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News74-year-old Ghanaian man told he is not British after 42 years in...

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74-year-old Ghanaian man told he is not British after 42 years in UK

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A retired 74-year-old Ghanaian man, Nelson Shardey, residing in the UK for almost five decades, has been told to wait 10 years before the Home Office grants him permanent residency.

Shardey, from Wallasey in Wirral, believed he was considered British until 2019 when he discovered otherwise.

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Despite contributing to the UK economy through taxes, he now faces substantial costs to secure his residency and access NHS services.

Having arrived in the UK in 1977 to study accountancy on a student visa, Shardey built a life in the country. He held various jobs, got married twice to British women, and raised two sons.

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Nelson Shardey pictured alongside his two young sons

However, when he applied for a passport to visit Ghana after his mother’s passing, he learned he wasn’t recognized as British.

The Home Office instructed him to apply for the 10-year settlement route, costing approximately £7,000, plus £10,500 for NHS access.

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Struggling with finances, especially after battling prostate cancer, Shardey expressed frustration at the process, feeling it unjust given his lifelong commitment to the UK.

Despite his contributions and recognition, including receiving a police award for bravery, Shardey faces a prolonged bureaucratic process.

Nelson Shardey was presented with the Police Bravery Award in the year 2007.

“Now, it would be inappropriate to comment on active legal proceedings,” said a Home Office spokesman.

Now, with legal assistance from Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU) and support from his sons, Shardey is challenging the Home Office’s decision in court, arguing that his case warrants exceptional treatment.

“We know that at least one caseworker has looked at his file and suggested that he should be granted indefinite leave to remain because there are exceptional facts,” said Nicola Burgess, a lawyer at GMIAU.

“And when you look at it on a personal level, if Nelson was your friend or your neighbour, you would absolutely agree that he should be given the immediate right to settle.”

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