Pakistani family granted right to remain in Dumfries after six-year legal battle

A Pakistani family that has been living in Dumfries for 16 years has been granted leave to remain in the UK by the Home Office.

The Saleem family has been fighting for permission to stay in the UK for six years after a mix-up with paperwork in 2015 meant their visa application was submitted late.

Later, the youngest daughter, Saira Saleem, was told she could stay in the UK because she was under 25 at the time of the application.

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The prospect of the family being torn apart lead them to continue fighting the decision and starting an online petition.

Saira Saleem said: "It's a big relief for us all, the fear we always had in our minds is gone, it's over now so we can look forward to our lives.

"We cannot explain our feelings, we were so emotional when our solicitor phoned us, we couldn't speak to him over the phone because we were all very happy."

The family's lawyer, Usman Aslam said: "This was completely of the blue from the Home Office, a very good decision I have to say.

"From our point of view, if this highlights anything, it's that families belong together."

Since 2015 only Saira has been allowed to work, she'd paused her education in order to pay for her family's life. 

Now, they all hope to move on from this troubling time and become a family at peace, accepted in the place they call home.