Mum has filed four visa applications to remain in the UK rejected despite spending 23 years here

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Despite residing in the country for 23 years, a mother who has spent £12,000 on applications to remain in the country says she does not understand why she is continually rejected down.

In 2001, Patience Jamela left Zimbabwe to pursue her teaching training. She claims that although she had intended to return later, she chose to live in Britain after meeting a man. She is now 45 years old and has applied four times for permanent citizenship, each time incurring fees of £3k.

Patience claims she has been denied a mortgage and has had her travel options restricted at times, which is why she wants to become a resident. However, the Home Office has rejected her application each time, and she is unsure of the reason for this. Patience, mother of three stated: “I feel like my life is in limbo. I am a good citizen. I pay my taxes. I don’t understand why I should be penalised.”

Patience traveled from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe to Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent, where she was pursuing a PGCE. She claimed that the “state-of-the-art” instruction in England was what drew her to study there. But even though she intended to go back to Zimbabwe when her studies were done, she ended up meeting her ex-partner online in 2004.

After she become pregnant, the couple had three children. Jaden, 11, Charlotte, 18, and Alissa, 17. In 2012, Patience submitted her application for permanent residence, but the Home Office denied it. She claims that after that, she reapplied in 2015, 2018, 2021, and is getting ready to submit an application this month.

She had to go to such extremes that, as part of the procedure, she had to relocate from Kent to asylum accommodations in Wolverhampton, where she spent 2008 isolated from one of her children. However, every time she applies, she is informed that she is not eligible for settlement and is instead granted temporary leave-to-remain, which needs to be extended every three years.

According to her, she is ineligible for permanent residence, but she “no idea” why.

“I have no criminal record. I don’t understand why they have not allowed me to stay. My life is on hold. My children have never met their grandmother because she lives in Zimbabwe we can’t afford to travel there. We have not had a holiday because of this situation. The last holiday was when the kids were small.”

“I can’t afford to move house because I am always thinking about the next application. My kids are anxious. They don’t know what’s going to happen. This country’s their life. They have family, cousins and nieces here. This is all they have known.”

She claimed that her primary reason for seeking permanent status is to be able to “look after” her kids.

Charlotte, Patience’s “hard-working” oldest daughter, intends to pursue a university degree in dentistry. Patience stated, “I adore this country. I want to be a good citizen. I have done jury service. I do volunteering. But I am getting old and I have not even lived a life.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “All applications are carefully considered on their individual merits in accordance with the Immigration Rules. It is longstanding government policy that we do not routinely comment on individual cases.”



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Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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