My mom has recently become an illegal immigrant in England; she's admitted it as such via her Instagram.

She just upped and left, with no real warning; my dad is devastated.

I'm 25/F and an only child. I have a good relationship with both my parents.

There were no big life events that caused this; only a week ago we'd been celebrating my dad getting a promotion and me having lived for a year in my new city in Canada (I'm dual Canadian/US Citizen); he lives in the U.S. but my dad is Canadian, Mom is American if that makes sense.

He lives in AZ, in the U.S. but I'm in Vancouver, BC. (sorry for using state abbreviations here)

Given how illegal immigration is a hot-button issue in the U.S. this is probably an odd question for you to deal with, and this is partially about immigration, but coping with my mom doing a disappearing act.

All we can glean from her Instagram is:

Not coming back until the President is out of office or impeached; we don't need FUCKING PSYCHOS like him there who grab women's pussies. I'm staying in England and am gonna claim asylum there then come back to the US when he's out of office. Or I may just gonna stay in England forevah! > Woooooot!!

and a selfie of her in a tiny croptop and hot pants.

There was also one other Instagram post saying she'd never renounce her U.S. citizenship and it was full of personal attacks directed at the current administration.

My dad is devastated and can't understand why she'd just disappear and move to a new country and claim asylum like this. He's not depressed yet, but I worry he could be.

He's said he wants to talk more with me about this, but doesn't know what more he can say about it; he feels shocked and upset.

I feel pretty upset too, but have no idea how to cope; I had a great relationship with my mom.

I'm looking for advice on how to cope, as she's only been gone from the U.S. for three weeks now, and it doesn't seem likely that she may return.

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    This seems to be more suited to Interpersonal Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 13:39
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    "...He's not depressed..." Yeah but I think she has some major issues here that have nothing to do immigration, except tangentally. Patricia is right, this is not the site for your question. On that point, I think your father has a MUCH better idea of what's going on in your mother's head than he's letting on to you, or perhaps even admitting to himself. Some questions: How strongly does she really feel about this Trump thing? Is your father a Trump supporter? Were there other times in their life together that they didn't agree on politics? If you dig deep enough, you'll probably find dirt.
    – ouflak
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 7:14
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    On the immigration side. Did your mother make her intentions clear the moment she entered the UK that she wants to claim Asylum? She can't just do it when she likes. The courts have recently given some leeway of about one month, so her clock is ticking down. If she is going to declare, she needs to do it NOW. Also note, her application will fail. The United States is a very safe country that is politically stable. It's also big with plenty of economic and social opportunity. Those are key factors in deciding such an application. Maybe you should make her aware of this reality.
    – ouflak
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 7:19
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    Ouflak: Chances of a US citizen to get asylum in the U.K. are zero.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 12:06
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    Does your mum have relatives or friends in the UK? Does she know the country well? This is more difficult to do than write of course, but maybe if you give her some space the initial euphoria of having ‘escaped’ will wear off, reality will start to dawn, she’ll start to miss her family and friends in the US, and the sheer complications of trying to live in the UK illegally will help her to recognise that life isn’t greener on the other side of the pond. I do tend to agree with @ouflak that there’s more to the story in the US than you may know up to now.
    – Traveller
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 12:38

1 Answer 1


There's no explicit question here that is on topic for this site, but there is an implicit question about immigration status, perhaps for each of your parents.

I presume that your father is a lawful permanent resident (LPR) in the US, that is, that he has a green card. If that is the case then he has nothing to worry about as far as his immigration status is concerned unless he is a "conditional" LPR. A spouse will have conditional LPR status if at the time of immigrating to the US the marriage is less than 2 years old. It is then necessary to apply for removal of conditions between 21 and 24 months after immigrating. Since you are 25, it seems extremely unlikely that your father is a conditional LPR.

Your mother will probably have been admitted to the UK for six months, which is the standard period of admission for visitors. She can legally stay there for six months, but she should be aware that if she stays substantially longer than she said she was planning to stay when she entered, the UK will probably find that she used deception, which will lead to her being refused admission on subsequent visits.

It's also possible that she could be found not to be a genuine visitor if she had the intention to remain in the UK when she entered. In that case, her six-month leave to enter the UK will be curtailed, and she could be deported sooner than that.

She has indicated a desire to apply for asylum. That application will certainly fail. If she refuses to leave the UK when she is told to, or at the end of six months if she's not told otherwise, she risks being detained under truly awful conditions, perhaps indefinitely, until she can be removed to the US.

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    It’s not clear how your mum plans to support herself, but just to add that visa-free entry to the UK does not mean she is allowed to work while she’s in the UK. If she tries to get a job, a prospective employer is obliged by law to check that she has the right to work.
    – Traveller
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 18:19
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    The usual way to prove she has the right to work is showing your U.K. or currently EU passport. Since she has neither, she would need some official document showing she has the right to work, which she doesn’t have.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 12:00

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