Dutch woman told to prepare to leave UK after 24 years

28 Dec 2016 | Posted by Carl Thomas
A Dutch woman who is married to a British man and has two children with him has been told she must prepare to leave the country after almost quarter of a century living in the UK.
 
Monique Hawkins applied for British citizenship after the UK’s vote to leave the European Union in June. But the Home Office said it could not progress her application because her original ID was not included with the forms.
 
Mrs Hawkins, who works as a software engineer in Surrey and has lived in the UK since 1992, had been able to include her original Dutch passport because she needed it to continue visiting her mother following the recent death of her father.
 
She received a letter back from the immigration authorities saying: “As you appear to have no alternative basis of stay in the United Kingdom you should now make arrangements to leave.”
 
Mrs Hawkins was told the authorities would not discuss the case with her on the phone or by email, even though it has spoken to her MP Dominic Rabb who is lobbying on her behalf. She has since submitted an official complaint about the way she has been treated throughout the process and has reapplied for permanent UK residency status.
 
Mrs Hawkins told The Guardian: “I am now left totally in limbo. I do not know how long to wait for a reply. I do not know whether my application will be reopened or not.”
 
The application process asked her to list every absence she has had from the UK in the last 24 years.
 
She added: “It is important to realise that in applying for permanent residency I am not gaining a right, I am only getting a document stating a right I already have.”