Gurkhas have strong ties to the UK

The Home Office on trial for callousness

strong tiesstrong ties

Gyanendra Rai, see here, is leading a claim against the Home Office's refusal to grant settlement to Gurkha veterans who served Britain but retired from the regiment before July 1997 because they "failed to demonstrate strong ties to the United Kingdom". Next Tuesday, the case of 15 former Gurkhas and Gurkha widows - representing more than 2,000 of their former colleagues - will return to the high court in London.

A team of human rights lawyers is challenging the lawfulness of the decisions to refuse these men entry visas to the UK. It wants equal rights for those who retired before the regiment's headquarters moved from Hong Kong to the UK following the 1997 handover of the colony to China.

Almost 1,000 Gurkha veterans - many with more than two decades of exemplary service - have been refused visa clearance by British embassies in Kathmandu, Hong Kong and Macau on the grounds that they do not have strong enough ties with the UK. The government argues that since they never lived in the UK, they have no real links with the country. It is estimated that between 7,000 and 10,000 more Gurkha veterans would settle in Britain should they win the case. They would be most welcome.

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