SHE arrived as a child and has not seen her homeland for 15 years. Now judges will rule on Chinese national Chennan Fei’s future in Scotland after she narrowly avoided deportation today.

The 28-year-old revealed her feelings of helplessness after she was taken to an English detention centre for overstaying her visa.

She came to Scotland in 2002 on a student dependent visa to join her parents, who were then on courses at Glasgow University.

She subsequently discovered her family had overstayed, but, as she approached three months to go until they could apply for permission to stay on grounds of long residency, the rules changed and left her in legal limbo.

Now estranged from her parents, she was placed in immigration detention last week and was expected to be flown home today.

Her partner Duncan Harkness, who lives in David Mundell’s Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency, was on a pre-arranged trip to America at the time and yesterday revealed how he had planned to propose on his return.

But last night the couple were given a lifeline after solicitors secured a judicial review into her case.

She is expected to be released back to her Glasgow home as early as today, with a court date to follow as her solicitor Usman Aslam, of the McGlashan MacKay legal firm that helped save Dingwall’s Brain family, fights to keep her here.

He told The National: “Chennan, despite having funded her education from her own resources, having attained a degree in accountancy through the University of Edinburgh and having integrated within society and being involved in community activities, was still considered as someone who should be sent away from Scotland.

“The decision shocked a number of local groups with which she had volunteered.

“Chennan hopes to ultimately be granted leave to remain so that she can look forward to her life in the community and country that she loves.”

Speaking from Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre, Chennan said: “Although they say it is not a prison, I am trapped.

“I can’t seem to remember much from the past few days and this agonising feeling just grows stronger.

“Being here is mind-numbing. I see others losing track of date and time. I want to come home to Scotland.”

Harkness, who is still in America, said he had faced the “nightmare” of not only losing his girlfriend but also “an opportunity to say goodbye”.

He went on: “Our future plans were for us to move in together and, though I didn’t want her to find out this way, for me to propose shortly after.

“She is deeply loved. Her unique mix of skills, along with her naturally positive attitude, would be extremely beneficial to the UK.

“She has no friends, family or contacts in China. It would be inhumane to deport her.”

Chennan’s local MP Anne McLaughlin, who has pressed the Home Office on her case, said Scotland needs talent like hers.

With her fluency in Mandarin gone, McLaughlin says returning Chennan to China would breach her human rights.

The SNP MP said: “Although there is no rule or provision in the Immigration Act that deals directly with the “children” of over-stayers, for Chennan to be exiled from all her friends and family in the UK is an extremely harsh decision for the Home Office to make. Chennan is now 28-years-old and has lived more than half her life in Scotland. She has a Scottish partner and most definitely established a strong private life here. Although her almost 15 years living in the UK may not be considered legal, this is through no fault of Chennan’s.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Every case is assessed on its individual merits and in line with immigration rules. If someone is found not to need our protection we expect them to leave the UK. We do not routinely comment on individual cases.”