J fled from his country of birth in South Asia following persecution and illegal detention without trial. After more than five years of applications, setbacks and appeals, we are delighted to report that today he is living with his family in South Yorkshire and they are rebuilding their lives together.

Although J has a wife and three children, he was forced to seek asylum in the UK just for himself. The process took five years and after numerous delays he was granted refugee status in 2019.

As well as being separated from his family, J experienced the frustrations of being dispersed and re-dispersed in locations where no one spoke his language or shared his faith.

J approached the Refugee Rights Hub soon after he was granted refugee status. He worked tirelessly to collate the documents needed to reunite his family in the UK and our team supported and advised him with the complex online applications.

After J left his country of origin, his wife and three children were displaced and soon entered one of the country’s many refugee camps. J kept in constant contact with his family and was devastated when seeing photographs of his children growing up fast without him.

J’s wife and children encountered many obstacles when trying to lodge their applications – from arranging TB tests, fingerprinting and photographs to getting into the Embassy.

The Refugee Rights Hub offered ongoing support and we were very disappointed when the initial visa applications were refused.

Appeals paid for by J were lodged and after making further submissions the Hub’s Supervising Adviser convinced the overseas decision makers to reverse their decision. The family received their visas and travelled to the UK.

Last year, the Hub was delighted to be visited by J’s wife and children. We were able to put them in touch with other agencies who could help them with housing, benefits and recovering the tribunal costs paid when lodging the appeals.

J’s story is one of the longest running cases the Refugee Rights Hub has been involved with and it illustrates the complexities and human costs involved over a prolonged period.

J’s children are now at school and college and doing well. J and his wife have found it challenging to rebuild their family life after being forced apart for so long, but they have succeeded in settling in South Yorkshire and are embracing a new beginning.