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Ealing resident denied settled status

A Portuguese woman from Ealing has been denied Settled Status for the time she spent in Portugal caring for her sick born in Britain son.

Julie* moved with her husband to the UK in 2004, where they started their family. On a trip back to Portugal in 2013, their eldest son fell ill and was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Due to the nature of the illness, which is aggressive, can progress quickly and needs to be treated immediately, Julie had to remain in Portugal as her son received treatment, while her husband and younger son went back to London.

When her eldest son was well enough to travel, he was moved to Great Ormond Street hospital and in order to look after him, Julie did not work, and therefore all the family’s bills were in her husband’s name.

Despite both her children and husband being granted settled status, she was not. The Home Office justified the refusal with the time she spent in Portugal and absence of proof she was in the UK when she returned.

Labour councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for finance and leisure, told her story during the Council meeting of October 2019: Julie said he has been really supportive, but, given that the ultimate decision rests with the Home Office, she will contact her local MP and, with the help of a local solicitor, try to overturn its decision.

“This is my home, my boys’ home, they have their friends here, we contribute to our local community. It is all they have ever known. They have faced so much instability and been through so much in their short lives, that I am determined to make sure they don’t have this worry hanging over their heads.” Julie said.

Ealing has approximately 55.000 residents who are EU nationals, 68,53% of which have applied for settled status. Of those, 61% were granted Settled Status, while 39% were granted Pre-settled Status.

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