A chef originally from Bangladesh could be facing removal from the UK after the Home Office falsely branded him a sex offender. The UK courts found that officials had incorrectly linked the chef, Saiful Islam, to three other people’s criminal records. There were also no key documents linking Islam to the cases in question. Although the Home office has apologised for the error and offered £5,000 in compensation, Saiful still faces potential removal from the UK.
Islam arrived in the UK in 2003, with a valid UK work permit that allowed him to take up employment with a restaurant. In 2005, however, he raised an alarm with the Home Office, stating that he was being exploited by his employer. According to Saiful, his employer was beating him, forcing him to work 18-hour days and with-holding his wages. The Home Office allowed him to move to a different employer, but problems followed, including the threatened removal from the UK.
Islam has now spent more than a decade trying to prove that he has a valid UK work permit that allows him to remain in the UK. The case has spanned six governments overall and has included 18 different court cases – highlighting how long and complicated the UK visa system can be. At the end of December in 2019, a court rejected Islam’s claim for the right to remain in the UK, despite the finding that the Home Office had wrongly served him with a notice eliminating his UK work permit in 2005.
The court also agreed that the Home Office had wrongly linked the criminal convictions of other people to Islam and had failed to disclose a copy of his passport to a court in 2010. The Home Office also destroyed part of Islam’s file. Unfortunately, the court still said that problems with a UK work permit application made on the behalf of Islam by an employer in 2008 meant that he didn’t have leave to remain in the UK.