she wanted to remain in the UK so Clayton sold everything they owned and followed his wife to their new home.

After his six month visa ran out, Clayton applied to settle in the UK but just last week he was told his application had been refused.

Friends of the couple have now set up a petition to keep Clayton in the country.

It has so far reached 8,179 signatures but if it reaches 10,000 the issue will be reviewed by Parliament.

Ex-max security prison officer Clayton, 53, told the globe: “I went to see an IAS immigration solicitor who told me to stay out my visa for six months and then apply for right to family life application. 

“I didn’t think there would be any issue as I had held an indefinite leave to remain previously.

“We contacted our local MP Angela Eagle and she helped try and find out why we hadn’t heard back and that was when I found out that I didn’t meet the requirements and had to leave the UK.

“Because they have certified this, I cannot appeal.

“I have no money, no job, no nothing – I can’t leave my wife.

“I just don’t know what to do.

“We sit here at night thinking what’s going to happen to us.

“It sounds terrible but I could deal with it if she passed away but I couldn’t deal with it if she was still here and I was forced apart from her.

“She’s a strong woman and I love her – I don’t want to leave her.”

Clayton added: “I love my step children and grandchildren, our grandson says ‘why does granddad have to leave’ you know, I love him, he loves me.

“I also have a godson over here and a lot of ties.

“I don’t have anything left in America. We’re an older couple and don’t want anything from the Government, we don’t want any benefits.

“I’ve been told I could work tomorrow if I was allowed.

“I have worked for everything my whole life, never asked or begged for anything.

“I would renounce my American citizenship if I have to, I don’t want to hurt anybody, I just want to be with my wife.”

To help Clayton and Collette, sign the petition here https://www.change.org/p/home-office-right-to-family-life