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Young Entrepreneur at Risk of Deportation: Tier 1 Visa Application Refused

Young Entrepreneur at Risk of Deportation: Tier 1 Visa Application Refused

Tier 1 visa for Entrepreneurs and Investors

A young graduate who invented a device which could transform the lives of people with Parkinson’s disease is facing deportation after the Home Office refused her visa application.

Neha Chaudhry, who is from Pakistan and who has been in Britain since 2010 as a student, says the deportation decision was made because she forgot to include some information on a document relating to her company. The remainder of the 66-page application form for the Tier 1 visa, which is only granted to highly-skilled individuals and entrepreneurs, had been correctly completed, she said. She will not be allowed resubmit the application and will now have to pursue a drawn-out appeals process.

“There was no intention to deliberately hide anything – my work is intended to help people . . . But because of this one small step, a technicality, I am about to lose all my work for the last three or four years and have to leave. It is just sad,” she said.

‘Smart’ walking stick could transform lives

Ms Chaudhry, who is regarded as one of the most promising entrepreneurs in Britain, has developed a walking stick with her Walk To Beat business in Bristol that offers the promise of transformation to the lives of thousands of people with Parkinson’s Disease. Her ‘smart’ walking stick reverses the temporary paralysis experienced by Parkinson’s sufferers by sending an electric pulse to the user’s hand. Experts believe it could revolutionise treatment for the condition, which affects 127,000 people in the UK. The charity Parkinson’s UK has endorsed the product and the walking stick has attracted the interest of the NHS and patient groups.

The student entrepreneur developed the product after seeing her grandfather in her native Pakistan afflicted by the condition. Symptoms may be so severe that many Parkinson’s sufferers say it can inhibit them from wanting to leave home.

Visa refused because of minor error

The Home Office refused Ms Chaudhry’s visa request because she incorrectly filed one piece of information in the application form for the Tier 1 visa.

The 24-year-old’s failure to file evidence that she was a director of her company made her application void. She can reapply but she would be classed as an over-stayer leaving her open to a minimum 12-month ban in this country.

The graduate from the University of the West of England was informed by the Home Office that it had not considered supporting material sent with her visa application outlining her business plan drawn up with the Bristol company supporting her work.

Decision appear to fly in face of PM’s notion of “truly global Britain”

Andy Sinclair, director of the technology company Sysemia, which is supporting Ms Chaudhry’s work, said he was frustrated by the Home Office’s decision.

“I find it personally very sad and frustrating that someone like Neha, who is committed and passionate about what she is doing, should be asked to leave the country. She has invented something that is socially, economically and morally a great thing to do. We have someone who is making a positive contribution to the country – are we seriously saying we don’t want a person like Neha in Britain?” he said.

The decision to serve Ms Chaudhry with a notice to leave the UK appears to be at odds with the UK government’s insistence that a post-Brexit Britain should be a focus for innovators and entrepreneurs from around the world.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland earlier this year, Prime Minister Theresa May said her ambition for a “truly global Britain” was to create “a secure prosperous, tolerant country – a magnet for international talent and a home to the pioneers and innovators who will shape the world ahead.”

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For advice on establishing a business in the UK, Tier 1 visas, Tier 2 visas, British Citizenship, corporate or business compliance, sponsorship, family visas, investing in the UK or any other immigration law matter, please contact our immigration lawyers today on immigrationteam@ibblaw.co.uk or 03456 381381 to see how we can help you.