Family With Autistic Son Refused Visa
October 18th, 2018
An Indian family who have lived in Oxford for seven years have been told they must leave the UK, despite doctors warning their son is too ill to travel.
Gopul Anand, 23, who has schizophrenia, epilepsy and autism, moved to the city when his father got a job at Oxfam GB.
Shekhar Anand said his son’s condition had deteriorated to the point he was not well enough to fly home.
The Home Office said it had contacted the family about “support options available to them”.
A spokesperson said: “We have been in touch with the Anand family to discuss the arrangements for their travel to India, including support options available to them.”
The family, who arrived in the UK in 2011, were hoping to be granted discretionary leave to remain after their visas ran out. Two tribunals have ruled against them.
Letters from Gopul’s psychiatrist and social worker say he experiences hallucinations, displays impulsive and aggressive behaviour, and would be a risk to himself and other passengers.
Describing how his son could be affected, Mr Anand, a regional livelihood development lead at Oxfam, said: “He gets panic attacks which can be very severe.”
A flight would pose a “very difficult situation” with “scary voices and images,” Mr Anand added.
Solicitor Dr Sugina Mehra said the family has “supplied ample evidence clearly saying [Gopal was] not fit to fly”.
Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East, said she was “very disappointed” the appeal had been dismissed.
Oxfam said it would “continue to employ Shekhar in his current role should his appeal be successful”.
“This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.”