UK orders deportation of toddler whose parents came on student visa

By Minh Nga   May 27, 2024 | 03:10 am PT
A 13-month-old girl born in the U.K. to a Jordanian couple after her father came to study PhD in the country and brought her mother along as his dependent is facing deportation.

The baby, named Massah, was born in the U.K. last April.

Both her parents have been residing legally in the country since 2021. Her father moved to the U.K. to pursue a PhD from Jordan, with her mother joining him as a dependent, as per a visa policy for students doing PhD degrees.

In January, the family of three vacationed abroad.

When they returned, the baby girl was classified as a tourist. This happened because she was not formally granted residency status before the trip, The Telegraph reported.

Her parents then attempted to secure a child-dependent visa for her.

However, they recently received a notice from the Home Office instructing that Massah must "immediately leave the U.K." and submit a visa application from outside the country.

The letter from the government goes on to state: "In the particular circumstances of your case, it has been concluded that the need to maintain the integrity of the immigration laws outweighs the possible effect on you/your children."

Massah's father, Mohammad, told Sky News that he and his wife were having sleepless nights.

They said they did not want to have to take their baby to their home country to re-apply due to the current instability in the Middle East. They are even concerned that the application could still be refused.

Mohammad said: "I can’t imagine how I can tell her the story in the future that the country you [were] born asked you to leave while you [were] a year old. I’m trying to fix everything. I don’t need to consider a one-year-old infant as an overstayer here."

The U.K. government has intensified its immigration rules, placing tighter controls on visas for foreign students. This includes prohibiting students from bringing dependents unless they are enrolled in PhD programs.

On Thursday, the Home Secretary and Education Secretary unveiled new initiatives aimed at curbing misuse of student visas. Accordingly, universities that admit students without adequate visa verification could result in losing their authorization to enroll international students.

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