An elderly American woman ordered out of Canada earlier this week is now back in the country after an exhausting immigration battle.

Nancy Inferrera, 73, and her longtime friend, Mildred Sanford, 83, of Nova Scotia, crossed at the St. Stephen border on Friday afternoon.

They were both ecstatic and looking forward to returning to their modest trailer home in Guysborough, N.S.

"I'm just going home and put my feet up and relax, and that's it," said Inferrera.

"I could fly over the moon," said Sanford.

But there were some tense moments at the border, said Inferrera's immigration lawyer, Lee Cohen, who had travelled from Halifax to be with them and ensure everything went smoothly.

Initially, there was some concern that the proper paperwork for Inferrera to have a three-year temporary residence permit hadn't been issued by Ottawa, he told CBC News.

Then there was some discussion about whether Inferrera was actually working in Canada since she has been caring for Sanford for the past five years, said Cohen.

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Nancy holds her temporary permit. (CBC)

 

Sanford has heart problems and is in the early stages of dementia.

Paperwork took more than 1 hour

It took more than an hour to iron out the details before they could cross, he said.

Inferrera's application for permanent residency had been refused, as had her appeal on humanitarian grounds, based on the care she provides for Sanford.

Their situation looked bleak on Wednesday as they crossed the border into Calais, Maine., refusing to be separated.

Their lawyer called for an intervention from Ottawa and on Thursday received the good news that Inferrera had been granted a temporary permit.

When the permit expires, Inferrera can reapply for permanent residency.

Sanford and Inferrera met while working in Massachusetts and they moved in together after Sanford's husband died. In 2008, they moved to Guysborough.

The two share a trailer home, where they live on pension income of $1,700 per month.