THE Home Office has been urged to back down after a Scottish court ruled the decision to deport a Chinese accountancy graduate is unlawful.

Chennan Fei, from Glasgow was plunged into an immigration nightmare after learning that her parents had not renewed their status with the UK Government.

The 28-year-old was just a child when she arrived in Scotland to join her parents, who were then studying at Glasgow University.

She came to the city on a student dependent visa in 2002 and did not know the family’s status had expired. The news came shortly before the family would have qualified to apply for permission to stay on the grounds of long-term residency – but the rules changed just 12 weeks short of reaching that limit.

Estranged from her parents over the row, Fei – who has not been to China in 15 years and has no friends or family there – was taken into immigration detention in March and released the following week after an intervention from her solicitor secured a judicial review of the legality of the Home Office decision.

Yesterday ,the Edinburgh University graduate and her Scots partner Duncan Harkness won a major victory at the Court of Session, where, after a 180-minute hearing, a judge ruled that UK Government officials had not acted in accordance with the law.

Fei’s solicitor Usman Aslam, of Glasgow law practice McGlashan MacKay, said: “This is the kind of case that should not have to go through such awful hurdles.

“It is important to remember that Chennan came to the UK as a child. She cannot be blamed for not knowing her immigration status. She completed her studies and attained a degree from a top university and since had provided key voluntary services, making a difference to various organisations.

“She has lived here for more than half of her life. She should not be separated from her British god- mother, her partner, or Scotland which she considers her home.”

Harkness was on holiday in the US when she was taken to Yarl’s Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire earlier this year.

At the time, she told The National: “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.”

Yesterday, Fei thanked Aslam and advocate Ken Forrest, saying she was “blessed” to have had their help.

However, her future status is still unclear, with no confirmation from the Home Office on whether they will bring fresh grounds for deportation.

A spokesperson for the department said: "We are considering our options following the court's decision in this case and it would be inappropriate to comment further."

Thanking her former MP Anne McLaughlin, the Scottish Refugee Council and the Scottish Greens, Fei said: “The last few months have been a life-changing experience for me. I’m thrilled to have the support from my family, friends and all the people who cared so much about me. Without them I wouldn’t have come this far. Scotland is my home.

“With all the help, I will do my best to become a better person and continuously contribute my know-ledge and skills back to the society. “

News of Fei’s case came after the Home Office apologised for wrongly sending 100 letters telling EU nationals they faced detention and removal from the UK.

An investigation has been launched into the error, which emerged after London-based academic Dr Eva Johanna Holmberg, from Finland, was told she had a month to leave.

The Home Office said: “A limited number of letters were issued in error and we have been urgently looking into why this happened.

“We are contacting everyone who received this letter to clarify that they can disregard it.

“The rights of EU nationals living in the UK remain unchanged.”

However, James McGrory, exec-utive director of Open Britain, said: “It’s little wonder that many EU citizens feel worried about their future status in the UK.”