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Man risks being deported, despite living in UK for 19 years

Devin Hartley (right) says he now risks being deported. Photo: ITV West Country

A 22-year-old man from Gloucester has been told he could be deported, despite living in the UK since he was three-years-old.

Devin Hartley emigrated from South Africa with his father.

His step-mother, girlfriend and girlfriend's daughter also live here, but he may be forced to leave the country, because he hasn't been approved for British citizenship.

Devin Hartley has lived in the UK since he was three-years-old. Credit: Devin Hartley

Devin's birth mother is South African and still lives there, but he has had no contact with her for years.

Devin's father say they were given bad advice from a South African official before they moved back.

Devin Hartley with his father, Craig Hartley. Credit: ITV West Country

The British High Commission in South Africa said because I was British, Devin could then get a temporary passport o come over to the UK and then he would get British citizenship when he was here

So, [according to] their advice, that's what we did. So when we got here, I didn't apply for a passport because Devin wasn't going to be travelling anywhere, we were starting a new life.

it was just when he got his university placement that they told him he needed a British passport, which we applied for, which was declined.

[We] applied for British citizenship, they declined that as well and said that he was an overstayer, because he was supposed to be here for six months, which we knew nothing about.

– Craig Hartley, Devin's Father

The family are appealing to the Home Office to allow him to stay, as he has a National Insurance card, has paid his taxes.

At the moment, Devin is living in a citizenship limbo - not being allowed to do anything in the UK now either.

The Home Office sent ITV West Country this statement in response to his situation:

Mr Hartley submitted an application for leave in February 2017 but did not supply the correct supporting documentation, which in this case is a South African passport. We wrote to Mr Hartley to request this in June, but a passport was not supplied and so the application was rejected.

The issuing of passports is a matter for individual embassies. The Home Office will consider granting an exemption from the need to supply a passport if, for example, a person has been unreasonably refused one by their embassy."

– Home Office Spokesperson