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  1. ITV Report

Talented student risks losing place at Oxford University 'due to Home Office visa errors'

Friends of Brian White have launched a campaign to get him into Oxford University. Credit: ITV News Central

A talented chemistry student risks losing a place at Oxford University due to uncertainty over his immigration status.

Friends of Brian White, 21, have launched a petition urging officials to review his case after what they say were errors made by the Home Office.

The petition now has 70,000 signatures.

Brian was brought up in an orphanage in Zimbabwe until age six-year-old, before being adopted by a family who later moved to the UK.

The student only got permission to join to join his relatives in Britain at age 15 and excelled at school with four A* grades at A-level.

But when he applied for student finance, his immigration status was red-flagged, leaving his future in doubt.

Brian White was raised in an orphanage in Zimbabwe until he was adopted at the age of six. Credit: Family photo

Supporters say mistakes were made with Brian's paperwork when he first arrived into the UK.

They say he should have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain by the Home Office, but was instead given Limited Leave to Remain, meaning he was ineligible for student finance.

The Home Office says that delays were caused by Brian applying for the wrong status.

A petition urging officials to step in was started by Brian's friend Luke Wilcox.

He hopes to demonstrate to the Home Office "just how many people consider Brian a fitting and valued member of the United Kingdom".

Brian White is a talented chemistry student who volunteers at school. Credit: ITV News Central

A #GetBrianToOxford campaign has also been launched to raise awareness of Brian's case.

I have had the personal pleasure of knowing Brian since the start of 2013, having met him at school and quickly developing a close friendship with him.

He is possibly the hardest working person I have ever met, but it is his enthusiasm to help those around him that I am inspired by each and every day.

– Luke Wilcox, writing on petition
Friends of Brian White have launched a petition in support of him.

Oxford University needs to know whether Brian will accept his place by the end of August. He has already deferred it once.

However, the Home Office is not due to rule on his case until a month after that.

The Home Office said that Brian had been turned down on his first application for naturalisation as he did not qualify under the immigration rules

It added a second application for lave to remain was still under consideration.

"We recommend people seek independent legal advice on their immigration case," a spokesman added.