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COVID-Hit NHS Doctor Faces Deportation

An NHS doctor who fell seriously ill due to COVID-19 complications now fears deportation from the UK along with his family. Dr Basem Enany became paralysed after developing Guillain-Barré syndrome- a rare complication of COVID-19 that affects the nervous system- and faces an uphill battle to renew his UK Visa prior to its expiration date next month.

If you’re concerned about ensuring that your visa is renewed prior to its expiration date, contact our client care team today on 0333 305 9375.

An NHS doctor who has fallen seriously ill with COVID-19 complications now faces a major battle to renew his UK Visa in time- and has expressed serious concerns regarding deportation from the UK. 

Dr Basem Enany- a locum consultant cardiologist at York teaching hospital- became critically ill and was placed on a ventilator after developing Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare complication of COVID-19 that affects the central nervous system. The Egyptian- who lives in the UK with his wife and four daughters- has personally treated several COVID-19 patients over the course of the pandemic, and remains partially paralysed as a result of his condition.

“At first I had the usual symptoms of Covid – cough, fever, loss of taste and smell – but then I began to develop a weakness throughout my body. Then I was no longer able to move and couldn’t breathe properly.” he said. “I had never seen this happen in any of the Covid patients I had treated and had to research my symptoms as they were so unusual.”

Dr Enany is currently in Leeds General Infirmary awaiting transfer to to a specialist neuro-rehabilitation facility [Image: LeedsLive]

Although Enany is now able to breathe unassisted, he believes he has a long journey of rehabilitation ahead of him. His condition means that he faces an uphill battle to extend his Skilled Worker Visa prior to its December expiration date, causing him and his wife to fear that they will be deported along with their four daughters.

Enany has partially regained the use of his hands, but his legs remain paralysed and he is currently awaiting transfer from Leeds general infirmary to a specialist neuro-rehabilitation facility. “I was not sedated on the ventilator and was lying awake in my hospital bed thinking: ‘Oh my God, my visa is about to finish’”, he said.

NHS staff have formed an indispensable part of the UK’s fight against COVID-19. [Image: Stylist]

Dr Enany has paid tribute to the committed NHS staff who have cared for him and played indispensable roles in his recovery process, and also thanked the 4,000 people who have made donations to a crowdfund that will pay for his legal and medical bills. Any remaining funds will go towards research into COVID-19 and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Although the Home Office has asserted that it does not intend to deport the family, Enany has expressed concerns regarding the type of replacement visa he will receive, how long it will last for and whether or not it will permit him to work whilst in the UK.

Enany has thanked the Home Office for its reassurances, but stated: ‘We still don’t have any solid documents in our hands and my visa will expire soon.’

A Home Office spokesperson had this to say:

We’ve spoken to Dr Enany’s family to reassure them that their immigration status is not in jeopardy and they are not facing enforcement action. They are here entirely legally and have every right to remain the UK. We will continue to work with them to find a way forward. Our thoughts remain with Dr Enany and his family at this difficult time.’

This coming Friday will see the second reading of a private member’s bill from Lib Dem MP Christine Jardine which calls for all overseas NHS staff who have worked during the COVID-19 pandemic to be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

How we can help

If you’re concerned about extending your visa prior to its expiration date, contact our client care team today.

We provide all types of visa extension services, from Spouse Visa Extension support to Skilled Worker Extension guidance. We can help you no matter where you are, we offer all of our services remotely and also have offices located across the UK, including in LondonManchester and Birmingham. Get in contact on 0333 305 9375 to begin the process.

We can help you if you need advice or assistance about how this change to the Immigration Rules affects you.

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