Fifty five years ago Anna Amato moved with her parents from Italy to the UK.
Since then she has married, started a family and owned a successful business.
Anna estimates she has paid £500,000 in tax and has raised her two children here.
Always living in Bristol, Anna has attended school and university in Britain and considers the UK her home.
But the British government doesn't agree and her request for permanent residency has been rejected.
Devastated Anna was told she did not have enough evidence to document her status – despite sending an entire box of information that was so heavy it cost £35 to post.
She had spent three months compiling her paperwork, which included tax returns, banks statements, qualifications and her national insurance number.
Anna said: "You are in your country, it is a democracy, all of a sudden you are told after this time no one knows what is going to happen to you.
"Where do I go? It is really, really scary."
Following her refusal for permanent residency, in writing, Anna made a series of frantic phone calls and sent almost a dozen emails, certain there had been a mistake.
In one a government official told her she had failed to prove herself as, “a qualified person either as a worker, a self-employed person, a student, a jobseeker, or a self-sufficient person”.
Anna ran a pizza takeaway business for almost 20 years and has also worked as a personal assistant and a counsellor.
She said: "All of a sudden, they snatch it away from you. You become unstable.
"It gives you anxiety, stress, you know it affects every aspect of your life. It is so upsetting."
The government has said Anna has not reapplied for permanent residency under the EU Settlement Scheme but stressed she had been given advice on where to get help.
But Anna is not sure she wants to apply for the status for a second time and has said she will "deal with the consequences".
She could apply for citizenship through her British husband but says she's offended by the idea of having to sit an English and history test and paying more than a thousand pounds to get citizenship after living in Britain for over half a century.
Anna said: "I resent the fact I have to apply for settlement in my own country. If I apply again, I am enabling the system.
"What is next? A badge, branding?”
Amato says her Italian father, who had dementia in later life and died in March, would be upset at how EU migrants are being treated.
He moved his family to Britain to work in a factory making washing machines in 1964, a time when Britain was looking abroad for workers.
Anna said: "He loved the UK because he thought it was a fair and decent nation. He was proud to be here. I feel betrayed."
Her story is one of many being faced by EU nationals who have made the UK their home.
For decades, Britain’s membership of the EU has guaranteed the bloc’s citizens the right to live and work in the country.
But as Britain prepares to sever ties with Brussels after 46 years, EU citizens must apply for a new legal lifeline to remain, known as settled status.
Under the government’s plans, EU citizens who can prove they have lived continuously in Britain for five years will be granted settled status, giving them the same rights to work, study and benefits they currently hold.
Many EU nationals are concerned they could lose the right to free healthcare or employment.
Others are worried about how they will prove they have the right to return if they travel abroad.
The fate of EU migrants has been thrown further into confusion by the government’s announcement this month that their automatic right to live and work in Britain will end abruptly – and sooner than expected – in the event of a no-deal Brexit .
The government launched its EU Settlement Scheme for registering EU citizens in January this year.
The status of British and EU nationals living in each other’s territories has been one of the most important issues in Brexit talks, which have dragged on for the past three years.
Both sides have promised to ensure settled citizens do not lose any rights.
In his first statement to parliament after becoming Prime Minister in July, Boris Johnson said he wanted to thank EU citizens living in Britain for their contribution and promised to ensure they could remain after Brexit.
There are now fears the issues facing EU nationals who have to prove their status could mirror the Windrush scandal.
This led to British citizens of Caribbean origin denied rights despite living lawfully in the country for decades.
Some lost jobs, others were wrongly deported.
Labour politician Virendra Sharma said: "Anna’s story is a tragic one.
"How can somebody who has given so much of their life to the UK, who went to school here and got married here, have their existence in this country wiped?
"I think most people would say that can’t be right."
Even Brexit supporters are calling for more to be done about the issue.
Daniel Hannan, a prominent Brexit supporter and Conservative lawmaker in the European Parliament, has called on the government to do more, saying he had been contacted by EU nationals in his constituency denied long-term residency.
He said: "This is a breach of the assurances I and other Leavers gave during the referendum. Please help sort this out."
Until recently, the government had been advising the estimated 3.5 million EU citizens living in Britain that they had until December 2020 to register to retain their rights.
So far, only about 1 million people have applied.
Richard Bertinet, a renowned French chef who has lived in Britain for the past 31 years, was denied settled status after applying earlier this month with the help of his British wife, a former lawyer.
Bertinet, who has written two award-winning cookbooks, appeared on cookery TV shows and set up a bakery that supplies upmarket supermarket chain Waitrose, said he had only been granted pre-settled status.
The government gave him the right to stay until 2024, when he will need to reapply for settled status.
He said: "It is painful and embarrassingI have spent more time in my life in this country than in France."
Bertinet said he fears more for vulnerable people, such as those who speak poor English or the elderly.
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