You will note from the details I have provided above as regards my name and date of birth that I currently have no leave to remain in the UK. As you will also be aware, I was granted leave to enter as a visitor at Heathrow Airport in 2001, with such leave being valid for 6months at a time when Zimbabwean nationals were not required to obtain prior entry clearance in this category.
When I arrived, I had every intention of returning home, however whilst still here, the social, political and economic situation in Zimbabwe worsened progressively over the years such that I felt unable to return home. I then sought employment in the UK in the care field in 2002, however the grant of status letter that I presented to my prospective employer was ascertained not to have been genuinely issued. This document had my full name, date of birth including nationality. I had obtained this document from a friend on the basis that once I started working I would pay him an agreed sum for the trouble he had taken to source the document. The very same day that I presented the document upon commencing work, my prospective employer informed me that he was retaining it and would be forwarding it to the home office as he could see from the features of the letter that it did not seem genuine more so when I could not produce the original one.
Following this event, I went to ground: I felt unable to present any sort of application to the home office as I was fearful that I would be arrested. This was because a month after the document was retained, the Home Office came to my place of residence looking for me, however I had been away from the house at that time. I then started to live with other friends a considerable distance away from my initial address.
In 2006, I met a British national, originally from Angola. We started to live together the same year and we now have a son together, born on 12/07/2014. My son is a British citizen. I am currently pregnant, expecting my second child in in October 2016.
I am not altogether sure how your offices ascertained my current address, however I write to inform you that I intend to submit a leave to remain, FLR(FP) application to yourselves but that for now I am responding to two letters I have received from yourselves; firstly a letter from Capita dated 23 June 2016 and a further letter of 6 July 2016 from your Sheffield offices informing me of my liability to removal.
The letter from Capita: Consequences of Illegal Stay in the UK
The letter of 23 June 2016 informs me as follows :
“We are contacting you because the Home Office has informed us that you do not have permission to be in the United Kingdom. Whilst you remain in the United Kingdom without leave you are liable to be removed and this may affect your right to return to the United Kingdom in the future. You must make immediate arrangements to leave the United Kingdom and send a copy of your travel ticket to us by email to CapitaContact@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk. Alternatively, you can post your evidence to Capita Business Services, P O Box 3468, Sheffield, S3 8WA”.
Of particular concern to me is that the letter from Capita also specifically informs me that, “ your life in the United Kingdom will become increasingly more difficult” as I will be subject to restrictions.
Towards this end , the letter clarifies as follows:
I may be prosecuted for the offence of overstaying under the Immigration Act 1971, the penalty of which is a fine of up to £5,000 and/or up to 6monnths imprisonment;
I may be forcibly removed from the UK and banned from re-entering for up to 10years;
The consequences of not leaving the UK immediately, include that I will be banned from working; will be subject to property restrictions as the Immigration Act 2014 will require landlords to conduct immigration checks; there will be benefit restrictions as Immigration Enforcement will share my details with other Government department; there will be charges for Secondary Healthcare and I am only entitled to emergency healthcare in the UK but will be required to pay for elective non – emergency treatment; that I will be denied access to bank accounts and credit agreements. I have also been informed that the home office will inform the DVLA not to issue me with a driving license and where I already have one, the Home Office will ask the DVLA to consider cancelling it.
The letter from Capita attaches a Statement of Intention to Depart which gives me 3 options to chose from as set out below:
I intend to leave the UK;
I intend to leave the UK but would like to request assistance;
I do not intend to leave the UK.
In response, please find attached in the meantime, the signed Statement indicating that I do not wish to leave the UK.
Letter of 6 July 2016 :Liability For Removal
A letter has been sent to me with a Notice titled RED. 0001.
I have been informed as follows:
That as I have no leave to enter or remain, I am liable to removal from the UK under Section 10 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999( as amended by the Immigration Act 014);
Where I do not leave the UK as required I will be liable to enforced removal to Zimbabwe;
I may be detained or placed on reporting conditions;
I will not be removed for the first seven calender days after I receive the Notice. Following the end of this seven day period and for up to three months from the date of the Notice, I may be removed without further notice.
Once again, your offices have drawn it to my attention, the consequences of illegally staying in the UK along the same lines as the letter from Capita.
I have also been informed that where I have reasons for wanting to stay in the UK, I must state them as this requirements is being given under Section 120 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. I have been warned that if I do not inform your offices as soon as reasonably practicable and I later tell the home office without good reason, I will lose any right of appeal I may have otherwise qualified for if the home office refuse my claim.
The Notice provides that where I do have a reason or grounds for wishing to stay in the UK, I should submit an application using the relevant form for the route I wish to apply under, and where applicable, pay the appropriate fee.
Activation of requirement to report:
I also note that by separate reporting document, Form IS.96, which I have received today, you now require that I report at the stated nearest police station, starting from 13 July 2016 at 11am. Although I have informed your offices that I do not wish to leave the UK as per the attached Statement, my request is that, as you have now informed me that I am liable for detention and removal, that you will not so seek to undertake such action on 13 July or thereafter without giving me the opportunity to submit my leave to remain application.
Having regard to the background information set out above in relation to my personal circumstances, it might be more than clear that I am able to submit a leave to remain application by reference to Form FLR(FP) relying upon the Immigration Rules and in the alternative by reference to exceptional circumstances in relation to Article 8 of the ECHR, outside the Immigration Rules.
Fee Waiver Request: Will your offices grant my request
Although my Partner is in employment, I do not believe, that with the little time that I have to submit a leave application, that I am currently able to raise the required home office application fee of £811.00 in addition to the NHS Health Surcharge of £500.00. Only my partner is in employment, however from what he earns we are unable to save enough to provide your offices with the required fees. I am aware that I can complete Form Appendix 1 FLR(FP) / FLR(O) together with Form ( FLR(FP) and submit it with my request for a fee waiver in relation to both the home office application fee and the Surcharge.
I have however sought to make urgent enquiries in order to seek to ascertain whether in practice, my fee waiver request will likely be granted by yourselves. The following clarifications have been provided to me as regards how your offices seem to be increasingly reluctant to grant such requests and have been sending out letters to the following effect to those seeking to request fee waivers:
For the reasons set out below, we are returning your application because it is invalid.
You do not qualify for a fee waiver because you are not considered to be destitute, you have not demonstrated that you would be rendered destitute by payment of the fee, and it is not considered that there are exceptional circumstances in your case such that a fee waiver should be granted.
The documents provided should comprehensively evidence your finances to highlight your income and expenditure. We did not receive sufficient information relating to this. We would like to see a breakdown of all your current sources of monthly income, versus expenditure to enable a full assessment of your finances
We acknowledge the bank statements provided, however in order to assess your disposable income and whether your financial circumstances have changed recently, we would like to see bank statement for all of your and your partner’s accounts covering a period of 6 months with all major and regular incoming and outgoing payments explained. The bank statements you provided were not sufficient for our purposes as you did not also provide bank statements from your partner’s account. As a result we are unable to assess whether you are able to meet your and your family’s essential living needs.
We note from our records that your partner has been working in the UK. You have not provided sufficient information or evidence about the employment or self employment that our records indicate that your partner has, including income from this and how frequently it is paid. You have therefore failed to fully disclose all of your sources of income.
You claimed to have previously received support from a friend but that this support has now stopped. However we did not receive sufficient documentary evidence of this including a letter from your friend stating the amount of support he provided and why his circumstances have now changed so that he is unable to support you.
In addition, we have not received sufficient evidence to confirm you are unable to borrow the application fee from your support network within the United Kingdom including family or friends.
Therefore, you have not provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate that you have no additional disposable income such that you could either: pay the fee now; or save the required amount within a reasonable period(12months) in either event, without compromising your ability to accommodate yourself adequately or meet your other essential living needs or that you have no ability to borrow the required amount from friends or family. Finally, there is no basis for concluding that your financial circumstances are likely to change within a reasonable period( 12months). As a result we do not consider that you would be rendered destitute by payment of the fee.
Consideration has also been given to whether any exceptional circumstances exist relating to your financial circumstances and ability to pay the fee. You have not provided any evidence to demonstrate that there are exceptional circumstances relating to your financial circumstances and ability to pay the fee.
Consideration has also been given to section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009( duty regarding the welfare of children). We have considered the best interests of your child. We note that your child has access to adequate accommodation and that their essential living needs are being met.
For the reasons set out above, the Secretary of State does not consider that you meet the criteria for the grant of a fee waiver and your application for a fee waiver is therefore refused.
You may appreciate the dilemma I am currently facing further to receipt of your correspondence. I am faced with the possibility of potential detention upon reporting. If only your offices would respond to my letter and reassure me that this will not occur whilst you await receipt of my formal application, that would much appreciated. I have a young British child to look after and I am currently pregnant. This is a very stressful situation I find myself in.
Faced with a potential obstacle in relation to provision of the substantial fees that you require to enable my application to be accepted as valid for consideration, my hope is that in the circumstances of my case, that you do provide me with an extension of time up to a month from the date of this letter to enable me to source some funds from friends to enable me to submit my application. Where however I am not able to acquire the funds within the stated period, with advance notice of my current financial situation, I am hopeful that you will so approve a fee waiver request.