Azim Ansari, the Afghan student who spent his first year trying to repeal the Home Office’s decision to deport him, is taking a year out from his studies at Oxford to deal with his visa application in Ireland.
A statement by Emma Jones of the student-run ‘Keep Azim in Oxford’ campaign confirmed that “Azim will be taking this year off and has asked that the campaign give no statements at present, beyond thanking everyone very much for their solidarity”.
The President of St John’s College, Sir Michael Scholar, said that he believed Ansari, now 18, is in Ireland, from where he will apply to return to England to continue his studies. Scholar said that both the college and Azim thought it best that he took a year out in order that he could “get it all sorted without mucking up his uni career” as the process will “take a while”.
Ansari married his 29 year-old girlfriend, Becky, last November. He may be able to apply for a marriage visa, but Home Office regulations state that “the person applying for entry clearance must be outside of the United Kingdom and Islands at the time of application.”
Ansari gained a distinction in his Engineering Prelims despite the disruption caused by the appeals process last year.ARCHIVE: 0th week MT 2005