Hope, Love and Peace, after 17 years where is my HOPE?
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I was born and raised in mainland China, I came to UK in 1st Dec 2003 to study for a PhD at Leeds University. In the summer of 2004, I was diagnosed as a mental health patient. I managed to work as an academic and within industry after I completed my PhD in 2010. On 4th Oct 2010, Home Office confirmed my British name Matthew Jun Fei Freeman.
At the end of October 2010, I returned to Shenzhen, China to attend a job fair, and soon accepted a professorship in a Chinese University.
In February 2011, the University of Leeds passed my thesis review and agreed to support my Post Study Work visa. In April 2011, I received a 2-year Post Study Work visa. I returned to Leeds on June 7th, and in July 1st I got an engineering job at a Durham company.
In Oct 2012, I moved to Moray, Scotland as an engineer in a private company. In Jan 2017, I was a co-founder of Moray Wellbeing Hub (MWH) CIC, a local community company advocating positive mental health and wellbeing. I am still a Champion (volunteer) of MWH.
In Dec 2018, I was elected as Director of Voice of eXperience (VOX) Scotland, a national charity advocating for positive mental health.
At the end of 2013, I had been in the UK for 10 years. I applied for permanent residence but the processing time at the Home Office was 6 months. All I could do was waiting. My visa situation during the past eight years has been a pattern of refusal, appeal, rejection, re-appeal, re-rejection, re-application, refusal, re-appeal. The lawyer and Home Office have been playing word games with one another. I feel as if I'm the victim, the “monkey in the middle”. I made a fresh application by myself on August 21, 2019. When I submitted my documents in person, the staff told me it would take 4 to 6 weeks before I would receive the results. After two months, I asked again and this time they said it would take 5 to 6 months. Then in early February 2020, Home Office posted a letter stating that my case was complicated and claimed if I could have a result by June 1.
My application of 21 August 2019 for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) was refused on 29 June 2020. The office apologise that when the decision was issued on 29 June 2020, it was sent to an wrong email address.
On 8 September 2020, Home Office reissued the decision to the email address specified in my application.
On 27 August 2020, I submitted a further application for ILR on compassionate grounds, outside of the Immigration Rules.
On 22 December 2020, Home Office wrote to me to explain that my most recent application is not yet valid. Home Office noted that I had sought a fee exemption on the basis of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). However, Home Office explained that the basis of my application was in respect of Article 8 of the ECHR and as such, a fee of £2408.20 is still payable. I received the letter on and paid the fee on 29th December 2020. Soon on Thursday 21st January 2021, Home Office rejected my application and cancelled my right to appeal.
In the last 17 years, I believe and advocate Hope, Love and Peace. Now it is time to show the reality of my HOPE.
I have lived, worked, studied and volunteered in Moray, Scotland for 9 years now. I am proud to claim I am a Scottish Chinese. I would be grateful if you could help my immigrate right.
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