Support the human rights of international students who were denied the Post StudyVisa

Support the human rights of international students who were denied the Post StudyVisa

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Buddhika Habarakada started this petition to Sajid Javid (Home Office) and

My story...

Starts in 2008, when I was sold the dream of laying the foundations of bright future by investing in the UK for my higher studies. The representatives in the British Council of Sri Lanka promoted the benefits and opportunities that I could expect to receive for the money and Time I would spend on my course at a British University. The Post Study Work Visa formed a key part in securing my investment as a aspiring international student.

Having successfully enrolled at Nottingham Trent University UK I arrived in England as young student ready to build a strong foundation for my future career. 

The combined cost of tuition fees and living expenses over the 4 year course would cost me £60,000.  At the time having weighed the cost vs benefits my family and I much like any other student seeking to secure a strong start, we were lead to believe this is a secure investment.  

Having faith in this, My family and I pumped all out life savings into my degree.   The British universities and government promised a 2 year post study work visa for those who successfully graduate and this added to value of the academic experience I was to gain. By investing in British education I was investing in my future. 

I kept my end of the deal and studied through my course within the timeline I was expected to,  paid all fees on time and in full and successfully graduated in 2012 from Nottingham Trent University.

The government changed and discontinued the post study work scheme without considering students who arrived in 2008 and graduating in 2012.

Despite my best efforts to meet this deadline to qualify for this visa the Home Office was being hostile towards my enquiries. I felt my whole world was being turned upside down.

After all the time, money and effort  I put in on the trust I would be looked after the opposite happened I found my self lost, with the feeling of being robbed of my future.

Trusting in the British system and the values of Britian, with the support of my university, local councillors and the Mayor I appealed to the courts in an effort to secure what should have been obvious.

My case was heard and the judge ruled in my favour in 2014.

The home office had a right to appeal. And i can only conclude that it was the directive of the hostile environment that lead them to appeal the judge's decision even though  they missed the deadline to appeal.

I was so happy that I could finally have my life back on track. However, what happened nearly 10 days after the deadline sent my life into hell.  The HO appealed 10 days after the deadline expired claiming the case worker fell ill. My entire life since that moment have been a battle and struggle to secure what should have been rightfully given.

6 years I've been battling this alone with my close family and friends. By now had they correctly identified my case and the life that is at stake I would have had the freedom and been eligible to secure British citizenship. 

I have never relied on goverment benefits whilst my time here but have relied fully on my family for financial support.  This process has cost so much money and more importantly a chunk of my life's precious time, my youth and even my mental sanity.  I went from being an ambitious girl to being reduced to feeling hopeless and often questioning why even continue to live. We live one life and in this short period of time we each have, we should be allowed to spend it with people we love doing things we love. Spreading positivity. Not stripped of dignity and torn away from family needlessly so. What I have been subjected to has not been for the benefit of the public interest what I have been subjected is absolute cruelty lack of humanity and irresponsible ignorance of facts.

Everything has been taken from me and I've done everything I can to secure what was right. I work as a volunteer for local charities and commit my time to enrich the lives of others since my ability to work was restricted, my wings clipped.

I continue to add positivity to my community, this has been my home now for over 10 years. I have been stuck in limbo since graduating in 2012. Now they are seeking to remove me from the only place on earth I call home.

Where I went from a young girl to being a woman. This is where my family and friends are. I identify my self as British because this community's beliefs have shaped me and is a part of who I am. So this why I know and trust that the people of Britain will stand behind me as one voice so that genuine immigrants will not be subjected to cruelty and suffering like I have.

Today UK Universities are fighting to have the government re introduce the Post Study Work Visa because 2012 they have lost out on revenue on international student admissions and are on the brink of bankruptcy.

Please help raise concern for the voice of students who have been wronged by the system we trusted our lives with. 

The windrush generation were wrongly treated and once the Home Office identified the errors in their ways under the new Home Secretary,  took measures to rectify this and it is my hope that we could achieve similar recognition and justice for international students who came here with good intentions but were inhumanely let down by the systems in place.

Together we can make a positive change.



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