THE UK Border Agency (UKBA) has given an Australian woman 28 days to leave, after she spent years waiting for a response to her application to stay.
48-year-old Mariam “Harley” Miller of South London has had an application she submitted in 2011 to remain in Britain refused, with no right to appeal, and now faces deportation.
Born in Sydney, Miller has lived in Britain for nine years, working with vulnerable children for the NHS.
She originally moved to the UK on a spousal visa with her Italian husband. When the marriage ended in 2008 she told the UKBA what had happened and it wrote to her confirming she could stay until the end of that visa, which ran out in 2011.
She then applied for discretionary leave to remain, but when the UKBA got back to her only recently it claimed she should never have stayed after the marriage ended, and she must leave the country.
In a detailed post on Facebook Miller writes:
“I wanted to tell you all this because I want you to know, as UK citizens, what the REALITY of the immigration situation is.
“I have been in this country for 9 years. In the whole of that time I have worked for the NHS, in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health sector, helping young people of this country through sometimes quite severe mental health problems.
“I have also contributed in taxes that whole time. I have never been unemployed, I don’t have children and I don’t have a disability. In other words, I have paid my taxes but have never required, thankfully, to draw on benefits for anything. Ever.
“As of Friday, I was given just 28 days to pack up my house, my home, my life and leave.
Despite the Home Office saying it wants highly skilled migrants in the UK, Miller, who is considered “highly skilled” as a qualified systemic therapist with two Masters degrees, no longer has the right to work.
“Yesterday, I was formally dismissed from my job without notice or severance pay, after 9 years dedicated to the UK National Health Service, reaching a senior position in which I was held in high esteem.
“In fact, as of Friday, I have no rights in the UK whatsoever, despite owning properties and my years of contribution here,” she writes.
This Facebook post has received almost 2200 ‘likes’ since Friday and has been shared around the world.
A Home Office spokeswoman said: “All applications are considered on their individual merits and in line with the EU rules.”