A Zimbabwean superstar in the making Gamu Nhengu has been causing quite a stir in the UK with her X factor performances. Unfortunately it all came to an end at the weekend and this left a number of fans very unhappy. Now news is going around that her and her family are facing deportation due to a failed visa application.
Her being in that situation got me thinking about the hundreds if not thousands of Zimbabweans who are waiting on asylum applications (even though her and her family are not asylum seekers). Some have been lucky enough to get their application approved quickly. There are others who years down the line are still waiting on the Home Office to make a decision on their claims. Whist they wait they are in a situation where they are neither here nor there.
Being a migrant in itself is enough to take a significant emotional toll on a person. Can you image what it would be like with the added stress of waiting on an asylum claim? For months and months applicants are in a situation where all they can do is sit and wait for someone to make their mind up. Whilst all of that is in progress, they cannot work which means they have to live off whatever assistance they are receiving from the government. For others that also means less or no monetary assistance for family they may be supporting back home. They also obviously cannot travel to Zimbabwe or anywhere else for that matter which can make it tough if a situation arises where their presence would have been expected.
Some people have simply put in claims so that they can legally stay on in the UK and work. They may not have necessarily been persecuted in Zimbabwe and have become illegal with asylum being the option they can think of to become legal.
If all else fails for asylum seekers, The International Organisation for Migration runs a Voluntary Assisted Return and Reintegration Programme (VARRP) to assist asylum seekers who want to return to their country. Who knows how well this programme works? It may just be a way of enticing migrants to leave the country so that the Brits don’t have to worry about them; in other word’s, “here, have some money now get out of our country!”
This is just a bit of what some asylum seekers have to go through. If an application is successful, refugees are allowed to travel wherever they like except to their country of origin. But, that restriction doesn’t stop some brave souls from making their way home. It makes you wonder if it is really worth it going through all of that just so that you can stay in the United Kingdom?