Portas Owino Ongondo right to remain in the UK 2

In May 2014 the petition below received 388 signatures - please help us to relaunch the petition and support the campaign which is currently giving Portas the hope and strength to continue his appeal to stay with his family in the UK...

In sending you this petition we,  the undersigned aim to secure the right for Portas Owino Ongondo to remain living and working in the UK.  Portas arrived in the UK in 2006 and his UK residency is currently dependent upon the residency of his wife, with whom his relationship has broken down.

We, the undersigned are sending you this petition because the impact on Portas and his family and the impact on the school community in which Portas works if he were to be refused the right to stay in the UK would be unreasonable, unfair and detrimental not only to Portas but also his children and the children of Collingham School.

Portas’ wife and three sons all have an indefinite right to remain resident in the UK.  Portas’ right to live and work in the U.K is dependent upon his relationship with his wife which has broken down, through no fault of Portas and despite attempts from Portas and the church community to reconcile the relationship.

Portas is not and has at no time been financially dependent on his wife or the state and has been supporting his family financially since arrival in the UK. He has established a hardworking and secure lifestyle based around the church and school communities through which he continues to support his three sons. Portas has a permanent job, which will continue indefinitely in the future and tied accommodation as part of that role.

Portas;' appeal to remain living and working in the UK has been denied as his circumstances don’t fit within current government criteria.  The appeal report states that Portas is

“of good character in every sense of the word.  He is hard-working and industrious.  Had he a valid application he would not fall to be refused pursuant to any “suitability” criteria” (p7, 20f).

Portas has three sons who are now classed as adults (age 19, 22 and 25), although one is still in full time education and who continue to rely on and look to Portas for emotional, practical and financial support and guidance within the family.  As Portas’ sons are not recognised as ‘dependent’ by law their needs and their relationship with Portas cannot be taken into account in Portas’ current appeal to stay in the U.K.   However, those who know and understand Portas and his role within his family understand that the emotional and financial impact of Portas’ removal to Kenya would be significant for both him as a father and for his sons.

In 2009, Portas was employed as a superintendent (resident caretaker) at Collingham Lady Elizabeth Hasting CE Primary School.  Portas has since become a highly valued member of the school’s community.  Portas is hard working and has demonstrated commitment to the school and community (pupils, staff, parents and governors) far exceeding the requirements of his employment.   Portas also continues to make a valued cultural contribution to our school in sharing his knowledge, understanding and expertise of his home culture with the pupils who are from a predominantly white UK school population.  As well as being hardworking and committed to Collingham School Portas is also valued for the level of intelligence he brings to his role, which the school finds invaluable and would be very difficult to replace.

Portas’ current employment in the UK means he is able to support his sons, which is needed more than ever in the economic climate where in real terms children remain financially dependent on their parents considerably beyond their 18th birthday.

Portas has not lived or worked in Kenya for over 7 years, he does not have a job or financial security to return to and therefore would have no guarantee of being able to make visits to the UK to maintain the vital relationships with his sons were his right to stay in the UK denied.

We the undersigned are asking that you recognise the significant contribution Portas makes both to his family and to the community in which he works and that in reconsidering you will grant Portas permission to remain resident in the UK

Thank your for your time and consideration.

The Undersigned.