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Mum fears homelessness as visa delay stops her working


A mum fears she could lose her home after a visa application delay meant she could no longer work.

The Jamaican single-mum of one from Harborne came to the UK in 2002 on a family visa and has been living here while studying and working.

But a Home Office delay in her application to remain in the UK, which she submitted in July, meant the woman, called Tasha, could no longer work.

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And while the DWP will continue her Universal Credit payments, with the axing of the £20 uplift she fears this will not be enough to keep a roof over her and her 12-year-old daughter’s heads.

The delay processing Tasha’s application meant her visa expired in September, meaning she could no longer continue working at a Covid vaccination centre.

Tasha now fears losing her home as the universal credit she receives is not enough to live on due to the recent benefits cut. She told BirminghamLive : “I thought they could wait until they hear a decision from the Home Office because now I will end up in rent arrears, council tax arrears and everything will come down on me.

“I have to be very careful how I do my electric bill and food-wise I have to be very carful how I shop. There is only so long my family and friends can take my burden.”

“I am relying on charities for vouchers and friends and family to help me. But how long will this last? I’m scared to think about it.

“I’ve had no response from the Home Office when I ring them about my situation.

“They’re not listening to me – they see me as an illegal immigrant. How long will be going over the same thing again and again for this many years?”

Read more: Birmingham on the breadline as mum fights back tears – ‘this winter I’m really worried’

Salman Mirza, Tasha’s caseworker from Brushstrokes and Migrant Voice told BirminghamLive: “This person has lost her job and on the way to losing her home, which will cost the local authority thousands in emergency accommodation.

“Here we have someone on Monday who was going to work, living her life, then through no fault of her own loses her job in the quagmire of the hostile environment.”

A spokesperson for the Home Office told BirminghamLive: “Miss Thompson’s application for limited leave to remain is pending. We have confirmed to DWP that she made her application to extend her leave in time. Miss Thompson should now be paid the amount she is entitled to by DWP.”

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