Two-week wait for Inga Lockington decision from Home Office
- Credit: Archant
Former Ipswich mayor Inga Lockington should hear within the next two weeks whether she can become a British citizen – but Home Secretary Sajid Javid needs to explain why it has taken so long to reach this state.
And why was it only when we highlighted the case – and attracted national and international attention to Danish-born Mrs Lockington’s plight – that Home Office staff started taking it seriously?
Mrs Lockington was told her application for British citizenship, which cost £1,282, had been unsuccessful because she did not have paperwork which, the Home Office said, was needed to prove she had been in Britain long enough.
She had been given wrong advice that her “indefinite right to remain” stamp in her passport on her marriage in 1979 would not be enough to grant her citizenship.
Once we contacted the Home Office, we were told her visa would provide evidence – and an official contacted Mrs Lockington to find out details about her life in the UK.
She has now been told to expect a decision within the next two weeks – and is hoping for positive news.
She said: “I am pleased they are looking at it all again. The people who have been speaking to me are very helpful and I am hopeful.
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“But my point is if this can happen to me, what about everyone else? I’m sure there are many other people from EU countries applying who don’t have the knowledge of the system or the media contacts.”
When Mr Javid took over at the Home Office in the wake of the Windrush scandal that cost the job of his predecessor Amber Rudd, he banned the phrase “Hostile Environment” to describe the department’s attitudes towards illegal immigrants.
A spokesman for the Home Office said Mrs Lockington’s case would be concluded as soon as possible.
He said: “The fact that we contacted her at the end of last week to find out the relevant dates for us to look for documents and that we have called her again today shows that we are keen to sort this case out as soon as possible.
“Everyone is keen to ensure we reach a satisfactory conclusion to this as soon as possible but at this stage we cannot really give a final timescale but we are aware you are likely to hear about it when things are all sorted out.”