Stranded Neville Mckenzie's lawyer hopes for talks with high commission
UP TO press time yesterday, Jennifer Housen, the lawyer representing Neville Mckenzie, the 68-year-old man who was denied re-entry into the United Kingdom (UK), where he has lived for decades, said she was still awaiting an invitation from the British High Commission in St Andrew to discuss the case.
McKenzie had visited Jamaica to attend a funeral and has been told he will not be allowed to re-enter the UK.
“Getting a hold of the British High Commission here is very difficult. I am hoping that they will contact me, but I will continue on the route that I am on, which will take about six to eight weeks,” Housen said.
“Right now, I am having to prove that he was there on or before the first of January 1973. I have contacted his doctors to get his medical records to show that he has been with that practice since he has been there as a 16-year-old. Then I need to contact the Department of Works and Pensions to confirm that he has been paying contributions since he has been working there as a 21-yearold, in addition to further talks with his member of Parliament,” the attorney explained.
In the meantime, the British High Commission, in responding to questions from The Gleaner, urged Jamaicans living in the UK to check their travel documents carefully before leaving the country to ensure that they are able to return.
“UK Visas and Immigration do not comment on individual cases,” the high commission said.
“However, we are aware that there are many long-term residents of the United Kingdom who do not have British citizenship. If they leave and then return to the UK, then they will need to satisfy the UK immigration rules to regain entry. Our advice is always that people should check their documentation carefully before they leave the UK to ensure that they are able to return.”
McKenzie has been a resident of 90 Mawbey Street, Stockwell, London, since December 1962. He came to Jamaica in November of last year to attend his aunt’s funeral. However, when he decided to return to England on June 19 of this year, he was issued with a refusal of entry clearance.
Housen, however, pointed out that there is a lot of ambiguity on the part of the UK government as there is nothing in law that makes it mandatory for persons who have settled in the country before or on January 1, 1973, to get a British visa.