Leeds mum Hildah Odeyo still facing anxious wait to remain in the UK

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A mum who has lived in the UK for 23 years is continuing to face an anxious wait to find out if she will be allowed to remain in the country.

Hildah Odeyo has been facing homelessness and possible deportation after the Home Office would not accept her application to remain in the UK because her passport is missing.

Two weeks ago the Yorkshire Evening Post told how healthcare assistant Miss Odeyo, originally from Kenya, was not allowed to work and faced eviction from her Brackenwood home because she cannot pay the rent.

Now hopes have been raised that Miss Odeyo, who has a 14-year-old daughter here, may be able to stay after the Home Office asked her to supply her fingerprints.

It could mean officials are planning to issue a biometric residence permit which would allow her to remain for the time being. But the Home Office was unable to confirm this yesterday.

Paul Hindley, a Senior Caseworker at PRH Solicitors, who has been representing Miss Odeyo, said: “A letter was received asking Hildah to register her fingerprints.

“There’s no indication that it means they are going to issue a permit but I’m hopeful it means they are going to. This is the procedure they would follow.”

Miss Odeyo was previously granted leave to stay in the UK, but a stricter interpretation of the rules meant the Home Office said her latest application was not valid without a passport. Miss Odeyo said the Home Office lost her passport in 1999 and she has since been trying to retrieve it.

Miss Odeyo, who is also being helped by her MP Fabian Hamilton, said she hoped to return to work if she gets the permit but still needed to get a new passport to remain here permanently. She said: “We are getting somewhere. I’m going to take it so I can go back to work. But we don’t know for how long. I will still have the same issue. It means they are still going to come back to me and ask for my passport.”

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that we are in touch with Miss Odeyo and that the case is being progressed.”