Kiwi woman told she can’t work in UK – despite living there for 40 years
A Kiwi woman who has lived in the United Kingdom since she was 12 has been told she cannot work because she is still considered a migrant.
Carol Babbage, 62, moved to the UK with her New Zealand mother and British stepfather, in 1967, and was granted indefinite leave to remain.
But despite serving with the British Army in Northern Ireland during the 1970s, Babbage was told by the British Home Office she is unemployable.
UK media outlets have reported Babbage said she won’t get a state pension, and fears her NHS (National Health Service) treatment may be withdrawn.
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The UK Government is now reviewing her case, and said she has not been asked to leave the country.
Babbage, from Liskeard in Cornwall, first realised something was wrong in 2016 when she was told by a cleaning firm she could not be employed because of her migrant status.
Babbage, who has three children – Simon Babbage, 31, Angelina Fletcher, 25, and Daniel Babbage, 20 – has now been out of work for over a year.
She told the Express being without work was “quite a jolt” and had “impacted [her] to the core”.
The Home Office had offered her a citizenship ceremony, but Babbage said that was a “humiliation” considering she had already swore an oath under Queen Elizabeth II when she joined the services.
Every step of the citizenship ceremony is “a huge fee” which she doesn’t want to pay.
Satbir Singh from the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants told the BBC a “hostile environment” for immigrants had made things harder for many people who had arrived in the UK as children.