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Ghanaian woman wins landmark case against UK’s Home Office in visa scandal



A Ghanaian woman named Cecilia Adjei has won a case against the UK Home Office regarding her immigration status in the country.

Cecilia Adjei, a mother of two boys aged 17 and 11, along with Ramfel, a charity organization, sued the Home Office for failing to provide documents to thousands of migrants, including her, proving they are legally staying in the country.

According to a report by, the plaintiff argued that although Adjei, a healthcare worker who migrated to the UK from Ghana in 2000, and hundreds of thousands of migrants applied for an extension of their visas, the office failed to provide them with an official document showing they were in the UK legally while their applications were being processed.

The said document, a ‘3C leave’, is an automatic form of immigration status while applicants wait for the Home Office to process their application.

The situation put the Ghanaian woman and other immigrants at risk of losing their jobs and also made it difficult for them to access higher education, healthcare, and the right to rent a home because they could not prove they were legally present.

The UK High Court judge, who presided over the case, Justice Cavanagh, ruled that the failure of the Home Office to provide digital proof of status to those on 3C leave to the migrants was unlawful.

“The evidence clearly establishes that a substantial number of those on section 3C leave suffer real hardship through being unable to provide immediate documentary proof of their immigration status and attendant rights.”

“The underlying purpose of the legislative framework is that there should be a hostile and unwelcoming environment for those who are unlawfully present and so who are undocumented. The corollary of this is that those who are lawfully here should not face the hostile environment. That can only happen if they are documented,” he said.

He added that the Home Secretary should provide a “straightforward step” to avoid hardship for a substantial number of people.

Cecilia Adjei praised the court for its ruling. She said that the situation led to her being suspended from her job, which made it very difficult for her to cater for her two children.

“What I went through while waiting for my visa to be extended by the Home Office was really stressful,” she said. “I was unable to prove that I had the right to work so was suspended from my employment as a healthcare support worker twice, without any notice.

“I have two children and have to budget very carefully, so we suffered real hardship when my wages suddenly stopped. I had to borrow money and visit a food bank just to get by. It was humiliating and scary as I didn’t have any way to prove to my employer that I still had the correct immigration status and the right to work.”

Read the full story published on June 8, 2024, by



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