MP takes up the case of Bengali chef’s appeal to stay in UK

Ansar Ahmed Ullah

Saiful Islam’s MP Paul Bristow, who took up his case to the House of Commons after receiving a negative response from the UK Home Office, has once again approached the Home Office. In a letter addressed to Home Secretary Priti Patel dated 3 September 2021 he wrote, ‘Because of … serious errors from the Home Office, I would argue that justice cannot be seen to have done. This case seems to me to be a startling injustice and one which merits urgent attention.’

Saiful Islam, facing deportation following his application for extension, was refused by the Court of Appeal on 8 October 2020.  On 3 November, Paul Bristow MP met with Kevin Foster, Minister for Future Borders and Immigration, about Saiful Islam’s case. On 18 November, the Home Office informed the MP that they will not change their decision.

In 2003, Saiful Islam, aged 27, came to the UK from Bangladesh with a work permit visa to work as a chef for a Thai restaurant. In 2005 he contacted the police and the Home Office to inform that his employer was exploiting him by withholding the bulk of his wages, forcing him to work 18-hour days, and beating him.

The Home Office allowed him to move to a different employer, but a catalogue of problems followed, resulting in him being threatened with removal from the UK. As he was approaching the expiry date of his work permit, he applied for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. Unfortunately, his application was refused on the grounds of errors made by the UK Home Office, which he pointed out to them. For example, the Home Office had inaccurately recorded that Saiful Islam was a registered sex offender. In addition, the Home Office incorrectly recorded that he had entered the UK unlawfully and, as a result, had been served a curtailment notice in 2005.

Following a long drawn battle in 2019, the Home Office admitted that they had made serious errors and offered him initially £5000, plus another £1,000 as compensation. As a result of the incorrect information, Saiful Islam was incorrectly refused Indefinite Leave to Remain following his application in 2011, which was upheld in the High Court and Court of Appeal on an incorrect basis because of the inaccurate facts put forward by the Home Office. 

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