The years it took for the government to recognise my right to be in the UK exacerbated my serious mental health problems
When I was a child, my father gave me a wind-up turtle. It was a souvenir he bought back from a trip to the UK in 1979 and I loved it so much that it inspired me to come and live here. I arrived in the UK in 2008 but, unlike my father who came to perform as a musician, I came to brighten my future with study. Drunk with love for England, I could never have predicted the hardship and trauma I would face at the hands of the Home Office.
I have long suffered from depression. I reached a point where my mental health was so poor that I was no longer able to study. Despite my obvious vulnerability, an application to extend my visa on mental health grounds was denied. I was devastated.
Once on a bus I received a text message from the Home Office telling me to return to my home country immediately
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