Woman denied passport, then detained for failure to leave UK By Alexander Schymyck

R (Eroje) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 1010 (Admin) is a shocking story of Home Office incompetence which led to the unnecessary and unlawful detention of someone who had made repeated attempts to leave the UK voluntarily.

Ms Eroje is a Nigerian national and spent a year working for a charity in the UK. She wished to continue her work, but the Home Office refused to grant her any more leave to remain and told her to leave the country. They also retained her passport, which had been submitted as part of her application for further leave.

Ms Eroje accepted the decision and informed the Home Office that she wished to return to Nigeria voluntarily. She bought a ticket for 3 June 2016 and tried to get her passport back from the Home Office, but they said it would be not be possible because she had not given them sufficient notice. As a result, Ms Eroje missed her flight.

Ms Eroje booked another ticket to Nigeria for 17 June and gave the Home Office plenty of time to return her passport. She was informed that it would be available for her to collect at the airport. When she arrived at the airport the passport was not there. The Home Office accepted this was entirely its fault and reimbursed Ms Eroje for the wasted plane ticket.

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