"The Home Office are now treating me as an illegal immigrant"

A Singaporean doctor who is five months away from qualifying as a GP in the UK is fighting deportation.

According to the BBC, Dr Luke Ong, 31, has lived in the UK for 10 years and is only five months away from qualifying as a GP, but is facing deportation.

Ong applied for the right to remain in September last year. His application was 18 days late and consequently refused by the Home Office. Ong claims his appointment was the “earliest available one throughout the UK”.

The British Medical Association described the mistake as an “honest oversight”, whilst the Home Office has said it would be “inappropriate to comment”.

Ong studied in medicine in the UK with his parents paying almost £100,000 towards his seven years of training.

Ong won an appeal against the Home Office’s decision to deport him but the department is looking to overturn it. In the meantime, he  is not allowed to work and has been “living off my savings and kindness of my friends”. He described the Home Office as being “hellbent on denying me residence”.

Over 39,000 people have signed his petition titled “Save NHS doctor trained in the UK from deportation”.

“The Home Office are now treating me as an illegal immigrant,” he said.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul of the British Medical Association said the Home Office should “move away from this hostile culture”.

“For them to seemingly take such a strict stand in this case is utterly incomprehensible,” he added.

A spokeswoman from the Home Office said, “All visa applications are considered in line with immigration rules and on the evidence provided. Dr Ong’s case is currently under appeal and it would be inappropriate to comment further whilst legal proceedings are ongoing”.