Author: Anwen Parry
Brecon and Radnorshire MP Chris Davies has called for a “complete overhaul” in the way the UK Government deals with immigration applications.
He has criticised the Home Office saying that it is “unable to deal with just straight forward immigration cases” having dealt with several “complex and confusing” applications since 2015.
Mr Davies said: “When we leave the EU our migration system will have to step up to deal with EU immigration as well as those from outside.
“This will be a big test for the Home Office and if recent years are to go by. I think they are in for a rude awakening.”
It follows a number of cases in Brecon and Radnorshire which the Conservative MP and his team have dealt over the last four years.
Mr Davies said the case of a Breconshire resident took more than a year to resolve after he was unable to leave the Middle East because his former employers refused to return his passport.
He added that he found the case of a young mother from South East Asia, who is married to a local man, who was told to leave the UK “extremely unfair”.
Early on in my time as an MP we unexpectedly found ourselves dealing with an extremely complex case,” the Conservative MP said.
“A resident of Breconshire who had a young family was unable to leave the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as his former employers would not provide him with his passport to leave the country. This lead to him being unable to leave the UAE for well over a year.
“With no job, surviving out there was very harsh with only the money his wife, family and friends were able to send him. His only support were a small group of friends and The British Legion.
“It really was a dire situation and the family felt helpless to resolve it. My office spent well over a year helping support the family, holding regular meetings with them and spending countless hours on the phone to the Middle East.
“This showed my team and I just how complex the current system is to try and navigate. We had to work with the Foreign Office and other organisations to try and help bring the gentleman in question home. Thankfully, eventually, through much perseverance and pressure he was allowed to return to his family and is now living a normal life here in the UK.
“There have been far less high profile cases that I have worked on, recently my team helped a young mother from South East Asia who is married to a local man, she was being asked to leave the UK and re-apply for a visa whilst in her country of origin, thus separating her from their young son. This seemed an extremely unfair decision by the Home Office as the area they live in has an ageing population and is in need of young families and skilled workers. Thankfully in the end the Home Office saw sense and gave her indefinite leave to remain.
“I have been shocked at the way in which the Home Office seem to be unable to deal with just straight forward immigration cases. They seem to look at them all through a black and white lens and do not take other issues into account, such as skilled profession, personal circumstances or their personal safety.
“There have been other cases where immigrants who in my opinion should not be given residency have been automatically waved through by the Home Office.
“I find this very concerning, the recent case with Carolyn Hirst, the South African grandmother who is married to a British national highlighted the way in which the Home Office seem to be on times incapable of dealing with our immigration applications.
“I believe the way in which the Home Office deals with immigration cases needs a complete overhaul, the appeals process can take months or even years and I won’t even get onto the way in which the Home Office deals with asylum applications.
“When we leave the EU our migration system will have to step up to deal with EU immigration as well as those from outside. This will be a big test for the Home Office and if recent years are to go by. I think they are in for a rude awakening.”