Ali comes home

Ali, an Iranian man in his 40s, stands in front of a tree.

It’s a journey that started 11 years ago with him swimming from Iran to Turkey; a journey which has now, with the community’s support, reached its terminus. Ali, who needed your help to pay the enormous fees on an application for settlement, received his Indefinite Leave to Remain. Finally, a Palestinian from Gaza won the second appeal in his asylum claim. Despite the fact that he comes from a war zone, was a clear target of Hamas, for both political and religious reasons, had met and married a British woman and suffers  from an aggressive version of MS, it took the UK 16 years to decide that he was in need of international protection. It has been an emotional month.

Here’s the letter Ali wrote to our supporters to raise money to fight his case.


My name is Ali. I am 44. I have been in the UK since 2007. During this time, I did my best to be a helpful person for my family and people around me. Also, I tried to adopt the culture by learning English. I married and did what I could to improve my life by education and being qualified as a gas engineer.

I had to apply for a visa couple of times in order to work, but my current visa will run out this October. I have to send an application which costs £2,297, excluding solicitor costs, to the Home office in a very short period of time.

For the first four years I was here I didn’t have the right to work and have never been able to get support from the government, but once I was granted my visa, I have worked in order to support my family. I have no complaints about that, I have always managed to get by. I am recently qualified and started to work, but with all the life expenses supporting a family with three boys, I can’t afford this fee for the application at all. Without making this application I won’t be able to be with my family, work or stay in the country.

I am embarrassed to have to ask for your help, but I don’t have any other option. I have to find the money so that I can be there for my boys and so that I can continue to live in this wonderful town.

Thank you,