“Post Study Work”….My Dilemma!

“The post-study worker category allows us to retain the most able international graduates who have studied in the United Kingdom (For two years). It also enhances the United Kingdom’s overall offer to international students.Post-study workers are free to look for work without having a sponsor for the length of their leave.The category provides a bridge to highly skilled or skilled work. If you are granted permission to stay as a post-study worker, we expect that you will switch into another tier of the points-based system as soon as you are able to.
Who can apply as a post-study worker?You can apply under the post-study worker category now if you are:in the United Kingdom with permission to stay under the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme (SEGS), International Graduates Scheme (IGS) or Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme (FT:WISS); or in the United Kingdom as a student, which includes students, student nurses, students resitting examinations,and students writing up a thesis, and want to switch into the post-study worker category”. (homeoffice.gov.uk)

This journey began in October(2008) when I handed in my passport to the home office as I had almost rounded up my dissertation and thought it was pointless asking for the extension of my student visa. I had put in all the required documents to the best of my knowledge and a supporting letter from school as it was a requirement of the home office in the event that my certificate was not ready. However in November I received a Notice of refusal based on the fact that the Home Office was not certain that I will obtain the degree until they got a letter from my school stating that I had passed my Msc. This was a clear contradiction against their policy which stated that I was entitled to apply as a student writing up a thesis…

Fortunately, as at the time I received this letter, my dissertation had been marked and my school had a sent my transcripts and results. The Home Office had given me 28 days to appeal against the decision so I did just that and requested that I wanted to be present at the hearing.

I was invited to the hearing on the 8th of January 2009 and I’ve never been happier that I was there to defend myself. The so called home office representative sat there using his elaborate terms and referring to all irrelevant decrees in the constitution. The Secretary of state represented the Judiciary and asked me if I could defend myself. I presented to him copies of my transcripts and results which I had previously faxed to him and the home office respectively. I read out the reason for the refusal as stated by the home office and explained that I think it should be dismissed since I had fulfilled all requirements. He asked if the Home Office representative had received my results in the fax. The Home Office representative said he had but again he read out a part of the policy stating that the document the Home Office required is actually my Certificate. Then again I pointed out that at the end of the statement he had read to suit his selfish claim, it was clearly stated that a letter from the school explaining the present circumstance will suffice. The Secretary of State asked him if I was correct and he was forced to agree. I also pointed out that i shouldn’t have been refused in the first place because even as a student writing up a thesis I was entitled to ‘post study work’. I read out that part of the policy and the Home Office representative asked for the page I was reading from. He looked lost…even after I had showed him. The Secretary of State then decided that he was quite unfamiliar these new policies and he can see that so is the Home Office representative. He said he needed two weeks to look through the policy and he will inform me of his decision in the post.

On the 14th of January 2009.I received a long letter from the secretary of state. He literarily tongue lashed the home Office. He said the home office should have spared him that irrelevant appeal especially since they had received my results prior to the date. He believed that adequate attention wasn’t given to my application in the initial Stage and even after they received my appeal. He therefore allowed my appeal on the basis that the decision on the home office was unlawful.

I must say that I was more than impressed. For once, I thought that the UK had made a decision devoid of bias and discrimination. A few days later I rang the home office saying that I haven’t heard from them with regards to getting my Visa. I was told that the Home office had a right to appeal against the decision of the judge. Truthfully I believed this was unlikely especially after that kind of letter from the Secretary of State but i still asked what I was to do if they appealed. I was told at that stage it would be strictly between the judiciary and the Home Office and i would be notified of the decision by post. I was advised to wait a few more days until I receive further information from the UK home office.
….Then a few days ago I received a letter from the Home Office with just one clear sentence:

“Notice of appeal to review the tribunal’s decision”

I’m so shocked…I would have thought that home office had more pressing issues than victimising international students who have paid thousands of pounds to study in the UK.I have obeyed the rules and i have worked only 17.5 very week and I have completed and passed my course of study? it’s not even graduation yet and they are fighting so hard to throw me out .Why do they want to rob me of that which I rightfully deserve. I haven’t come this far to be tossed about like an illegal immigrant. I couldn’t travel to Nigeria for Christmas. This weekend, I’m going to miss my regular tradition of spending my birthday in a country I’ve never been before. I can’t do anything cos I suddenly don’t have a real status; all I have is this stupid letter saying that says I have the legal right to remain in the UK until the appeal is granted. I thought it was over…I have mixed feelings now…Maybe I should just go back home instead of remaining in a society that barely wants me…but then again, I think to myself that I must see this fight to an end…What will be the Verdict?…What’s the meaning of this nonsense?…What happens Next….

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Author: Cheeks

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