VOL. NO: 54      DATE:
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KOFI has been trying to come to the United Kingdom, he has made three VAF1 applications through the drop post but all have been refused. He is now very frustrated and his aim is to come to the United Kingdom.

To get away from it all, to show to his friends that he is able to make it! Afterwards Kojo came back to Kumasi last week with so much blinkblink, lots of pounds sterling which he has converted to Cedes! He is rich, he has been to the United Kingdom, he speaks Ghanaian English Cockney!

Little did Kofi know that Kojo was actually forced to leave the United Kingdom as an illegal entrant, and before leaving he was detained at Harmondsworth Detention Centre for nearly 6 weeks before he was finally removed.

The Immigration Rules are real, they are strict and they are not there just to be messed up with, you are strongly advised to try to adhere to your landing restrictions.

If you are coming to the United Kingdom or you are already in the United Kingdom as a visitor, you are required to prove the following points:

1. That you are genuinely seeking entry for a period not more than 6 months.

2. That you intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit.

3. That you do not intend to work either paid or unpaid.

4.That you do not intend to study at a State School.

5.That you can accommodate yourself and your dependants without working or claiming any benefit

6.That you have your return ticket to your country.

To me, personally, I am of the opinion that the above rules work in two ways. Firstly, you must satisfy yourself that you meet the above rules. Secondly, you must be able to satisfy the Entry Clearance Officer at the British High Commission that you meet the rules; there is no need to gamble if you are unable to satisfy yourself first before meeting the Entry Clearance Officer or dropping your application through the post.

Kofi in his own case had a different idea, he satisfy himself that he is coming to the United Kingdom regardless of the rules, afterwards, he convinced himself he can always pay someone to obtain the visa for him.

As I said before, the rules are there and must be satisfied! The first thing you want to ask yourself is that: If I am unable to satisfy the rules, how would someone else do so on my behalf? If the British Government want you to pay money to come to the United Kingdom, they would have said so! The rules are to ensure that there is adequate control of those that come in and out of the Country and to ensure safety of citizens.

Anyway, Kofi decided to pay a tout in Ghana to secure his visa! At last, he got one, he did not even want think whether the visa is genuine or not! All he was concerned about is that he is on his way to the United Kingdom.

He went to work the following day and tendered his resignation, sell off his car and give out his music system, promise his girlfriend Akosua that as soon as he settles down in the United Kingdom he will send money to her to join her in the United Kingdom.

Akosua parents were very happy! The deed is done! Kofi took off to the United Kingdom, landed at Heathrow Airport and he started praying in Twi! He got to the Immigration Officers and was asked a couple of questions, baam! His passports was stamped and the Immigration Officer said “enjoy your stay” – Kofi smiled and moved on to exit.

The first thing that hit Kofi was the cold, he cannot believe that an open space can be and feel cold like a fridge and yet people were moving so fast! He shrugged his shoulder and carried on straight to Forest Gate where Ade was waiting for him.

Kofi narrated his journey to the United Kingdom to Ade who in turn introduced him to Peter (Mr. Fix it) Peter got Kofi a different Identity to work with, within a week Kofi started a Job as a Cleaner. Peter told him beforehand that he will need to pay £120 a month for using the documents to work. Kofi will need to pay his wages into the provided account but he will be given a cash card to withdraw his money.

(Another success for Kofi in London) he is now feeling funky! He is in London, he has got a job, albeit, using someone else’s identity and bank account and he can now earn the £ sterling!!!

One early morning, Kofi was stopped by the Police at the Tube Station, just for routine check! He was found to be carrying double identity and at the end he was arrested and taken to…..you guess it! Harmondsworth Detention Centre! The circle is now completed as Kofi was removed back to Ghana.

My point here is that there are many areas and opportunities to come to the United Kingdom without necessarily coming as a visitor. You can either make your application as a Working Holiday Maker, Work Permit Holder, HSMP, or as a Spouse of someone who is settled in the United Kingdom. In all these categories you will be allowed to work and you do not need to put yourself through the pain of having to pay someone for your visa, paying someone to use their identity to work and or getting yourself arrested and detained humiliatingly.

If you have overstayed your visiting visa and or you are working with another person's identity card, you are not helping yourself, you could end up loosing everything and I am now advising you to seek help as soon as possible.

Take care out there! It is tough!
Dr. David Akin-Samuels


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