A Nigerian care worker has been ordered to leave the country by the end of the month despite his contributions towards fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Anugwom Izuchukwu Goodluck, 30, had been working in care homes until the height of the lockdown period, when his visa application was denied.
Because of this, he was no longer able to work and was issued a deportation notice to his homeland of Nigeria.
Speaking fondly of his work, Anugwom said: ‘I used to sing and dance for the residents, it was amazing to be with them, just pure happiness. Then it’s all gone in the blink of an eye and I didn’t even get to get to say goodbye.
“They stopped me from working amid the rising cases as I couldn’t offer my services to the agency.
‘I was designated illegal for work, it’s very depressing.’
Anugwom left the west African country in 2018 to study a masters degree in International Relations at the University of Sussex.
After graduating last summer, began agency work in care homes around the Brighton and Hove area, having trained to become a carer during his course
Since his mother and brother both live in the UK, he applied for a family visa but was told in March that he would not be able to stay.
His grandmother, who was his only family in Nigeria, died in 2009, meaning that he does not have a support system, nor anyone to help with finances in the country.
Anugwom said that in ‘an ideal world’ he would like to become a UK citizen.
However, as he is facing a return to a country where he has no one to support him, he would like an extension to get back on to the frontline of the care sector.
When asked about the case, the Home Office said that Anugwom must leave the country by the end of July.
A spokesperson said: ‘We are incredibly grateful for all the work that carers have done during coronavirus, which is why we have made them exempt from the immigration health surcharge.
‘Those who are in the UK must follow the immigration rules – and that includes not continuing to work in the UK after applications for visas have been refused.
‘We have granted individuals who cannot return home due to coronavirus leave to remain until July 31.’