A Singaporean doctor who has lived in the UK for a decade and is less than six months from qualifying as a GP is facing deportation after missing a UK visa deadline.
Dr Luke Ong, who studied medicine in Britain applied for indefinite leave to remain in the UK in September, but was refused by the Home Office for being 18 days late.
According to the British Medical Association (BMA), this delay was an “honest oversight”, but the Home Office is now taking the doctor’s case to high court in a bid to overturn an appeal won by Dr Ong against the decision to deport him.
Writing on an online petition page set up by himself, Dr Ong stated that his parents had paid almost £100,000 towards his seven years of training in Britain, during which time he had paid taxes and “contributed to wider society”.
"Sadly all this counts for nothing, and the Home Office are now treating me as an illegal immigrant," added Dr Ong, who is currently unable to work as a result of the Home Office’s decision.
Commenting on the case, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, council chair of the doctors’ union the British Medical Association, the approach of the Home Office to this case suggests an unhealthy and “hostile culture” and to stop taking such a strict view on the case, which he described as “utterly incomprehensible”.
In response, the Home Office has stated it would be inappropriate to comment further while the case is ongoing.