Please don't let Home Office deport Eve.
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My name is Evgeniia Balashova and I am a 23 year old Russian jewellery designer and maker working in Scotland. I came to the UK at the age of 17 in 2012 and spent 4 years in Glasgow as a student, graduating from the Glasgow School of Art in 2016. I have then spent another year as a Graduate Entrepreneur establishing and working towards my jewellery business. I applied to extend my Graduate visa for another year and my application has been refused by the Home Office on the grounds of not having registered my current residential address on my Police Registration Certificate, despite numerous attempts to do so. I am asking the Home Office to review my application and hopefully change their mind and I am asking for your support to make this happen.
Being able to stay in the U.K. would mean an absolute world to me and my future. Because of the nature of my jewellery and the unique technology it uses, it relies on the resources available here in the U.K., the ones that are not even readily available in Russia. The pieces I make can be seen on my website here http://www.evebalashova.com. I work with 3d printed nylon, a very new and inspiring material, which I have been exploring and developing alongside my metalworking skills. My work and my business have been endorsed by The University of Glasgow and my jewellery practice is supported by various UK craft and design bodies. My application met all the major requirements outlined by the Home Office and absence of my address on my police certificate is the only reason my application has been refused. Going back to Russia would mean erasing the last 5 years of work and development away and starting everything from scratch.. It will mean that everything I built will have to be destroyed due to a fault of a technical mistake. My lovely workshop space is here, the incredible support of the makers community is here, my friends that have became family are here. I made a commitment to this country when I first moved here and it would be incredibly distressing not to be able to continue my life the way I know it. The administrative review will take 28 days, and If it results in a refusal, I will have to immediately cease trading, stop working and return to Russia.
The UK visa conditions for nationals outside of EU are getting increasingly more complicated and expensive every year. There are so many incredibly talented and passionate people I met along the way, people who were not able to continue their creative, artistic or other paths in life due to this system. When I first came to the UK I dreamt of building my life here, but if my application is refused after the administrative review, I will automatically become an overstayer, which will break my continuous 5 year residency and will jeopardise my chances of ever being able to stay in the country with no time restrictions.
Scotland and the people of Glasgow have made the last 5 years the most extraordinary experience of my life. Here is where I met hundreds of incredible, inspiring people and made friends for life, it's where I had my first job, where I got introduced to sausage rolls and saw the Isle of Skye and Glencoe, where I learned how to speak with a Scottish accent and where I even managed to get a real Scottish sunburn! Most importantly, this is where I was made to feel at home as I have been surrounded by very loving and caring people. The opportunities and education that I received here pushed me to create my own jewellery business and create something unique and special. I had a part time job since my first year in University and worked very hard every day to get to where I am today and I would love to continue doing so.
Please sign and share this petition to fight for justice and make a positive impact on the Home Office's decision and potentially influence their approach to thousands of other immigrants trying to build their life and future in the UK.
Below you can find the articles about me and my jewellery as well as the list of events I have participated in over the last few years :
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