UK Citizen Faces Deportation, Despite Living in Country for 30 Years
Imagine a woman who has lived in the UK for over 30 years with no difficulties regarding her legal status as a citizen. One day, her status was deemed questionable and she was thrown into the labyrinthine system of immigration processes. Only proven citizenship or deportation awaits her at the end of the road.
This is the account of Glenda Hyde, 46, who faces deportation, despite living in the UK for more than 30 years. Hyde is an American adoptee of a British couple who had taken her in when she was 3 years old. At the age of 7, she and her parents moved to the UK. Since then, the country has been her home.
Before this incident, Hyde did not experience any problems about her citizenship. When she first came, her parents never registered her when she was a child, due to the different immigration policies at that time. She traveled outside of her country once at the age of 18. She filed to receive her National Insurance and married her first husband. She has three children and became a widow at the year, 2000.Throughout her time at the UK, she did not experience any hardship navigating the country’s system as a migrant citizen. Yet, years of changes on UK’s immigration policies has eventually jeopardized Glenda Hyde’s residency in the UK.
The problems began after she met her soon-to-be second husband, Nicholas. They applied for marriage at a local register office, but their request was denied. They went through a series of visits to the immigration to passport office to investigate on the matter and find a resolution to their problem. What awaited them was not a remedy, but the knowledge that she could possibly be deported.
Although they were able to marry with the help of a Welburn church, Hyde must undergo the naturalization process in order to stay in the country. As part of the process, Hyde must pass an exam called “Life in the UK” to demonstrate that she has the sufficient knowledge of the English language. This exam will cost her £50 to participate.
However, a person can be exempted from the exam, if there are grounds that the participant has medical issues. Hyde thought that she would be exempted, since she has a number of heart- related issues, high blood pressure, and a serious case of sleep apnoea. Furthermore, she is wheelchair bound. Despite her medical issues, the Home Office did not grant Hyde an exemption from the exam and, hence, Hyde was mandated to take the “Life in the UK” exam.
Hyde went along with the exam and arrived to complete the requisite to her naturalization. Her goal to complete the exam on that day was delayed, because she did not have a photo ID. Along with losing her 50 booking fee, he would have to return in August to take the exam.
The amount of stress was burdening on Hyde and, as a result, she blacked out on the site. “I got very stressed and suffered a blackout at the centre,” said Hyde. Along with a medical lapse, she
is undergoing financial distress as she would have to pay large amount of money to complete the naturalization process. In addition, she has counselling degree program that she is preparing to start on September, a month after her next “Life in UK” exam.
Nevertheless, Hyde is receiving assistance from the Ryedale CAB to resolve her dilemma. The bureau has written to the Home Office and MP Anne McIntosh to speak in her behalf. One of Ryedale’s solicitors, Djamilla Hitchins, has been representing Hyde and explained that the naturalization process has placed undue burden on Hyde. The process has placed a considerable weight on her educational progress, financial state, and medical disposition. According to Hitchins, “Mrs. Hyde feels she has been treated with real injustice and this has caused her great distress.”
She further adds, “She has done nothing wrong and has only tried to regularise her status as best she could.”
Hitchins and her associates at Ryedale CAB has asked McIntosh to request that the Home Office exercise discretion on Hyde’s circumstance. This includes allowing Hyde to take the exam as many times as possible without financial cost or to be exempted completely from the taking the exam altogether.
In response to Ryedale CAB’s statement, McIntosh has responded that she and her associates will work to settle the matters regarding Hyde’s situation. She said, “I cannot comment on private matters between a constituent and their MP, other than to say I have taken the case up and am pursuing matters vigorously.”
A representative has spoke in behalf of the Home Office and acknowledged that Hyde is a legal resident in the UK. The representative said, “Ms. Hyde is in the UK legally and is not at risk of any enforcement action. She recently submitted a naturalisation application which is currently being considered.”