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Young doctor who was ordered to leave UK told she can stay

Dr Chiang then received a letter on Friday from the Home Office

Mu-Chun Chiang (Mu-Chun Chiang/PA)
Mu-Chun Chiang (Mu-Chun Chiang/PA)

By Sophia Dourou, PA

A young doctor who was ordered to leave the country despite spending the majority of her life in the UK will now be allowed to stay.

Mu-Chun Chiang, 27, attracted the attention of campaigners after the Home Office rejected her visa application and told her to leave the UK or risk six months’ imprisonment.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in a tweet on Wednesday that after he had taken up Dr Chiang’s case with the Home Office it had been resolved.

“Deeply upsetting saga for Mu and her loved ones. I’ve taken Mu’s case up directly with the Home Office & I’m delighted to report Mu’s visa issue has been resolved,” he said.

Even though Dr Chiang had lived in the UK for over 13 years, her visa application was rejected over what she described as “a nonsensical administrative issue”.

Originally from Taiwan, Dr Chiang lived in Glasgow from 1997 to 2002 with her parents before returning to the UK in 2006 to study – and has lived here since, now working at Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool.

After Dr Chiang’s student visa expired in June, her application for a new working visa was rejected in August due to a Home Office rule which states an applicant’s bank balance cannot drop below £945 in the 90 days beforehand.

Dr Chiang said she had more than that amount saved and the bank account she used for the application had the correct money by the end of each month, but had dropped below for a few days in one of them.

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The letter telling her to leave the UK (Mu-Chun Chiang/PA)

She appealed against the failure by sending details of a separate savings account to show she always had the money required, but this was declined as it was not provided with the initial application.

Dr Chiang then received a letter on Friday from the Home Office telling her the application was unsuccessful, and that she “must leave the UK now” or she would “be liable to be detained and removed”.

The letter said she could be prosecuted, adding that she could work or access benefits while in the UK, and despite being on call she had been unable to work at her hospital in Liverpool since.

Her lead employer also called her on Tuesday to tell her that because the letter is dated to September 19 there is a possibility she will not get paid for the shifts she has done since then.

After receiving the letter, Dr Chiang’s friend and fellow doctor Mina Mesri set up a petition calling for her to be allowed to stay in the UK, which has received over 25,000 signatures in a matter of days.

Following the Home Office’s decision, Dr Mesri posted an update on Change.org and crediting the petition and media attention it generated for the outcome.

A Home Office spokesman told PA: “Following reconsideration of this case in light of additional evidence supplied by Ms Chiang, we have now contacted her to confirm her leave to remain.

“Ms Chiang is not and was not subject to removal proceedings.”

PA

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