Home Office lost passport of man fighting for decades to remain in the UK
A teacher from Sierra Leone has spent 28 years fighting the Home Office for permission to remain in the UK, despite lawyers confirming he has a legal right to be in the country.
Osman Bash Taqi, 55, known as Ossie, faces the biggest barrier of failing to provide his Sierra Leone passport, especially as the Home Office have lost it.
The Home Office first denied ever having it, but a recent letter from a Home Office official confirms they have a record of his passport. “Having had a look through Mr Taqi’s records it appears that we have seen a passport issued in 1993,” reads the Home Office letter sent to his MP, Toby Perkins.
Officially in November 2018, an immigration judge ruled that his passport was in possession of the Home Office.
Osman Bash Taqi arrived in the UK in December 1992, for the wedding of his sister just after the outbreak of civil war in his home country. The situation in Sierra Leone deteriorated to the point, it was unsafe for him to return.
Taqi made various applications for leave to remain which the Home Office refused. Although it was accepted not safe for Sierra Leonians to return home, while the civil war was taking place.
He began a relationship with an Italian woman and the couple moved in together in 1998, where they went on to have three children. Having not being able to marry without the Home Office's permission, he handed in his passport which was asked of him but then was not returned.
Taqi made an application for leave to remain in September 2015 based on having an EU partner, but this was unsuccessful due to his missing passport. Because of this, his application was denied a right of appeal.
By the time he had a court hearing in 2018, his 20 year-old marriage broke down due to the years of stress of not having the legal right to say in the UK and his inability to work.
"I no longer know how sane I am. I cannot eat, I cannot talk, I cannot sleep. I’m raging against the injustice of all this. The situation has devastated my whole family. I’m trying to hang on for the sake of my children", said Osman Bash Taqi.
His most recent application for leave to remain, is under the EU settlement scheme as a dependent parent of his EU children. Unfortunately, at first the Home Office refused his application due to him not having his passport.
Taqi was then given permission to make an application, by post in June 2019. But In October 2019, the Home Office changed the rules again saying that for parents of EU citizens dependency was no longer accepted.
Whilst Osman Bash Taqi awaits a new decision to be made, a Home Office spokesperson responded:
"All applications are considered on a case-by-case basis in line with the immigration rules and this has been no different for Mr Taqi."
Source: The Guardian