01 December 2011

UK immigration ordeal over for former X Factor contestant

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The family of Gamu Nhengu, a former contestant on hit television show 'The X Factor', have successfully blocked an attempt by the UK Home Office to appeal against a court decision that granted the family leave to remain in the UK.

UK visa

The family of Gamu Nhengu, a former contestant on hit television show 'The X Factor', have retained their leave to remain in the UK.

Gamu Nhengu, 19, originally from Zimbabwe, appeared on the Saturday night reality show in 2010, where she failed to secure a place in the live shows after being controversially rejected by then-judge Cheryl Cole. At the same time, it was reported that Nhengu’s mother had attempted to renew her UK visa, but that the application had been rejected by UK immigration officials. The family relied on the visa to reside in the UK.

It later emerged that the Home Office had accused the applicant of wrongly claiming working tax credits while also working as a nurse for the eight years the family lived in Scotland. The family have consistently denied the allegation.

Following the visa application being refused, an appeal was launched by lawyers for the family in October 2010, and a month later the Home Office announced they would reverse their earlier decision and reconsider the application. In May this year, family lawyers announced a ruling had been made allowing them to stay in the UK. However, while the Home Office did launch an appeal against the decision, they have failed to over turn the verdict, ensuring the Nhengu family have leave to remain in the UK.

A UK Border Agency spokesperson said they were disappointed with the Court’s decision and will be looking closely at the judgement. “The UK Border Agency considers every case carefully and where we do not believe someone has the right to stay in the country, and they do not require our protection, we expect them to return home”, they said.


The UK Visa Bureau is an independent immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.

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