Jakir needs your help to stay in the UK
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016
A young man who has grown up in Norwich and made the city his home is asking people to help him in his fight to stay in the UK.
Jakir Ahmed, 21, thought he had found sanctuary in our fine city but for the past few years he has been living under the threat of being forced to return to his native Bangladesh where he says he has no known family.
Now he needs to raise £4,000 to pay for legal fees to continue his fight to remain with his friends and loved ones in Norwich.
In 2008 Mr Ahmed, then about 14, was found in Prince of Wales Road, cold, confused and unable to speak a word of English.
Police believed he had been trafficked into the country and forced to work as a domestic slave.
After being fostered by a Norwich family he has built a new life in the city, worked hard to complete an apprenticeship and secured a full-time job at the airport, and has a girlfiend of nearly two years, Katarzyna Grabiak.
But for a number of years he has also faced having his whole world turned upside, as he has continually had to battle to be allowed to stay in the place he calls home.
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In the latest twist in his complicated case, he is trying to appeal against a court's ruling in favour of upholding the Home Office's decision not to grant him leave to remain in the UK, and to pay for this he needs to raise vital funds.
When asked what people's support would mean to him, he said: 'It would mean a lot because as I have grown up here, all I know is here, all my family and my friends are here.'
The former Sewell Park College and City College Norwich student, who lives with his foster parents Stephen and Sylvia Nunn in Norwich, added: 'I have been studying, worked hard to achieve where I am now and I can see my future here, getting to a higher level at work, settling with my girlfriend. All my family is here so I can see them always, but if I have to go back I will have nothing, I will be back to zero again.'
He said the situtation meant there was always a cloud over his head.
He said: 'It's still the same as the beginning because nothing has been solved, so I still worry about what will happen next, I worry about the future.' Last year we reported how more than 2,500 people signed a petition calling for Mr Ahmed to be allowed to stay in the UK after his application for leave to remain in the UK was refused by the Home Office.
Since then his legal representation successfully argued for the Home Office to withdraw its decision and his case went back to pending. His application was then refused again in October. A First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum) appeal hearing in February this year ruled in Mr Ahmed's favour but an Upper Tribunal appeal hearing then dismissed this decision.
Now Mr Ahmed is appealing this latest decision.
His solicitor Kat Hacker, of Duncan Lewis, said: 'We are appealing that decision because we say that different considerations have to be taken into account when the individual is a child and they have established their life here as a child.'
She also said Mr Ahmed has so much to offer the UK.
'Jakir is like a model citizen who has come to the UK under dire circumstances and turned his life around,' she said.
A Home Office spokesperson said: 'All applications are considered on their individual merits, including any exceptional or compassionate circumstances, and in accordance with the immigration rules.'
For more information about how you can help Mr Ahmed, visit https://www.crowdjustice.co.uk/case/justice-to-stay/