SCOTTISH musician Bunmi Thomas is facing the prospect of being deported to Nigeria after being told she is living in the UK illegally despite being born here because he parents were part of the Windrush generation and failed to register her birth.
Jazz artist Bunmi’s parents arrived in the UK at the end of the Windrush Generation era and gave birth to her in Glasgow in June 1983. Bunmi, 35, who was born just months after a change to the automatic right of citizenship for children of parents from former British colonies, recently received a letter telling her she had 14 days to leave the UK.
Bunmi’s parents, who arrived in the UK in the early 70s, were unaware they should register their daughter under the British Nationality Act. Now living in London with her sister Kemi, Bunmi spent most of her childhood, from the age of three until she was 18, living with her father in Nigeria but has spent almost all of her adult life in the UK.
She said: “I had a National Insurance number, I had my birth certificate, I’d got a driving licence, a bank account and I went to college. I believe I am British.”
After being refused a UK passport 10 years ago, Bunmi was granted temporary leave to stay in the UK and applied for permanent residency. A fortnight ago she received a letter informing her that her application had been refused and she had 14 days to leave the country, or she could be detained and deported.
She was told in the letter that her right to remain had ended because she had split from her partner, who was a British citizen. She has appealed the decision but a Home Office spokesperson said all immigration applications are considered on their individual merits.