An east London teenager who has lived in the UK for 13 years has told of his fear and anxiety as he faces being deported to his birthplace of Bangladesh.
A petition calling for 18-year-old Abdul Hassan to remain in the UK has received thousands of signatures after being set up by his devastated friends.
Mr Hassan was due to start work at major accountancy firm KPMG but his application for leave to remain was denied by the Home Office last year, leaving his future in the country hanging in the balance.
He told the Standard: “I was really, really shocked when it happened. If I don’t deserve leave to remain then who does?
“I have been very anxious about it, very scared about what’s going to happen.
“The day I got the job offer from KPMG it was one of the happiest days of my life, everyone one was really happy for me, all my friends told me how proud they were.
“Then two weeks later I found out about this and it was the worst day of my life.”
At the age of five, Mr Hassan moved to Stoke Newington to live with his aunt because his father was unwell and his mother was suffering from schizophrenia.
His parents hoped he would return to Bangladesh but he remained in the UK when his father died and his mother’s health deteriorated.
At 16 he did not automatically receive his NI number and he had no ID or travel documents meaning he could not work legally or travel abroad.
The Home Office rejected his leave to remain in February 2016, saying his mother in Bangladesh was now capable of looking after him.
His appeal will be heard at a tribunal on June 8. If rejected he will be forced to leave the country.
Mr Hassan said a petition set up by his friend Hector O’Shea, which has been signed by more than 18,000 people, has given him hope.
Mr O’Shea describes him as “one of the hardest working people”, adding “his care for others is second to none”.
Mr Hassan, who got an A and 2 Bs in his A-levels last year, said: “It has been amazing, this support has been lovely and it has made me hopeful.
“Hopefully the appeal will be successful and then I can get my life back and start at KPMG.
“I’ve never had to tell anyone [about my situation] because it has never been issue and at first I was really embarrassed but I have recently realised it is nothing.”
His six-year chartered accountancy apprenticeship was due to start in September last year but has been delayed until this September while the case is heard.
He added: “Ever since I was a young age I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. KPMG will give me a better idea of how businesses work.
“Eventually I want to be a charity worker. I want to help in Syria, the amount of orphans it has created – I know what that feels like.
“But first I want to be successful to get the ability to help people before I move on charity work.”
A spokesman for KPMG said: “Whilst we sympathise with the situation, KPMG cannot comment on the British Government’s approach on immigration matters.
“However, we have been in touch with Abdul to offer our support and we hope his situation is resolved as quickly as possible.”