Father wins time to keep kids in UK

2013-02-24 16:02

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Johannesburg - A South African expatriate won a reprieve preventing the deportation of his two children from Britain five days before they had to return to South Africa, it was reported on Sunday.

Seth is 8 and his sister, Leigh, is five.

"I will do everything in my power to stop them from being sent to South Africa," Justin Tutt was quoted as saying in The Sunday Times.

"Why must they end up in foster care when they have a father who loves them and wants to bring them up?" he asked.

Tutt, from Burnley, in Lancashire, wants British immigration to allow his children to stay with him in the UK on humanitarian grounds.

His estranged wife Deidre, who suffered from depression, committed suicide eight months ago and the children were sent to live with their maternal grandparents.

The Sunday Times reported that the UK Border Agency had said Tutt could apply for his children to be granted indefinite leave to remain in the country.

When his marriage fell apart five years ago, Tutt, who has a British passport but was born and raised in South Africa, moved back to the UK.

"There was never any other option than that they had to come and stay with me. Imagine my shock when I found out that my British passport does not qualify them automatic entry," he told the newspaper.

He said tougher immigration laws were introduced last year.

A solicitor was helping Tutt apply for a settlement visa to allow his children to stay in Britain for five years, after which they could apply for British citizenship, the newspaper reported.

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