International economist Mariana Mazzucato has taken to social media after her request for an immigration UK residency was rejected this November. The London-based figure has received phenomenal support from individuals unhappy with the UK government's policy on immigration.
Mazzucato is the founding director of the London University College's Institute for Public Purpose and Innovation. Additionally, Mariana has a reputation around the world for her incredible books on the growth of the economy. Though Mazzucato was born in Italy, she has been living in the UK for the past 20 years, and applied for residency in 2017, a couple of months after the UK voted to leave the European Union.
At the beginning of November, Mazzucato tweeted that her British naturalisation application has officially been rejected, and her Italian passport retained by the Home Office for a 6-month period. The Immigration officials responsible for the rejection claimed that there was a problem with Mariana's application fee, though she rejects the notion of any payment issues.
A spokesman for the University College of London said that at this time, Mazzucato has no interest in elaborating on her Twitter update, after the status prompted widespread outrage from her followers.
Mazzucato joined the economic advisory committee for Jeremy Corbyn in 2015 and 2016, which helped her to build a name for herself alongside other influential economists like Thomas Piketty and Joseph Stiglitz. Mariana is also a member of the Council of Economic Advisers for the Scottish government.
Following further investigation, it has been revealed that Mazzucato's failure to secure permanent residency in the UK came down to a problem with a single digit on her 85-page application. One of the 4's in her credit card number looked too much like a 9.
The Home Office confirmed that Mazzucato's application was refused last year and noted that all requests for UK visas are considered according to their individual merits, in accordance with the rules of immigration. The incident on Twitter, however, has drawn attention back to the immigration discussion, during a time when frustrations are high around the notion of Brexit and its impact on foreign academics and immigration in the UK.