A baby recently born in London to two British residents with UK visas has been denied indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
Already, UK immigration lawyers are referring to the situation as potentially unlawful and shameful. US National Dr Charles Kriel was returning to the UK with his fiancée and their 15-week-old daughter when border officials stopped them. The immigration UK officers said that the child did not have the right to reside in the country.
The couple was told that the baby would only be allowed to enter the UK on a six-month tourist visa. This form of UK visa specifies that the baby would not be able to use public services or work in the country. Dr Kriel has lived legally in the United Kingdom since the 1990s and has achieved indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Kriel's fiancée has also been a British resident for over a decade.
In a discussion about the latest immigration UK scandal, the couple said that they felt crushed by the Home Office's decision.
The officers had claimed that just because the baby was born in the UK didn't mean that she had the right to stay. Because people with visitor UK visas cannot use public services, the decision made by the border officials also mean that the baby currently cannot access services like the NHS for check-ups and healthcare.
UK immigration lawyers have said that the decision is unacceptable. According to the immigration UK law, a child born to a person with indefinite leave to remain in the UK is also a British citizen by birth. If the father had indefinite leave to remain when the child was born, then the child must be identified as British. The fact that the baby was travelling with a US passport should not have affected her rights as a national.
Currently, the case is just one of many similarly bizarre cases that are being addressed by the Home Office on a regular basis.