标签档案: promise

内政部承诺数周后,弱势群体仍与英国的亲戚分开

内政部承诺数周后,弱势群体仍与英国的亲戚分开
独家的: Hundreds of dependent relatives of UK residents trapped ‘in limbo’ due to ‘unacceptable’ delays

Hundreds of vulnerable people who have been unable to join their loved ones in the UK for months are still waiting to be reunited, six weeks after the Home Office pledged that they would be granted visas.

Relatives of dependent adults who were due to join them in Britain months ago have said that their loved ones are trapped “in limbo” and suffering from worsening mental health due to government delays.

独立 revealed in September that hundreds of people had been wrongly barred from entering the UK despite the Home Office stating that they had the right to join relatives under an EEA family permit.

In accordance with EU regulations, until 30 六月 2021, an EEA family permit visa allowed extended family members of EU nationals to join them in Britain. Due to Brexit, the route ceased to exist after 30 六月.

The applicants had all applied long before the visa route was due to end, but faced long delays in receiving the visa and were told shortly after the deadline that it would no longer be granted to them.

In response to 独立’s article in September, the Home Office said these individuals would instead be issued with an EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) family permit, on which they could come to the UK.

然而, six weeks on, the applicants are yet to be issued their visas, which their loved ones in the UK say is leaving them in a state of uncertainty and causing a deterioration in their mental health.

To make matters worse, the Home Office published new guidance last week stating that it may be able to request further evidence from the applicants before issuing their EUSS family permits – despite the fact that they have already been through the application process – which would cause further delay.

Lawyers have now written to the Home Office warning that the additional requirements are “unlawful and unnecessary” given that the applications have already been granted or awarded on appeal.

Syed Hussain, 32, whose brother Fahad Hussain was told his application for a family permit had been accepted in May 2021, accused the government of “playing with people’s feelings” by keeping them “in limbo” for months.

His brother, 34, who suffers from severe depression and anxiety and lives alone in Karachi, 巴基斯坦, is in a “worsening condition” after being given “false hope” by the Home Office on multiple occasions, Mr Hussain said.

“One minute they say they will give us the visa, so we are happy, he starts getting ready to come to the UK, then they say we have to wait. It’s like they are playing around. I believe they don’t want to give it to us – it’s just constant false promises.”

Hassan Shafiq, 25, was informed in February 2021 that his two younger siblings – aged 22 和 16 and living in Lahore – had been accepted for EEA family permit visas. But they did not receive them in time, and were informed in July that they could not come to the UK.

Like other successful applicants, his brother and sister are still waiting, and Mr Shafiq said this was having a profound impact on their wellbeing.

“It’s really frustrating. Even though we know that everything has changed and we should get the visas, we’ve been fighting for more than a year. There’s no certainty,“ 他说.

Mala Savjani, solicitor for Here for Good, based at Wilsons Solicitors LLP, who is representing 20 applicants, wrote to the Home Office in August explaining that her team would be issuing judicial review proceedings unless they permitted entry to the UK to her clients.

The applicants were told by the Home Office on 24 September that they would instead be issued with EUSS family permits and that it intended to start considering those affected “within the next fortnight”.

On the basis of these assurances, Ms Savjani has been unable to progress with court proceedings in these cases.

她告诉 独立: “It is now November 2021 and all of these applicants are still waiting. It is unacceptable that these individuals still do not know when they will be permitted to enter the UK and how much longer they will have to wait for.”

She said the new guidance “served only to further complicate matters by suggesting that the Home Office may be able request further evidence from the applicants, before issuing their EUSS family permits, even after they have won their appeals”.

Luke Piper, head of policy at campaign group the3million, 说: “Assurances were given a month ago to hundreds of people separated from their loved ones that they would be reunited. To date, we are unaware of anyone being granted permits.

“这 [new guidance] increases barriers and will inevitably delay further people from being together. We urge the government to simplify their approach and give these people what they are entitled to.”

A letter to the Home Office signed by Here for Good and the3million demands that all applicants who now qualify for an EUSS family permit be contacted within the next 28 days to inform them of this, and that the new guidance is amended to remove the additional requirements.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Supporting vulnerable people is a vital part of our approach.

“Eligible extended family members who could not be issued with an EEA family permit will instead receive an EUSS family permit. This will enable them to join their EEA citizen family member in the UK.

“We are in the process of conducting relevant suitability checks and contacting those affected. We are working through these cases as quickly as possible.”