This afternoon, the Home Office confirmed that Shane Ridge, the Lancashire born joiner, is indeed a British citizen and they had incorrectly refused his application for Right of Abode. Shane Ridge’s case made headlines this week when it was discovered that despite being born in the UK and spending his entire life here, he was required to leave or face a £5,000 fine or prison sentence.
Shane Ridge was born in the UK to an Australian mother and British father but his parents never married. His mother subsequently became a British citizen. Mr Ridge told the press that he had lived in the UK all his life, attended school, paid tax and even voted – he had always thought he was a British citizen.
However, last year, Mr Ridge’s application for a British passport was refused. He was subsequently able to travel abroad on an Australian passport and was assured by the Passport Office that he would be able to return to the UK. He didn’t realise there was an issue until last week when the Home Office sent him a letter informing him that his driving licence would be revoked and he had “no legal basis to be in the UK.”
After going public with his case, the Home Office overturned its decision and published a statement on Twitter stating:
“The Home Office has now established that Mr Ridge is automatically a British citizen. We have spoken with Mr Ridge to apologise for this error and the distress caused.
When Mr Ridge applied for Right of Abode, we did not identify that his maternal grandmother was British and that as a result his mother had settled status in the UK at the time of his birth.”
It is not uncommon for the Home Office to overlook vital information and refuse straightforward applications. Our immigration team are regularly instructed to review refusal letters and consider the merits of challenging a decision. If you would like to know more about our services, please get in touch with us today.