Kiwi woman who migrated to UK age 12 refused right to work

Kiwi woman who migrated to UK age 12 refused right to work
Photo credit: BBC

A Kiwi woman who has lived in the UK for 50 years and served in the British Army is being refused work because of her migrant status.  

The BBC reported Carol Babbage, 62, who arrived in the UK in 1967 has indefinite leave to remain in the country, but has been refused a cleaning job.

Ms Babbage emigrated from New Zealand at the age of 12 with her Kiwi mother and British father.  She raised three children in the UK, served in the Army in Northern Ireland in the 1970s and married a British serviceman, who she later divorced, the BBC reported.

She also worked in a number of care industry jobs. She suspected something was wrong last year when she applied for a cleaning job, but was told she was not eligible due to her migrant status.

The Home Office said it was "considering" options available to her and she had not been asked to leave.

Now living in Liskeard in Cornwall she has been told she will not get a state pension and is concerned her NHS treatment may be stopped.

She said that she had never applied for a British passport because her NZ passport states she has "indefinite leave" to remain in the UK.

"It's impacted me to the core," Ms Babbage told the BBC.

"If I don't find employment I don't know what is going to happen to me."

Satbir Singh from the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, which campaigns for justice in immigration, told the BBC a "hostile environment" for immigrants had made things harder for many people who had arrived in the UK as children.

He added ordinary people "who have every right to be here, who have entered legally" can end up in a similar situation.