Who Should Get To Stay in the UK?

The BBC series will follow people including Rashed whose fight to remain in the UK is a matter of life and death due to his Crohn’s disease. Amid the on-going debate about Britain’s immigration system, BBC Two will air a three-part documentary following the stories of people who are trying to remain in the UK for various reasons. 

After nearly 700,000 people from outside the EU applied to live in the UK last year, the show will detail how lawyers are trying to help those whose visas have been refused or those who fear their lives would be in danger if they were to return to their home countries. 

Here’s all you need to know about Who Should Get To Stay In The UK? 

When is it on TV? 

Who Should Get To Stay In The UK? airs on BBC Two on Thursday 13 June from 9 pm. The series will run over three episodes. 

What is the documentary series about? 

The series will follow the lives of people who are trying to remain in the UK after leaving their home countries for various reasons and the work their lawyers have to do to keep them here. 

During the hour-long episode, viewers will be introduced to Dillian, who fled Trinidad and Tobago seeking asylum. In order for Dillian’s claim to be successful, his lawyer Mike McGarvey has to prove that his client’s life is in danger if he were to return home because he’s a high-profile gay man. With the fear of Dillian being persecuted, McGarvey is tasked with interrogating Dillian’s story to make sure it stands up to examination. 

Twenty-seven-year-old Russian student Valeriya will be seen applying for an entrepreneur visa to stay in the UK after her fifth student visa expired. Having moved to England as a teenager, Valeriya must now convince lawyer Anne Morris that her business plan for her fledgeling fashion label – which has received funding from her father – will meet the Home Office requirements. 

But for Rashed, the right to remain in the UK is a matter of life and death as he claims he would die if he returned to Bangladesh because the medicine he requires to treat his Crohn’s disease is not available there. Having received treatment on the NHS whilst living in the UK without a valid visa for five years, Rashed must now argue alongside Ousman Noor for his right to stay in the country on humanitarian grounds. 

In Scotland, Ajmal is unable to obtain visas for the specialist chefs from India he says he needs to expand his restaurant business. As the Home Office doesn’t consider it a role for skilled workers, Ajmal enlists the help of lawyer Darren Stevenson to make the case for the positive impact his plans would have on the local economy. 

What are the other cases about? 

As the series continues, 29-year-old Shankea will be introduced to viewers. Having come to the UK 17 years ago to live with her Jamaican father, Shankea’s illegal immigrant status wasn’t picked up until she applied for university. Since then, her numerous visa applications have been denied. As a result, she has very limited rights, she is unable to work, study or claim benefits. She must report to her local police station to sign the Home Office register every month and can be detained and removed from the UK at any time. 

Meanwhile, Nancy will detail how her life has been impacted by the Windrush row. Having arrived in the UK at the age of six with her mum who came to the country from the Gambia as part of the Windrush generation, Nancy has brought up her children here. But six years after the theft of her passport – which had a stamp that proved her British citizenship – Nancy’s rights to stay in the country were questioned by the authorities. 

Having been unable to provide any proof, Nancy had her housing and child benefits stopped, her children were blocked from attending university and the family lost their right to council housing and were placed in temporary accommodation. Determined to prove that Nancy and her family have every right to remain in the UK, immigration lawyer Stephen Slater takes on the case. 

The last episode of the series will focus on couples and the trials and tribulations they face trying to remain in the UK legally.

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