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Ghana's Nelson Shardey spends 42 years in UK, Home Office says he's not British

A retired 74-year-old Ghanaian man, Nelson Shardey, who has called the United Kingdom home for nearly five decades, finds himself entangled in a bureaucratic nightmare as he waits for the Home Office to grant him permanent residency. Despite living, working, and contributing to British society for most of his adult life, Shardey has been informed he must endure a decade-long process before he can secure his status.

Home Office tells Ghanaian man Nelson Shardey he's not British after 42 years in UK

According to the BBC, Shardey's journey to the UK began in 1977 when he arrived on a student visa to study accountancy. Over the years, he seamlessly integrated into British life, marrying twice to British women and raising two sons. His professional life saw him run his own business as a newsagent and even earn accolades for his bravery in confronting a robber.

However, Shardey's world turned upside down in 2019 when he applied for a passport to travel to Ghana for his mother's funeral. Shockingly, he discovered he was not considered British by the authorities. Despite decades of living without question, he was told he had no right to stay in the country he had come to call home.

"The 10-year route to settlement is a punishment, and it's not fair in any way," Shardey expressed, emphasizing his financial and health challenges, including his recovery from prostate cancer.

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His son Jacob, a research scientist, echoed his father's sentiments, questioning the logic behind the prolonged process. "He's been here longer than the people who are working in the Home Office on his case have been alive," Jacob exclaimed incredulously.

In a bid for justice, Shardey is taking legal action against the Home Office, with the assistance of Nicola Burgess, a lawyer at Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit. "If Nelson was your friend or your neighbour, you would absolutely agree that he should be given the immediate right to settle," Burgess asserted, highlighting the exceptional circumstances of Shardey's case.

The Home Office, however, has remained tight-lipped on the matter, citing ongoing legal proceedings.

As Shardey navigates the complexities of the legal system, his story shines a light on the challenges faced by many immigrants who have spent most of their lives in the UK but find themselves in bureaucratic limbo when seeking permanent residency.

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