Mon | Jan 21, 2019

Jamaica-born senior citizen in UK threatened with deportation gets biometric residency permit

Published:Friday | January 12, 2018 | 1:32 PM
In this September 2016 file photo deportees leave the Mobile Reserve in St Andrew after being processed.

A Jamaican woman who was detained and threatened with deportation despite living in Britain for over 50 years has finally received official leave to remain in the United Kingdom.

Sixty-one-year-old Paulette Wilson, who the Guardian describes as a former cook who served food to members of Parliament in the House of Commons, has been denied benefits and access to healthcare and refused permission to work for the past two and a half years. 

After a week in Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre in October, she was taken to Heathrow for deportation to Jamaica, which she left at the age of 10 and where she has no surviving relatives.

Coverage of her situation in the Guardian last month prompted anger among politicians and readers.

This week she received a biometric residency permit, confirming her settled status in the UK and bringing her a step nearer to gaining British citizenship.

Wilson’s daughter, Natalie Barnes, says her mother now has to complete a naturalisation process to become a British citizen.