Eight Fijian-born former soldiers who fought for Britain in Iraq face being deported because their visas expired after they left the Armed Forces
- They face deportation after failing to realise their visas would expire
- Taitusi Ratucaucau claims he was only given a month’s notice to apply for a visa
- Lord Dannatt, a former Chief of the General Staff said it was ‘unacceptable’
A former head of the Army has urged the Government to halt the threatened deportation of eight Fijian-born former soldiers who fought for Britain.
The men, who have decades of service between them including tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, face being booted out of the UK after failing to realise their visas would expire once they left the Armed Forces.
They say they cannot afford the cost of up to £10,000 each to obtain visas for themselves and their immediate families.
Taitusi Ratucaucau, who spent a decade in the Royal Logistics Corps, claims he was given a month’s notice of the need to apply for a visa when the Army’s own regulations say three months should be provided.
Taitusi Ratucaucau (pictured) claims he was given a month’s notice of the need to apply for a visa when the Army’s own regulations say three months should be provided
‘It is absolutely unacceptable that these soldiers, who wore the same British uniform as me and who fought for this country and took the same risks as me, are being denied their hard-earned entitlement to stay here due to administrational issues,’ said Lord Dannatt, a former Chief of the General Staff.
The former soldiers last week failed in a High Court bid to overturn the Government’s ruling.
Mr Ratucaucau, 49, said: ‘We have run out of legal options.’
The case is expected to be raised in Parliament this week. Last night, a Government spokesperson said: ‘We work closely with our foreign and Commonwealth recruits to make sure they are fully aware of how they can settle in the UK.’
Lord Dannatt, a former Chief of the General Staff said it was ‘unacceptable’ the soldiers could not stay