#HelpLiew Teh get his life back in the UK
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I am a British Overseas Citizen [link] who has been made stateless through NO FAULT of my own. My life has been in limbo since 2005, after I graduated with a Master's degree from University of Wolverhampton. I am asking the Home Office to honour their “Immigration Rules and Policy [link]” and "guidance [link]" on statelessness, so that I can have my life back.
In 2001, aged 20, I arrived in the UK as an overseas student and studied at the University of Wolverhampton. I gained a Bachelor's degree in Mechatronics Engineering, and then a Master's degree in Science. I became a member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.
To fulfill my wish to continue to remain in the UK and to work in the field of robotics and automation, and to pursue Chartered Engineers status, I decided in 2005 to begin the process to apply for an indefinite right to remain in the UK.
Using a UK based immigration firm of solicitors, I followed their advice and renounced my Malaysian citizenship to enable the process to proceed. It was not until 2009 that I discovered I had received incorrect advice, and that I was now stateless.
My application for UK citizenship stalled and I was left with no right to return to Malaysia. My British Overseas Citizen Passport, which is a relic from the UK’s colonial past, does NOT allow me to work or permanently reside in the UK.
The Malaysian authorities have made it clear that people in my situation CANNOT return to Malaysia and CANNOT regain my Malaysian citizenship. I have exhausted all avenues with the UK authorities including my local MP, the UK's Select Committees (Home Affairs Committee; Foreign Affairs Committee, and Joint Committees on Human Rights), and the Malaysian government. The United Nation High Commission for Refugees is interested and following my case.
I have successfully integrated into British society by volunteering with Oxfam’s Wellington shop, Amnesty International Telford Group and the Wolverhampton Refugee and Migrant Centre (all unpaid). I have also joined social groups such as a local badminton club, a local cycling group and my local Morris Dancing Sides, as well as practicing meditation at local Buddhist Priory. The UK has been my home for 19 years. I DO NOT have a criminal record and I have NEVER claimed any benefits throughout my stay in the UK.
In April 2019 I submitted a fresh stateless application to the UK authorities myself without any legal representative because I can no longer afford a solicitor. In November 2019 the Home Office replied stating that they COULD NOT provide any timescales for a resolution to my case.
My turmoil is ongoing and is denying me several of the Universal Human Rights which the UK government claims to support.
“to qualify for stateless leave to remain in the UK, an applicant must demonstrate that they are stateless and that they will NOT be admitted to another country for the purposes of permanent residence there.” (Home Office's reply [link], November 2019)
The Home Office is aware that I have NOT been able to return to Malaysia for the purpose of permanent residence since May 2014 (see Lord Avebury and James Brokenshire MP in Hansard [link]; High Court's determination [link]; Home Office's Enforcement Instructions and Guidance [link], removed on 12 June 2017).
I am asking the Home Office to honour the UK government's Immigration Rules and Policy [link] and their Stateless Guidance [link], by granting me stateless leave to remain without further delay. This will allow me to take back control of my life, be able to live with dignity, support myself and contribute to the UK economy.
I was studying for my degree, and my life just stopped there, not moving forward. I haven’t been able to use my skills. I wanted to pursue my dream, my career, but everything turned into a mess.
I’ve been very depressed. I can’t go back to see my parents, because I fear I won’t be able to come back. I can’t stay in Malaysia as I have no right to remain there either, I can’t get into a relationship or anything, because everything is stuck.
Thankfully I have some friends supporting me financially, but I can’t rely on them forever. Something needs to be done soon so I can live my life.
Please help me by signing my petition and spread the word via email, Twitter, Facebook using #HelpLiew
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