“DON’T tear us apart.”

Those are the words from a Hampshire woman who faces the prospect of deportation back to America – because her British husband is unemployed.

Kathy Postelle-Rixon moved from Wisconsin two-and-a-half years ago to begin a life in Lymington with Kevin Rixon after they got married.

But now after 30 months of blissful marriage their life together could be ripped apart by the end of next week because the Home Office has refused to allow her a visa granting her permanent residency.

A letter from the Home Office arrived at their Harvester Way home on Saturday stating that the couple need to prove that they are earning another £300 pounds per month for her to stay here so that she can support herself.

Because Kevin is unemployed he is receiving support, and Kathy knows she can’t be in receipt of benefits. She has ten days to leave or lodge an appeal which Kathy said they will do.

If the piano teacher is deported, she won’t be able to return to the UK for ten years.

The earliest Kathy can apply for British citizenship is October. Until then she fears she may not be able to stay with the man she loves.

If the 53-year-old was to return to America, Kevin would not be likely to gain a visa to stay with her because he is unemployed.

Kathy said she was “heartbroken” at the prospect of being forced to return home.

She said: “I have done nothing but cry for the last two days. He is the love of my life. I don’t know what I’d do without him. We have a life here, we have a dog. We have done nothing wrong.

“I don’t like b e i n g treated t h i s way. People who are terrorists get to stay here.”

While the appeal is lodged she can remain here but she is not certain of how much time she has with the love of her life.

“I don’t know how long that process takes. I don’t know how long I can stay here for,” she said.

The couple met four-and-a-half years ago through friends and after a two year courtship they married in Christchurch before they settled in Lymington. Kathy has had to undergo four operations for a variety of illnesses meaning she has not been able to continue her work as a piano teacher.

Kevin has been out of work since his contract with Magda Seatings, which was contracted to the Ford plant in Swaythling, ran out. He is also due to undergo surgery for kidney stones in the next few weeks.

Kathy is also unable to see her sick father who is in a nursing home because if she leaves the UK she is worried she won’t be able to return.

A spokesman from the Home Office said: “All applications are considered on their individual merits, according to the evidence provided and in line with the immigration rules.

“Applicants must provide evidence to show they meet the requirements of the UK immigration rules, including personal and financial circumstances.”

They added Kathy also failed to supply a Life in the UK test certificate as required.