A man who waited years to be granted UK status because the Home Office mistook him for his murderer twin brother has now been granted only temporary settlement, despite being eligible for permanent status.
Hussen Mohamed, 27, a Somali-Dutch national living in London, said he was “disgusted” when – days after The Independent reported that he had been wrongly denied settled status – he received a letter saying he had been granted only limited leave to remain, despite having been in Britain for 17 years.
The London resident, who attended SOAS, University of London, applied to the EU settlement scheme in November 2019 in order to obtain his post-Brexit immigration status – and was still waiting more than two and a half years later.
He said that without EU settled status he had been unable to find a job and was apprehended multiple times when arriving at UK airports after travelling abroad for holidays, leaving him feeling like a “third-class citizen”.
When The Independent contacted the Home Office to ask about his case last month, it emerged that they had mistakenly identified him as his twin brother, Hassan Mohamed, who was convicted of murder in 2018 after stabbing a man to death in west London.
A Home Office spokesperson subsequently provided a statement apologising for the delay and stating that it was “working urgently to resolve” the situation.
However, Mr Mohamed received no direct apology from the department. Several days after the article was published, he received a letter stating that he had been granted pre-settled status, which is designed for EU nationals who have lived in the UK for less than five years, and provides status for only five years before they must apply again.
“There’s been no phone call, no text, no ‘sorry for the complication’. Nothing. They know my situation now. They’ve got my email address, they’ve got every version of a contact detail in front of them,” he said.
“And now they don’t even give me settled status. It’s incompetence. It’s sad, it’s ridiculous. They’re wasting money and time. It doesn’t make sense. There’s a bureaucracy that doesn’t work.
“The fact that I had to go to the media in the first place is wrong. How is it that a journalist can provide more information about my case than they can? This is how hard it is to be an immigrant in England.
“They should apologise to me and understand what they’ve done is beyond neglectful.”
Andreea Dumitrache, spokesperson for the3million, a grassroots organisation for EU citizens in the UK, said: “It’s unacceptable that after years of being held in limbo, facing significant repercussions due to the Home Office’s incompetency, Hussen still hasn’t been granted indefinite leave to remain, despite living in the UK since he was a child.
“He still has not received an apology or an explanation. This would not happen under a fair and humane immigration system. We urgently need to see evidence of the culture change promised by the government in the wake of the Windrush scandal.”
Mr Mohamed’s twin brother, Hassan Mohamed, of Southall, Middlesex, was convicted of murder and jailed for a minimum of 26 years in October 2018.
When approached for comment, the Home Office did not provide a statement, advising only that Mr Mohamed could apply to switch to settled status for free.