A PREGNANT woman has been left devastated after being told the Australian father of her unborn child is being deported.

Joshua Murr, 32, has been told he must return to Australia - leaving 28-year-old Kimberly Cairns back at home in Askam.

The couple, of Beach Street, have been refused a family visa to remain in the UK.

Mr Murr now has less than three weeks to leave the country with Miss Cairns expecting the birth of their first child on July 9.

The couple met while he was on a six month visit to the UK in June 2018.

They described their relationship as an 'instant' connection.

“As I’m sure everybody can relate, people can fall in love in many different ways and under so many circumstances”, said Miss Cairns. “We met online, instantly connected and fell in love. A few months later we found out we were expecting our first baby. We are absolutely heartbroken at the decision that has been made us feel completely powerless - we are running out of options.”

The couple have started a fundraising page to raise enough money for the appeal.

Regulations dictate that Mr Murr cannot start the appeal while he remains in the UK, which means he is being forced to return to Australia.

Visitors cannot marry while in the UK and although the couple could marry in Australia, Mr Murr is concerned this would cause too much stress on the baby and Miss Cairns may not be able to return so heavily pregnant.

“We are hoping we can turn to our family and friends for help during this extremely difficult time, even if it's just a small amount as this will go such a long way to ensure our family can stay together”, said Miss Cairns.

Mr Murr said: “The family and I are devastated. There are no words that can explain it. In the Home Office’s eyes Kim is supported here and can’t see any reason why she can’t look after the baby. As for me I’m expendable and I’ll be fine going back, but my family is here.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “All applications are considered on their individual merits and according to the immigration rules.”

Mr Murr entered the UK as a visitor with leave valid until 13 December 2018. On 8 January 2019, after his leave as a visitor expired, Mr Murr applied to remain in the UK on the basis of his family life.

“This application was refused and Mr Murr has a right of appeal against this decision.”

Barrow’s MP John Woodcock has also provided his support to the couple.

Mr Woodcock said: “Immigration issues are seldom straightforward and it is important that they receive sound legal advice on what are the best steps to take. I have provided Kimberly with contact details of regional lawyers who are best able to advise the couple and I have left the door open to assist them further if that is required.”

Visit www.gofundme.com/vqpvr-family-being-torn-apart