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Posted on 26th August 2017
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It seems that the UK Home Office has gone deportation-crazy in the last few months, as described in this piece from the Financial Times.
It first came to my attention with the story about Eva Johanna Holmberg, a Finn who specialises in early modern British history, studying at Queen Mary College, University of London, who posted details of her deportation warning last week. The warning stated that a decision had been taken to remove her from the UK in accordance with section 10 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. It turns out that the Home Office sent out about 100 such letters "in error", including to Dr. Leonardo Fasano (whose case is described in this BBC news article), who moved to the UK two years ago from Taranto, Italy, and last week received a letter from the Home Office informing him he had one month to leave.
Then, this morning, I read (here, on the BBC) about Irene Clennell, who has finally been allowed to return to the UK to be reunited with her husband of 27 years, after being deported in February this year. She was deported despite her long-term marriage to a British citizen, having lived in the UK for 30 years, being the main carer for her sick husband, and the two children and one grandchild she has living in the UK.
It seems that most of these cases are just due to clerical error. Irene Clennell's case, however, is a different matter. The Home Office has a bizarre rule that visa applications (at least for her type of visa) must be applied for from outside of the country (the UK is not alone in this - I experienced the same bureaucratic nonsense in Indonesia). That means that if you enter the UK on a visitor's visa, and then decide to stay (for example because you married a Brit), you have to leave, apply for a visa, and re-enter once you have your visa; this is something that not all people can afford. It is high-time that this rule was relaxed, by defining some standard exemptions.
I hope that someone sues the Home Office for the stress that they have caused to these victims of their callousness and carelessness.