A Singaporean doctor who faced deportation after having trained and worked in the United Kingdom (UK) for more than 10 years can breathe a sigh of relief, as the British authorities said they were withdrawing their case against him, the BBC reported.
Luke Ong, 31, had applied for Indefinite Leave to Remain, which would allow him to stay, but his application was 18 days late due to “an honest oversight” on his part. Ong attributed his tardiness to not being able to secure an earlier visa appointment.
He then appealed the original denial and won, but the UK Home Office applied to overturn his victory. Now, the authority is withdrawing that challenge, leaving the door open for Ong to continue his work towards qualifying as a general practitioner (GP). He has five months to go in his training.
A relieved Ong told the BBC that he would not fully believe in his reprieve until he sees the final official document. “I have been here before,” he quipped. (According to Ong, the document in question is a plastic card with a biometric chip with the word “Settled” written on it.)
News of Ong’s situation has moved hundreds of thousands of netizens. After recording his plight on petition website change.org, Ong’s page has attracted more than 310,000 signatories. In his original plea, a “broken” Ong said he was left unable to work while his case was being processed. He signed off by saying: “I want to be a doctor here in the UK.”