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11th hour reprieve for deportation threat family
“IT IS the best New Year’s present we could have wished for.”
Those are the words from a defiant Southampton family who are threatened with deportation but have been given an eleventh-hour reprieve by the Home Office after the community rallied behind them.
The move comes just 24 hours after the Daily Echo revealed the plight of the family and how they faced being sent back to their former home country of South Africa within days.
As reported, Francis and Matty Scorgie and their daughter Franchelle were told they could be deported from the country as soon as tomorrow – despite having worked and lived here for nearly 10 years.
Now the family who live in Howards Grove, Shirley, have been told they have the right to appeal their case to stay in the country. That means any move to deport them is put on hold.
Previously the family were refused permission to stay in the UK under legislation requiring them to have lived in the country for 20 years.
Francis, 54, moved from Potchefstroom in South Africa in 2004 on a work permit with his wife and daughter acting as dependents.
He has since achieved a university degree and undertaken agency work, while Matty, 52, and Franchelle have worked in administration roles for the NHS at the Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton.
But an application to renew their stay in the UK was refused by the Home Office, as it states an applicant must have continuously lived in the UK for at least 20 years, or be a person aged between 18 and 25 years old who has spent at least half their life living continuously in the UK.
The government body also deems the family to still have ties in their home country as Mr Scorgie spent 45 years of his life there.
Mr Scorgie, said: “It is the best New Year’s present we could have wished for. “I am moved by the support we have got from the community and if it was not for the Daily Echo highlighting our case I think we would have been on a plane home sometime this week.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “All applications are considered on their individual merits and in line with the immigration rules. Following new representations, the Home Office are reviewing the Scorgies’ case.”
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