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Successful crowdfunding campaign to reunite Ghanaian mother with her teenage son

Successful crowdfunding campaign to reunite Ghanaian mother with her teenage son

A crowdfunding campaign has raised the £2,500 in Home Office fees needed to reunite a Ghanaian mother in the UK with her 13-year-old son stranded in Ghana.

The fund was started on the initiative of Bethan Lant of the charity Praxis, who wrote about her client’s desperate situation on Free Movement last month.

Florence, a Ghanaian citizen with leave to remain in the UK, had left her son Emmanuel in the care of his aunt back in Ghana while trying to arrange for him to join her in Britain. When Emmanuel’s aunt passed away, there was nobody left in Ghana to care for him. Florence couldn’t move back there because another of her children has a life-threatening medical condition that could not be treated in that country.

That left a visa application for Emmanuel to come to the UK. The fee for that application, including Immigration Health Surcharge, is £2,523 — more than the family could afford.

But Bethan managed to persuade friends familiar with the work of Praxis and who had read her article to set up the crowdfunder. Organised by Erica Lang and Rosa Green, it hit the £2,500 target in just a couple of days.

The kindness of strangers gives hope to one family, but Home Office immigration and nationality fees continue to price many others out of their rights. In the same week, the department was in the High Court defending the £1,012 fee charged to register children as British. Application charges are set way above the administrative cost of processing them: the child registration fee alone has generated a surplus of almost £100 million in five years.

CJ McKinney is Free Movement's editor. He's here to make sure that the website is on top of everything that happens in the world of immigration law, whether by writing articles, commissioning them out or considering pitches. CJ is an adviser on legal and policy matters to the Migration Observatory at Oxford University, and keeps up with the wider legal world as a contributor to Legal Cheek. Twitter: @mckinneytweets.

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