Thursday 29 December 2016

Dutch Mum Told By Home Office To 'Leave The Country' Despite 24 Years Of Living In The UK

Home Office

A Dutch woman with two British children has been told by the Home Office she should make arrangements to leave the country after 24 years in the UK.

Monique Hawkins, a Cambridge University graduate, was told "you should make arrangements to leave" after applying form permanent residency in the aftermath of the EU Referendum vote.

The Home Office rejected her application because she was unable to supply an original copy of her Dutch passport.

Ms Hawkins said the process showed the potential difficulties EU nationals who've settled in Britain could face after Britain leaves the European Union.

She told The Guardian : "I had a massive shock following the referendum. I felt very stressed and suddenly felt walking down the street that the place didn’t want me anymore. That feeling began to subside, but I thought I should apply for citizenship.

"It is important to realise that in applying for permanent residency I am not gaining a right, I am only getting a document stating a right I already have.

"I am now left totally in limbo. I do not know how long to wait for a reply. I do not know whether my application will be reopened or not."

The letter sent to Ms Hawkins rejecting her application said: "As you appear to have no alternative basis of stay in the United Kingdom you should now make arrangements to leave."

Ms Hawkins said the Home Office had overlooked information she supplied explaining she was unable to supply an original of the passport because her father had recently died.

She said she needed her passport to continue to travel to the Netherlands to support her mother.

In a written complaint appealing the rejection of the application, she told the Home Office she had already included a solicitor-approved photocopy of her passport plus a covering letter to explain why she could not be without her passport.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The rights of EU nationals living in the UK remain unchanged while we are a member of the European Union. EU nationals do not require any additional documents to prove their status.

"All applications for documentation confirming permanent residency are considered on their individual merits.

"There is clear guidance available setting out what documentation is required, and the onus is on an individual to submit as much evidence as possible in support of their application.”

The Home Office added her application was rejected because she failed to submit an original ID and that it had also launched an express passport check-in service in 58 councils, including one 10 miles from her home in the London borough of Sutton.



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